On Friday (June 4 2010,) uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic published a post entitled Israel Derangement Syndrome III. It linked to We Con the World, a remarkable video clip produced by Latma, the right-wing satire project lead by Caroline Glick, who doubles as The Jerusalem Post’s Deputy Managing Editor.
The video is a repulsive attempt to use staire to make Israel’s case on Flotilla Devbacle. I recommend suffering through its entirety to grasp just how much. This is not really surprising to anyone who has ever read Glick’s columns or makes a cursory inquiry into her background.
She is, for example, the recipient of the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Outstanding Journalism in the Mideast award, which was presented to her in a ceremony featuring the esteemed John Bolton. Memorably, Glick was also quick to report (Hebrew), while embedded with a US unit in Iraq that she had “discovered” the first stash of WMDs.
The kind of US audience Glick appeals to is illustrated by the fact that Latma is fully funded by Center for Security Policy’s Middle East Media program, headed by Frank Gaffney, and that Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) was quick to post the video on its website.
The growing importance of the Israeli nodes of American neo and theo conservative networks is not new and regulars readers of Coteret know that we have followed it closely. But the reception this clip has received in Israel was surprising.
On Friday, I began to see intelligent, mainstream, Israeli opinion-leaders posting the clip on their Facebook pages. I assumed they were doing so for the same reason I was: To illustrate just how misguided some Israeli public diplomacy efforts had become. A closer look revealed just how wrong I was. These posts were intended for non-Israelis.
One caption, posted by a successful left-of-center Israeli PR operative on the Economist Facebook page, read “make sure you see this before making up your mind.” On Saturday, they began doing the same thing with a classic Glenn Beck segment on the Flotilla Debacle and were incredulous and argumentative when I pointed out that Beck was not exactly the most effective source to cite if one wanted to make Israel’s case abroad.
In a two-page spread, this morning’s edition of Yediot (June 6 2010, full translated text below, Hebrew original here and at bottom of post), billed the clip as an effective citizen’s initiative “that defended Israel better than any of the experts.” It also made the following stupefying revelation:
Members of the Government Press Office who encountered it thought it was a state-sponsored clip and disseminated it overseas. After a Spanish journalist researched its sources, the GPO was forced to clarify that the parody was disseminated accidentally and that the contents of the clip did not reflect the official position of the State of Israel.
Writing about the Glenn Beck segment referenced above, MJ Rosenberg warned that American popular support for Israel is becoming increasingly restricted to the far-right. The way in which mainstream Israel perceived the public diplomacy value of Glick’s clip is a good illustration of this point.
Indeed, with the Israeli media increasingly providing front and center venues for arch-conservatives such as Newt Gingrich (Israel Hayom) and Elliott Abrams (Maariv), one should not be surprised that the perceptual gulf between Israelis and most Americans is widening.
The editor recruited her friends, the lead actor cam back specially from reserve duty and the director bought Keffiyehs
How the clip that defended Israel better than any of the experts was created
Zvi Singer and Itai Shmoscowitz, Yediot, June 6 2010 [page 8; Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]
lead actorIn a place where the official Israeli public relations failed, a popular wave has risen up and succeeded: a satiric video clip that mocks the way in which the participants in the Gaza flotilla were cast as heroes around the world, became a hit this weekend on the internet.Party.