Nachman Shai Haaretz op-ed May 2007
Nachman Shai writes in a Haaretz op-ed about the need for more emphasis on the Hasbarah, PR front. He mentions that the Winograd Commission will give notice to the importance of the subject in its full report to be published in August.
I too agree that the area of PR/ Hasbarah is of great importance
in our ongoing struggles with our enemies.
It is in this context that I wish to make some comments here which I hope will find their way to those who can and do effect policy.
One is the need to understand that PR&H (Public Relations & Hasbarah) like an army can not be sent into the conflict without prior training. It’s too late once the battle is joined to train people how to drive tanks, to load and shoot rifles as well as to address the challenging questions that are sure to arise.
We need to be working on the PH&R confrontation now. Unlike in the military sphere where traditional wisdom has it that the generals prepare to fight the last war we can be assured that in the next war we will be attacked with the same accusations as in the last wars. In the next war too it will be written that we use disproportional force. That we harm civilians etc. Our PR&H forces should be “training” now for responding to those accusations.
Second: Shai also mentions that consideration was given to the issue of the media in the war effort.
I question the wisdom of daily casualty reports; In only 6 days of war in 1967 779 over seven hundred Israeli soldiers were killed on the way to victory.
I would also question; is it wise or necessary for individual soldiers to bring cell phones as far as staging zones before entering combat? Would it not be more prudent to forbid ALL cell phone use by military personnel when we are at war?
We know now that the informal media presence; blog’s were, are and will be a potent creative and aggressive contributor in the media battle field. In the
In the same vein there should be at lease one person assigned or a volunteer brought into the loop to receive and evaluate suggestions by our large and committed non-professional community of concerned citizens in