Free Palestine | 15.11.2002 20:42
1) Draw direct parallels between Israel and Britain. From history to culture to values, the closer you define the similarities between Israel and Britain, the more likely you are to win the support of those who are neutral. Think and say "And what would Britain do under similar circumstances?"
2) Four words "democracy," "freedom," "security," and "peace" are at the core of the Western political, economic social and cultural system. They should be repeated as often as possible.
3) Explain why a threat to Israel is a threat to Britain and the West. Will British lives be lost following a new Middle East war? Will Middle East terrorism come to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales?
4) Promote Anwar Sadat and King Hussein BEFORE you de-legitimize Arafat. You need to SHOW it, not say it. Compare Arafat with Anwar Sadat or King Hussein. "Sadat...King Hussein ...people of courage in the Arab world that have stood up to terrorists, told their people to put down their guns, and made peace with Israel." But Yasser Arafat?
5) Explain the difference between Israel not complying with UN resolutions and Iraq’s non-compliance. Israel is a democracy Iraq is a dictatorship. The resolutions against Iraq come under the heading ofChapter 7 the UN Charter dealing with Threats to Peace whereas the resolutions relating to Israel fall under Chapter 6 of the Charter dealing with Pacific settlements of Disputes - and they are substantially different in terms of International Law.
6) Oslo matters a lot. Oslo was a Treaty, not a technicality. Emphasize Arafat's signature. Emphasize what he agreed to. "The same man who signed the Oslo Accord is the same man who signed the checks that paid the terrorists. That man is Yasser Arafat. And when he signed those checks, he signed away his credibility, his integrity, and his honour "
7) Differentiate between Arafat and the Palestinian people. There was an immediate and clear distinction between the empathy people felt for the Palestinians and the scorn they directed at Arafat. If it looks like you are attacking the Palestinian people as well as Arafat, your message will be ignored - or even backfire. Right now, there is a lot of sympathy with the plight of the Palestinians, and that sympathy will increase if you fail to differentiate.
8) Do not directly compare the situation in Israel to America on September 11th. There was no war in New York or Washington, no dispute about the US occupying any land, no history of hatred etc., and the West sees the two situations differently, and comparing the two undermines your credibility. You can say that it is legitimate to go after leaders of terrorist groups as the Americans and the British have done in Afghanistan, but take care in the wording (see Conclusion: Don'ts And Do's). You can say that unfortunately thousands of innocent civilians have died in campaigns in which Britain has been involved recently, e.g. Afghanistan and Bosnia
9) Explain your principles. Both Arab and Israeli spokespeople go right into an attack against the other, and virtually no one on either side explains the principles behind their actions. People respond much better to facts, actions and results when they know why - not just how. And use rhetorical questions. "Can there be true peace without security?"
10) The nation that is perceived as being most for peace will win this debate. It does not matter how it is said or who says it. Every time someone made the plea for peace, the reaction is positive. If you were to do a media content analysis, you'd find that the Palestinian spokespeople are using the peace word much more than the Israelis - and it is working. If we want to regain the public relations advantage, peace should be at the core of whatever message we wish to convey.
11) You can't please everyone. Some people cannot be moved to support Israel no matter what words, themes or language you use. Your goal is to inform and empower your supporters and educate the neutrals. Leave the hostiles alone.