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A Pollster Strategy Sheet Is Helping Israelis Hide Facts, Writer Argues
Posted on Jul 28, 2014
Israeli spokesmen are working from a secret PR playbook to “influence the media and public opinion” on their bloody military campaign on the Gaza Strip and the larger ongoing occupation of the West Bank, Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn writes at The Independent.
The “professional, well-researched and confidential” study was written by “expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz” under commission from a group called “The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those ‘who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel’,” Cockburn notes.
Among the copious instructions is advice to avoid talking about border lines drawn in certain years, to cast the return of Palestinians to Israel as “mass Palestinian immigration,” and to “Show Empathy for BOTH sides!” as “Persuadables [sic] won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
About a particularly devious and evasive recommendation, Cockburn states:
Cockburn contends that the study acknowledges that Israel doesn’t really want a two-state solution and that this should be hidden because 78 percent of Americans do want it. Later, the booklet offers a public statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an example—it is “time for someone to ask Hamas: what exactly are YOU doing to bring prosperity to your people.” This is a manipulation and hypocrisy that “beggars belief,” Cockburn writes, because “it is the seven-year-old Israeli economic siege that has reduced the Gaza to poverty and misery.”
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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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