An American’s Library for Making Sense of the Palestine Israel Mess Part 2: This section is two manuals the Israel Lobby uses to train supporters for stifling debate: Book 2 of 2:
The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary from The Israel Project. Written by (Public Relations Pollster) Frank Luntz. 116 pp. (double spaced and a lot of it is graphs and blank space). Every page says ‘Not for distribution or publication’ but you can find it on the Net.
This pamphlet is meat and potatoes for anyone wanting to debate the Israel Lobby. Nearly all their arguments are in one place. You can check them at leisure against articles appearing and say, “Whoa! That’s not true.”
Public relations are vital to Israel, their main target is their essential patron, America. The 2009 Global Language Dictionary is a how-to manual for Israel supporters in the art of deflecting, evading and minimizing criticism of Israel while cheerleading for Israel and demonizing Arabs primarily Hamas (the democratically elected government of Gaza), Hezbollah (the Palestinian resistance movement in Lebanon) and Iran.
Don’t let the title fool you. This is no dictionary in the accepted sense. This is the game plan for pro-Israel debaters served up on a silver platter. It has sound bites Israel supporters can memorize called, “Words that Work.” It also has, “Words that don’t work,” how to answer/deflect “the toughest questions” and how to talk to “persuadables” i.e. women, African Americans and young people, especially college students.
In a nutshell, Israel advocates are taught to:
1) Shed crocodile tears for dead and injured Palestinian children while blaming Israeli bombardments on Hamas.
2) “Be careful of your tone.” “A patronizing, parental tone will turn Americans and Europeans off.” Luntz also admonishes not to use words like allow, permit, control or instruct in regards to Palestinians in order to give an impression that Palestinians are somehow partners.
3) “Remind people—again and again—that Israel wants peace…The speaker that is being perceived as being most for PEACE will win the debate.” (Luntz uses bold, underlined and italics a lot. Also, he’s not correct here. The speaker that is perceived as resisting tyranny will win the debate.)
4) “Draw direct parallels between Israel and America…the more you focus on the similarities between Israel and America, the more likely you are to win the support of those who are neutral.”
5) Use the words democracy, freedom, security and peace often. Very often.
6) Claim Israel is America’s ally and a democracy in the Middle East.
7) Make a distinction between Hamas and the suffering Palestinian people.
7a) Claim the Palestinians raise their children to become hateful terrorists and suicide bombers.
8) Say “The fight is over IDEOLOGY—not land: terror, not territory. Thus, you must avoid using Israel’s religious claims to land as a reason why Israel should not give up land. Such claims only make Israel look extremist to people who are not religious Christians or Jews.”
9) “Continually establish the connection between Iran and “Iran-backed Hamas” and Iran backed Hezbollah.” “You must not call Hamas just Hamas. Call them what they are: Iran-backed Hamas.”
10) Deflect questions about Israeli atrocities and violations of International Law. Instead encourage the audience to think about the future and not about the past or present.
11) Use the term “economic diplomacy” instead of ‘sanctions when promoting economic sanctions against Iran because, “The economic component appeals to Republicans, and the diplomacy component satisfies Democrats.”
12) Educate American “persuadeables” not just the old, white guys who are already on Israel’s side. Luntz says, “For many on the left who are not elites—especially African Americans, women and young Americans—data show that they know far less about Israel and Israel’s enemies than other Americans.” “(Operation Cast Lead) explains why liberals have become so openly hostile since the start of the Gaza War…It is critical to make sure that Liberals understand this is a fight between Israel and Iran.
The Global Language Dictionary is a mix of fear mongering, propaganda, half truths and outright lies. If you’re inclined to debate on this topic you can read almost everything they will throw at you in this manual.* Go through it page by page and resolve each argument. Luntz says that history lessons should be less than a minute. That means if you let Israel advocates rattle off multiple false charges in a few sentences they will try to move on. It can be a lot of time invested to speak to charges laid down in under a minute but take your time. Have confidence, read that history the Israel Lobby wants to keep under one minute and you’ll do fine.
Here’s one example: Luntz claims Israel withdrew 9,000 settlers from Gaza in 2005 because Israel wanted peace, they even left 3,000 greenhouses for the Palestinians but the Palestinians destroyed the greenhouses and increased their attacks on Israel. Many pro-Israel debaters throw this out as proof that Israel wants peace and is good. Palestinians want to destroy Israel and everything Israeli so badly they even harm themselves to do it.
You see, in a few seconds a pro-Israel speaker throws out multiple accusations then prepares to move on. This cluster of accusation is thunderingly false, let’s spend a little time here.
1) In 2005 Israel evacuated about 7,500 Jewish colonists from Gaza. Some articles say about 8,000. The settlers didn’t want to leave because they were getting rich from being subsidized by Israel/America and using desperate Palestinians as laborers who they paid far less than they would have had to pay for labor in Israel.
2) Ariel Sharon (aka, the Butcher of Sabra) was Israel’s Prime Minister back then. America’s government was leaning on Sharon to get the peace process moving. His senior advisor, Dove Weisglass, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2004 that Israel’s planned Gaza withdrawal was being done to ‘freeze’ the peace process. “When you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with the authority and permission. All with (American) presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.” “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” [In this way, Israel was able to step up West Bank settlement building. They relocated many of the Jewish Gaza evacuees onto Palestinian land elsewhere in the occupied territories and within ten years more than doubled the number of Israeli Jewish colonists from 240,000 to over 600,000. Also, Israel requested $2.2 billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to pay for the evacuation. How much they got is unclear.] 04.06.2004 Haaretz, by Ari Shavit.
3) Israel didn’t withdraw at all. Gaza today is called the world’s largest open-air prison with two million people crammed into a narrow strip the size of Bakersfield, California. It is surrounded by walls with gun turrets, Israeli army troops and a naval blockade. Israel had demolished Gaza’s airports, refused to let the airports be rebuilt. They sealed off the Palestinians with no control of their own borders, airspace or seaways. To this day they kill people trying to get in or out of Gaza without Israeli permission. There is a danger zone (encroaching onto the Gaza side) within 300 meters of the wall and a kill zone within close proximity. Farmers and fishermen are harassed, and often shot. Israel controls every food calorie that gets into Gaza. It is enough to keep people alive but in a drained sort of way. Israelis call this ‘Putting the Palestinians on a diet.’ Israel invades Gaza frequently including large scale killing forays like ‘Cast Lead’ in 2008 and ‘Protective Edge’ in 2014 which Israelis call, ‘Mowing the Lawn.’ Israeli’s claim to be God’s chosen people while they use Gaza as a laboratory for testing weapons which they sell to other countries as battle field tested. Israeli filmmaker Yotam Feldman, lays out the Jewish state testing weapons on the Palestinian population in his documentary, ‘The Lab” which won DocAviv’s Best Debut Film in 2013.
4) About those greenhouses. Even notoriously pro-Israel Wikipedia says that Israelis dismantled or destroyed half of the greenhouses before they left in August of 2005. It was money from the international community that kept them from demolishing the rest. Israel didn’t communicate with the Palestinian police about exactly when and where they were pulling people out. Because the police weren’t around Palestinians looted many greenhouses of pumps, piping and other necessary components. The Palestinians put up $20 million to get the greenhouses back on line which they did by October. Palestinians grew crops in the greenhouses and had some optimism for a while that things would be okay. Then, when the crops were grown, Israel refused to let farmers bring them out of Gaza to market. Palestinians used what they could, the rest was dumped at the checkpoints to be eaten by goats or to rot.
Social media technology has come a long way. With it Palestinians were able to document the 2014 Gaza massacre in which Israel killed over 2,200 Palestinians including hundreds of women and 550 children. Palestinians killed 71 Israelis: 66 soldiers, 5 civilians and one child (which they said was accidental because, unlike Israelis who are given the sophisticated rockets in America’s arsenal, Palestinians have notoriously inaccurate rockets).
Because of cell phones and social media, PR supporting Israel has gotten a lot tougher. To give credit where credit is due, Frank predicted in the GLD that this was going to happen. The Israelis hired Frank after Protective Edge. He did a slide show that’s even less impressive than The Global Language Dictionary.
*It’s interesting to see how things have changed in the seven short years since this thing came out. For instance, Luntz quotes Barak Obama several times. In 2015 Netanyahu tried, very publicly, to undermine Obama’s support the deal between Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the U.S. Netanyahu failed. The Iran Deal went through. Western nations immediately cozied up to Iran and its oil. Netanyahu and Israel looked foolish. Later in the year Obama threw up his hands and said his administration was done trying to effect a peace process between Israel and Palestine.