Comptroller: Israel PR Too Dependent on IDF (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gil Ronen 06/13/12)
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The State Comptroller and Ombudsman´s report regarding the Mavi
Marmara incident states that Israel´s mechanism for hasbara – the
Hebrew word that refers to Israel´s global public relations effort –
is currently unable to properly handle its huge task.
For one thing, the report concludes, the National Information
Directorate (NID) created in 2007-8 is too small. The NID is supposed
to serve as the supreme professional authority for coordinating and
directing Israel´s official hasbara bodies. Besides being
understaffed, the report claims, the NID "is still not prepared for
carrying out continuous and protracted coordination efforts for
spokesmanship and hasbara during emergencies, and especially in
wartime, for creating, transmitting and assimilation of messages..."
The Foreign Ministry, too, is unable to provide a solution for
hasbara, "mainly because of the wide gap between the vital
requirements for this central field and the meager abilities that it
possesses in its current configuration, which have long been
inadequate for the needs."
Seeing as Israel´s public information needs are only growing in
scope, the Comptroller calls on the Foreign Ministry "to fix and
improve the way it functions in this vital field."
When the government agencies are unable to provide proper hasbara,
the IDF steps into the breach, the report explains. While the IDF
Spokesman´s Unit is supposed to serve the military alone, its size,
resources and the military and diplomatic information it is privy to
make it Israel´s central hasbara body, "almost by default."
This state of things is not proper for a democratic country, the
Comptroller says. The NID and Foreign Ministry need to improve their
hasbara abilities and coordinate Israel´s hasbara arms in order to
optimally influence global opinion. Otherwise, the report warns, "as
successful and justified an operation may be, it could be seen as a
non-success or even a failure in the struggle for the global public
opinion´s consciousness." (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/13/12)
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