For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
We have already defined hasbara as promoting Israel’s message, but we need to go a little bit further than that: we need to define what effective hasbara is.
I would define effective hasbara as having two critical components:
1. It improves public opinion of Israel
2. It is accessible to a large audience
The first part, improving public opinion of Israel, is actually easier than it sounds.
Zionists have over the past couple of decades acclimated themselves to being on the defensive — to arguing that Israel is not the evil entity that it is portrayed as. We have lost the forest for the trees. We are so stuck in the arguments on the haters’ frameworks that we never come up for breath and show them Israel as it is.
Step back, forget being on the defensive, take the conflict out of the picture for now, think about everything you know about Israel from personal experience — and tell the world about that.
Recently, someone sent me some photos he took at a supermarket in Gush Etzion. It is an ordinary scene of people shopping, that just happened to be in one of those notorious “settlements” that everyone hears so much about. And in the center of the scene we could see this:
A religious Jew, a “settler,” was smiling and apparently joking with an Arab woman who was also shopping there.
Scenes like this take place thousands of times every day in Israel. However, the rest of the world is clueless about it. They think of Israeli Jews as monsters, and no one is showing them the truth.
After I posted this photo on my blog, a number of sites in Europe copied my post — an ordinary photo of people shopping became news!
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"