Friday, August 29, 2014


An edited version of this letter appeared in The Jerusalem Post, 25/8/14:
I agree with Caroline Glick in her article "Why Israel is losing the information war"  (  For 35 years I have been writing and fighting in support of Israel   As a resident of Washington DC, I actively produced pamphlets for distribution on US campuses (Israel and the USA, a comparison of two allies; Facts about Israel; Jordan is Arab Palestine), that the Israeli Embassy was afraid to produce.  Israel and its Foreign Ministry were prevented by Shimon Peres from doing its hasbara job, he closed down the PR unit saying that "if Israel has a good case we don't have to defend it."  After making aliyah 18 years ago I have been writing a blog (Isblog) that seeks to tell Israel's side in a positive and aggressive manner.  Forget about hasbara, forget about the niceties, I have been fighting the propaganda war.  What matters is PR, spin and effectiveness.  Yes, we have a great case, yes we have truth on our side, but who cares about that unless the case is presented positively and effectively.  Our enemies, and I include the western liberal media in that category, certainly don't care and they spin and distort the news against us constantly.
During WWII the British managed the news, they fooled the German enemy into thinking their rocket trajectory was too long and so they reduced it until they were firing rockets into farmland instead of London.  They dropped dead soldiers into the sea with false papers to fool the enemy, they issued positive news stories to support domestic morale.  This is war, and the only thing that matters in war is winning.  It is well known that in war truth is the first casualty.  Will it be nice if Israel is the first country that never lies in its information, yet loses the war?  And let's face facts, we have lost the propaganda war a long time ago.  Exposing the lies of the enemy is only part of the job, but putting our own case assertively and successfully is part of the war effort, just as the soldiers who enter the tunnels and the pilots who bomb the missile launchers (do I believe that, not necessarily, but I had you thinking I do).  I volunteer to help the Foreign Ministry do its job in parallel with the Defense Ministry.  Here's one tip for free, equate Hamas with ISIS, and repeat it over and over again.
Yours etc.
Jack Cohen
There was another article in the Post that argued that during wartime democratic values must be preserved: "Democracy must be preserved even during wartime" by Sherwin Pomerantz (   I disagree, Israel is fighting a war of survival, millions of people are living in shelters, hundreds of thousands are leaving their homes in the south of the country, Hamas is achieving part of its goal of terrorizing our population. But, during wars other democracies have suspended basic democratic rights.  For example, during the civil war Pres. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and Britain during WWII suspended habeas corpus, established effective Government control over the press and manipulated the news.  The emphasis was on winning and surviving, that takes precedence.  


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