An in-depth article by Philippe Assouline for the JCPA examines how Palestinian propaganda has turned the media into an effective weapon.
Many examples are provided by HonestReporting as sourced in the footnotes.
Some of the key points:
- Israel, a liberal democracy caught between tyrannies and sectarian violence, is increasingly perceived as uniquely evil.
- In the struggle for hearts and minds, feelings trump facts. Imagery and accusations that automatically trigger public compassion are incomparably more compelling than dry, defensive argumentation. We are “wired” by evolution to support those we perceive as innocent victims in distress, even when the facts do not mandate such support.
- The portrayal of Palestinians as innocent victims in distress has been the key to Palestinian propaganda’s popular success. Through the mass-production of heartrending imagery centered on children, staged “news,” manipulative rhetoric, and rigid censorship, Palestinian propaganda has successfully used the media to recast Palestinians as entirely blameless victims.
- Moreover, a number of prominent journalists for international news agencies have concurrently been salaried employees of Palestinian administrations. Both Agence France Presse and the Associated Press have employed journalists with close ties to the Palestinian Authority.
- Israelis have long tried to win minds with a multitude of defensive arguments and legal justifications, and have lost. Israel will have to define itself to the world in a way that is at least as emotionally appealing as the Palestinians’ saga of victimhood.
- Rather than fighting spurious accusations with impersonal facts, Israel must fight Palestinian propaganda’s exploitation of public compassion with a touching but morally correct narrative of its own.