From Hasbara (Public Diplomacy) to Influence in the Gaza War

Ofer Fridman, Vera Michlin-Shapir, David siman-Tov

Research output: Other contribution

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Abstract

The Gaza war that began after the murderous Hamas attack on October 7, 2023 in the western Negev is also a war in international public opinion. Although at the start of the war, due to the brutality of the attack, Israel received broad public sympathy, now it appears that Hamas is perceived as a victim that enjoys the decided advantage in the struggle for public sympathy in the international arena. One of the explanations for the Hamas success is that unlike Israel, which tries to justify itself to the world, Hamas clings to the Palestinian narrative that addresses emotions, and adjusts it to what its target audiences want to hear. In this war, Israel must complete a conceptual transition from traditional Israeli hasbara (public diplomacy), which is based on explanation, to influence. Otherwise, Israel will find it hard to obtain understanding and sympathy for its narrative among large sections of the public or persuade them to identify with its struggle and its objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameINSS Insight

Keywords

  • Foreign Influence
  • Foreign Interference
  • Hybrid Warfare
  • Gray Zone
  • Strategic Communications

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