Several weeks ago I wrote about the necessity for Jews to fight, and win “the
intellectual war.” Briefly stated, the intellectual war is based on
correcting the profoundly distorted narrative about the Jewish people that has
dogged us to near extinction for millennia.
It is the war for hearts and
minds, and requires proactive and heightened composure, elevated thought and
group cohesion against a backdrop of irrational hate, fear-mongering and
seemingly endless patent lies and dangerous diatribes.
Not an easy
proposition, by any means.
However, as history has taught us all too
well, Jews have never been afforded the luxury of a fair fight.
Yet it is
critical to stress that this war cannot be won by any weapon other than the
Indeed, attempting to fight this conflict with guns, missiles or
violence of any kind will prove as futile as using an AK-47 to cure a
metastasizing, invasive form of brain cancer.
AS WE all know, a war that
is not tactically driven and well thought out is destined for
With that in mind, I want to revisit this subject with a more
substantive analysis of how we must fight this important conflict unilaterally,
based on an international media-relations initiative I created and presented to
several members of Knesset, roughly one year ago.
Israel has an outstanding, cohesive and proactive military that is
internationally respected and feared. No expense has been spared to make it as
united, efficient and powerful as possible – out of
Conversely, Israel’s media-relations counterpart is weak,
driven by wildly disparate political entities and interests, and definitively
reactionary by today’s sophisticated media-dominated standards.
sensitive and important state announcements are often poorly timed, disjointed,
inconsistent, and defensive measures are routinely – and ineffectually – relied
upon instead of offensive ones.
However, the problem remains largely
unaddressed, with the exception of “hindsight is 20/20” excuses and promises to
get it right “next time” – the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a
ISRAEL’S INTERNATIONAL media relations and diplomacy have not been
assigned nearly as much importance and resources as the IDF, and it is painfully
evident on the world stage. There are simply too many parties with too many
self-serving interests attempting to control our narrative, and it is weakening
Israel is constantly under attack, and in today’s world,
international media relations and diplomacy must be as cohesive and disciplined
as varying IDF army units that works together in crises to maintain safety and
The world is informed through the media in a highly rapid,
competitive and unforgiving news cycle, and Israel’s narrative has been so
grossly manipulated as to represent a false reality – indeed, a dark parallel
universe – by our enemies.
That said, Israel is – and always will be –
“David.” Yet it has become successfully misidentified as “Goliath” the
We must finally reverse this narrative, and the only way to
do this is by becoming exponentially more proactive and polished, and taking
this fight to our enemies as one
– a lesson learned long ago on the battlefield
by the IDF.
In short, we must put our political inclinations aside and
beat our enemies at a game that must focus like a laser on our greatest
strengths: Intellect and truth.
TO DO this, it is imperative to
immediately allocate all necessary resources and training to create a Media
Relations Defense (MRD) unit (or Intellectual Israel Defense Force, if you
will), that is as united and skilled at media relations as the IDF is at
military planning and execution.
However, before we can execute our
offensive, we must know our enemy inside and out.
There are numerous NGOs
that effectively monitor and archive information about what is being said and
written about Israel in the media, however these organizations’ intelligence
have not been properly centralized.
Therefore, we must create a central
database to store all records of what is being said or written by all relevant
news organizations. Additionally, an archive of the last 60-plus years must also
be created for historical record.
To efficiently navigate through the
enormous breadth of information sent out daily regarding Israel, we will assign
every news organization a status of one of three categories: “primary,”
“secondary,” or “tertiary,” based on circulation. Statuses in the central
database will be categorized by level of importance (i.e. a media organization
that reaches 500,000 to 1 million or more will be considered primary;
organizations reaching a marginal population will be considered
The database must be updated in real time and identify each
organization, as well as classify how its content affects Israel’s reputation.
These classifications should be divided into three broad categories: (1)
hostile, (2) neutral, or (3) helpful.
THE CENTRAL database will enhance
clarity, organizational effectiveness, accessibility and speed, and ensure
To be most effective, the response time to any libelous
publication or broadcast should ideally be within 24 hours – and never more than
72 hours following an objectionable broadcast or publication. News cycles
move far too quickly to wait any longer, and opinions will already have been
formulated, and the damage done.
After an article or video is categorized
and stored, every manipulated/inaccurate sentence/word will be highlighted and
given a priority – similar to the color-code system used in America to alert the
public to terror threats.
Primary news sources will be assigned the
highest level of “alert” and corrected rapidly. A 48-hour response time will be
upheld for secondary organizations, and 72 hours for tertiary
Nothing of importance will be ignored.
comes to Israel’s narrative, as the IDF has illustrated on the battlefield, our
incessant political infighting and interests must be set aside to address the
larger picture: our survival.
That said, an international editorial team
of experts – across political lines – will comprehensively evaluate all
incendiary content in non-Hebrew and non-English speaking regions, and compose a
factual and powerful written or televised retort within the aforementioned
Because this is a global struggle, an international team of
talented researchers, writers, journalists and camera-ready “talent” will serve
as the first line of defense. The team responsible for correcting inaccuracies
must be “blue chip” – highly intelligent, polished, accurate, consistent and
Perhaps most importantly, this team cannot be limited to
Israeli borders – it’s simply not practical in today’s international
We must create satellite offices overseas and work with Diaspora Jews
(or non-Jewish supporters of Israel) from whatever region of the world
responsible for objectionable content.
Global offices will ensure the
response will be fashioned in a tone and style familiar to those who have been
exposed to the distortions (i.e. in Russia, a Russian writer or speaker will
respond; in the UK, a British writer/speaker, etc.).
The importance of
working indigenously cannot be overstated: It is a fact that audiences are far
more likely to be convinced of something by news in their native accent and
language than those with less familiar accents and languages.
all respective linguistic idioms, anomalies and provincial narrative forms will
be incorporated into each country’s style guide.
the MRD and IDF is imperative. Thus, the MRD must work in lockstep with the IDF
with respect to all information given to the media.
There needs to be
complete consistency in terms of outgoing information at all times –
particularly following any given military operation, controversy or civil
The MRD will exclusively deal with all media queries that arise
from military conflict to eliminate potential inconsistencies or
ULTIMATELY ISRAEL’S “intellectual war” has been assigned
secondary importance, and there are simply too many warring internal political
factions attempting to control it, and present it in their own parties’
Yet we must work together on this battlefield and leave our
personal differences aside – just like the IDF. Indeed, the MRD needs to
transcend political ideologies to be as efficient, well-trained, productive and
respected as the IDF.
We must change the false narrative of Israel as
“Goliath” back to “David.” This will be a Herculean undertaking, but it
absolutely can be accomplished. Maybe even within our
NOW IS the time to join together and take charge of Israel’s
No reasonable expense should be spared to fund this necessary
It is time to take the fight to our enemies, stop playing
defensively and sending out conflicting messages.
This is the only way to
win hearts and minds on a scale that no military machine can