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The War on Israel


Google Images Faked To Incriminate Israel in World Public Opinion

December 21st 2012

Mickey Doll Hamas

To some, this story may seem to be getting old. Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, its action to defend its citizens from the rockets being fired by Hamas in Gaza, concluded over one month ago; the public and media is already onto new topics of the day.  Facts and fictions of that period are no longer being discussed, as Israeli citizens have elections to focus on, media has housing being built in Judea and Samaria to write about and Americans are focused on the unspeakable crime committed in Connecticut or the coming Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  To say the least, a story about how Hamas uses very creative marketing techniques and manufactured public relations effects to skew opinions in favor of their efforts may seem out of place.

I would argue that it is actually a good time to talk about it. Israel’s public relations and crisis communications efforts often kick into gear haphazardly when a crisis hits.  Calls to action, emails and lobbying all become immediately actionable in an almost tumultuous way.  The axiom, “out of sight is out of mind” holds true, and once we are beyond one issue, it becomes difficult to look back – especially at the hard parts of life.

In teaching crisis preparedness, I advise clients that they must take the time and effort to engage in activities that may never happen just so they can be prepared. We have fire drills in schools and office buildings, and you always see people rolling their eyes, moving slowly just to complete the motions enough not to get lectured by the fire marshal. Fire drills, however, save lives. So, why not also have crisis drills that mimic the known and possible scenarios that can occur?

In Israel’s case, its public image during battles with its often more daring and coldhearted enemies who use children as shields and then display the mangled remains for the world to mourn over and cry foul at merciless Israel. The whole thought is a sad, that we have dead children to begin with, and when tearing eyes around the world see it, few stop to ask what really happened. It is a knee jerk, but human instinct to recoil when we see images like that. In Newtown, Connecticut, for example, first responders were allegedly warned before entering the school to “not focus” on what they saw, for it could hamper their ability to secure, assess and investigate what must have been one of the most horrible scenes one can ever have to witness.

When Hamas publishes images of what it reports to be the people who were killed by Israel’s missile attacks, the images get hundreds of thousands of views and forwards, and Israel looks like the evil doers. We can debate the merits of Israel’s defensive strategies and many might differ on its use of force against an enemy that has nicely positioned itself as the weaker, meeker, victims with a mere tens of thousands of unguided rockets and concealed launchers against big bad Israel’s Iron Dome and healthy cache of technologically advanced precision armaments. Yet, the fact remains that when images of the dead reach the public; Israel loses no matter where the facts lie.

The 20th Century master of media and public relations manipulation Joseph Goebbels gave us the axiom, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” He was so right. When Hamas sends off its graven images of the dead, people resend it, retweet it, post it to Pintrest and Facebook and send mass emails to the media, and the Israeli boys and girls who fight for the very survival of their country and people against an enemy that would appear to exhibit no morality at all, become the heartless, cruel, racist colonialists.

That is why Israel and its supporters must learn to act before these events transpire and be prepared to do battle in cyberspace using the same weapons the radicalized Islamists have learned to master – the speed and power of the Internet.

Goebbels continued, “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.” So in crisis preparedness terms, remove the shield and expose the lie. By doing so, the position of the terrorists will wane, while they try very hard “To repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State,” Goebbels concluded.

One fast and easy way today to expose the lies is to use one of the greatest weapons created for this purpose, and I bet the programmers at Google never imagined at first that their search engine could change the tides of war (the war of public opinion). Learn this easy trick and you can help Israel before frightening images become the rallying cries in the halls of the U.N. and in liberal media studios where defending the truth is less important than defending the more socially accepted narrative.

Hamas used images of the dead from other wars, such as Syria’s current civil war, to highlight the damage Israel had done to its people. I would argue that if they had their own pictures from within, they probably would not have had to repurpose old visuals. In lieu of staging the scenes, which take time and can often be exposed by onlookers, it was easier to circulate doctored or archived photos of the dead, but Google Images makes it simple to get to the truth.

In the search box, enter Google Images. When the choices appear, click on “search by image.” You will be given the choice of entering t he URL (web address) of the image in question, uploading the image from your computer files or just dragging and dropping the image into the Google search box. Google takes the image and searches the Internet for the appearance of the same or very similar images from all over, from many years past. Look for the image use on credible news sites and note the date and place.

Last month, Hamas circulated photos from Syria’s revolution and pictures from Gaza in 2007 as attributed them to Israel’s missiles from Pillar of Fire. Israel and its supporters can now be better prepared. There is always potentiality for a war between Israel and its neighbors, and there are reports that Hezbollah is now readying for a new battle, and has warned Israel’s Air Force about its intentions.

Let Israel’s public relations crisis preparedness machine be ready to do battle for public opinion as its military is ready to defend its people from harm.

Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency, 5W Public Relations

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