» In April 2002, in response to a burgeoning, refreshed student Palestinian movement, a Zionist student activist remarked to the New York Times, “It has become a trendy cause, and that's unfortunate. To a large degree it's because they are using this language of human rights.” Given the pervasive disregard that the “morally pure” Israeli occupation forces have for human rights, the danger that contextualizing the conflict in such terms poses to the “wherever we stand we stand with Israel” (as their mantra goes) apologists is certainly understandable.
» How have they done this? Referring to the Jewish Agency’s incriminating March 2002 publication on promoting Israel on campus, distributed widely among Israel’s student supporters across the United States, the strategy is very simple. The Hasbara Handbook prescribes fascinating instructions on attacking the messenger and avoiding the message at all costs “in ways that engage the emotions, and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote” their cause.«
» In another section describing the tactic of “transfer,” manipulating the audience is done by “taking some of the prestige and authority of one concept and applying it to another…Some of the symbols that might be used in discussing Israel might include…Islamic symbols, which might lend a militant speaker the apparent support of Islam, even when what they are saying goes against mainstream Islamic beliefs.” Or, the strategy of “fear,” whereas “a speaker warns that the consequences of ignoring his message is likely to be war, conflict, personal suffering, and so forth” in “manipulating fear to advance their message… Listeners have deep-seated fears of violence and disorder, which can be tapped into by creating false dichotomies – ‘either listen to me, or these terrible things will happen’. Listeners are too preoccupied by the threat of terrible things to think critically about the speaker’s message.”
The 131-page document continues with a detailed examination of how to “gain points” with the public targets by “manipulating,” and diverting them from “rationality,” “real examination,” and thinking “critically.”«