Book review: Fighting the PR war

Nachman Shai’s ‘Hearts and Minds’ examines how Israel can work on its public image.


Israel the victim of bad PR? If it worked harder at presenting a positive image to the world, would tides change in its favor? Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai’s newest book, Hearts and Minds: Israel and the Battle for Public Opinion, puts this theory to the test.

Just over a month ago, Israel celebrated the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, where the world’s greatest power officially recognized our country’s capital. But over the border in Gaza, people marked the day differently, continuing their weekly violent riots at the border. A Hamas-supported invasion attempt raged, with rioters throwing firebombs and shooting at IDF soldiers and into Israeli towns in the Gaza periphery.
The international news told a different story. They juxtaposed the smiling faces of the embassy opening’s attendees with the Palestinians killed at the riot. “Daddy’s Little Ghoul,” the front page of the New York Daily News read, next to a photo of US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump. “55 slaughtered in Gaza, but Ivanka all smiles at Jerusalem embassy unveil,” was the subheadline.

The story many people read wasn’t one of a nation proud of its history, defending its citizens. It was of a callous group of people grinning and cutting ribbons while killing dozens – never mind that it soon came out that the vast majority of those killed were members of terrorist organizations. Continue reading


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