Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

Ease on down the road

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 04:33 AM PDT

In a report about three Israeli policemen who were attacked, one of whom was killed, Isabel Kershner writes:

The Israeli military, which maintains overall control in the West Bank, has been easing movement for Palestinians in line with improving security and a readiness to help the local economy grow. Roadblocks have been removed as newly trained Palestinian security forces loyal to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, began to assume a more active role.

Noting an easing of restrictions, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem stated in its annual report, released Monday, that there were 44 staffed checkpoints inside the West Bank in February, compared with 64 in 2008.

I'm not sure if she's implying a cause and effect. But Treppenwitz does more than imply it:

It seems that ever time the Israeli government removes check-points, or in any way makes an effort to ease the conditions of the Palestinians, the thank you we get in return is terror.

In recent months, under intense pressure from the U.S., the Israeli government has ordered the Ministry of Defense to dismantle all but a dozen check points in the entire 'West Bank' (Judea & Samaria).

Since my daily commute takes me through the heart of the affected area, I have seen more and more of the previously closed roads become open to arab traffic... with a rather large check-point removed just a few kilometers south of Hebron (the Dahariya crossing).

And without exception, with each wave of road-block removals, there has been a corresponding wave of terror attacks.

It's remarkable that Israeli security measures are denigrated and portrayed as overreactions; but the minute the reason for those measures asserts itself, there is mostly silence from those who demand that Israel ease up on the Palestinians.

Why Israel Cannot Solve Its PR Challenge (or, It's The Message, Stupid!)

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 03:43 AM PDT

I received the following by e-mail:

Why Israel Cannot Solve Its PR Challenge (or, It's The Message, Stupid!)

By Glenn Jasper

I spend my days helping clients develop and implement PR campaigns designed to promote the company in such a compelling way that its key audience will respond positively to what the company is communicating. Ultimately, the goal is always to build momentum and help the company achieve its potential.

So given that professional experience, it should be relatively simple to diagnose the PR problems Israel is having and prescribe a certain program to improve the situation.

And it is simple, but not in the way you might think.

Much has been written over the past few weeks - ever since "The Flotilla Affair" - about the overall weakness of Israel's PR, both when crises hit and in general. And they all brought wonderful examples of how and why Israel's PR has missed the mark.

But I'm afraid they've missed the mark as well.

One example lamented Information Minister Yuli Edelstein's frustrating cell phone contact system. But that is wrong, because fixing Edelstein's voicemail wouldn't help fight the incredible PR machine our enemies have built.

Another article suggested that as long as Israel is not able to separate the politics from the tourism, Jerusalem's tourism industry is going to suffer. But again, that is incorrect. Jerusalem is the center of the religious universe, and as such is going to be the hottest point on Earth for conflict. That is the deal and we must all understand and even embrace that. But this is irrelevant as well, in terms of the larger question about Israel's PR, although we are getting closer to the point.

Another PR complaint over the years has been the lack of Israel spokespeople who are able to speak strong English. Well, we now have Mark Regev at the wheel, one of the best I've ever seen, as well as Michael Oren in the U.S., who is fantastic.

And yet, Israel has had one of its worst PR runs over the last 12 months that it has had in decades. Doesn't this seem strange to you?

How can it be that we did better PR during the post-9/11 phase, when Ariel Sharon - who had trouble speaking "sound-bite English" - was prime minister, than we are doing now, when U.S.-educated Binyamin Netanyahu is at the helm?

When you consider the overall futility of the three above arguments of 1. Logistical ineptitude (the Edelstein example), 2. Brushing aside the negative, in favor of the positive (the Jerusalem tourism example) and 3. Native-English-speaking spokespeople (The Regev-Oren-Bibi example), there is only one conclusion that should be drawn.

It's not about any of these things.

To understand why we are failing, we must first look at why the other side is succeeding. And the answer to that question is simple: A unified message.

It wouldn't matter of Edelstein drank Red Bull 24 hours a day and was 100% available for all requested interviews. Because an hour later, someone from the government opposition will submit to an interview and completely contradict what Edelstein has said.

It doesn't matter that Jerusalem has wonderful views, great restaurants and almost-perfect weather, especially this time of year. Because the world is being told - by Jewish-Israelis - on a regular basis that Jerusalem is a place of conflict, and that the conflict is all the fault of the Jews.

And it doesn't matter that we have our strongest international spokespeople since the days of Golda Meir and Abba Eban.

Because we do not have that item that can often be the difference between success and failure for any PR campaign. In fact, it should be the cornerstone of any campaign.

It is the unified message.

After 9/11, Israel was unified, not only in its condemnation of the attack, but in its message to the world of "You see! This is what we've been going through! Now, do you understand us?"

But time has "healed," and we have once again descended to our previous disagreements and ideologies. We are not united.

And sadly, if Israel itself is not unified - as our enemies are, for the purpose of destroying Israel - then there will be no unified message, and we will continue to lose the PR battle, even if we are right.

So, please do not waste your time analyzing the PR strategy - or even lack thereof - or tactical approach of the Israeli government. It's not about that. It's the same problem that has plagued the Jewish people for centuries. We can't unify. Even about a message. Even when our future is at stake.

Glenn Jasper is a PR veteran and the General Manager of Ruder Finn Israel, the leading full-service strategic marketing consultancy and public relations agency in Israel. He blogs at http://www.ruderfinn.co.il/.

Look at the New York Times coverage of the recently appointed commission to look into the flotilla incident. In addition to Arab League and Turkish condemnations of Israel we have:

Critics in Israel questioned the powers of any panel less than a full state commission of inquiry. In an editorial published on Sunday, the liberal newspaper Haaretz said the government's efforts at investigating itself looked increasingly like a "farce."

"The truth that Netanyahu wishes to bring out involves the identity of the flotilla's organizers, its sources of funding and the knives and rods that were brought aboard," the paper wrote. "He does not intend to probe the decision-making process that preceded the takeover of the ship and the shortcomings that were uncovered."

It really doesn't matter if Ha'aretz is a lonely voice in Israeli society as a recent poll showed:

In a poll of Israeli Jews after the flotilla raid, 61 percent said Israel should not adjust its tactics to curry favor with the international community, according to Princeton, N.J.-based Pechter Middle East Polls. Eighty-five percent of the 500 polled said that Israel either did not use enough force or used the right amount of force.

Some 56 percent said that Israel should resist calls for an international investigation of the raid.

In addition to Israel's enemies, the Times is willing to lend the voice of a marginal internal critic to undermine the government's case further. This is exactly what Glenn refers to.

Normalcy in gaza, ramallah

Posted: 15 Jun 2010 03:42 AM PDT

Yesterday Elder of Ziyon blogged about an article in the New York Times. The NYT's bureau chief, profiled a reporter who recently returned from Gaza. Elder of Ziyon observed:

But there are a number of stories that do not get adequate coverage when reporters like Bronner talk about Gaza.

One is how, despite the troubles that Gazans have, their standard of living is still better than that of many or most in the Arab world at large, let alone the world itself. The number of humanitarians that say they care so much about the lives of Gazans far outweigh the needs of Gazans to get their basic goods. The big argument in Gaza is about how Al Jazeera's initial coverage of the World Cup was interrupted, forcing them to watch it on Israeli TV stations. This is hardly the type of concern one would expect from an area suffering from a humanitarian crisis.

The next underreported story from Gaza is how the murderous Hamas dictatorship has turned Gaza into a place where there is no freedom of speech or freedom of expression, where freedom of religion gets only lip service, and where the rulers prefer to hang on to their sheer hatred of Israel rather than compromise to help their citizens. Any self-respecting liberal - or conservative, for that matter - should be outraged at Hamas' repression of basic human freedoms. Yet such outrage is muted, or non-existent. Humanitarian agencies in Gaza are too frightened to speak negatively about Hamas, which routinely closes charities they do not like. Reporters in Gaza know that they won't have jobs - or they'll end up in prison - if they report facts that Hamas is unhappy with.

Much easier to just toe the Hamas line and blame everything, again, on Israel.

Treppenwitz also covered an article about Palestinian life. In his case an article in the NYT's travel section about Ramallah.

Treppenwitz writes:

All in all, a travel article that spans a mere 1000 words (roughly analogous to the clear picture he paints), manages to directly mention the occupation/conflict eight times, with several more veiled references thrown in for atmosphere.

But to make sure he hasn't scared off potential travelers who might be worried by the suggestion of a combat zone or (Allah forbid!), a repressive Muslim enclave, there are plenty of calming references to free flowing alcohol...

I know that he's emphasizing the gratuitious Israel bashing references to the article, but again it's easy to see that the travel reporter is trying to portray life in Ramallah as normal as possible - by Western standards.

It's impossible to ignore that something has changed. Or at least a perception has. For years we were told "well we don't agree with the terror, but you have to understand that it's driven by despair." This made it imperative for Israel to solve the Palestinian issue, whether the Palestinians cooperated or not. But now when it's impossible to argue that the Palestinian suffering is uniquely bad, (Elder points out that it's Hamas, not Israel, that makes life in Gaza unpleasant.) demands for Israel to accede to every single Palestinian demand, simply provide cover for perpetuating anti-Israel grievances.

In the past decade Palestinian leaders have twice rejected peace offers from Israel. Given these rejections and the normalcy now experienced by most Palestinians, contrary to the conventional wisdom of the past 43 years, Palestinian independence and statehood are clearly in their own hands.

Crossposted on Yourish.

Musical monday #145

Posted: 14 Jun 2010 10:33 PM PDT

Welcome back to Musical Monday, sorry about the delay this week. Every week Elie and I alternate a trivia quiz where we give you lyrics and you figure out the songs and the overall theme.

Here are this week's clues:

1) The memories are grey but man they're really coming back
2) don't get caught with foolish pride put all the other things aside,
3) And we're spinning with the stars above
4) I'm face to face with an angel, how'd you get those eyes so blue
5) There's a rainbow over my shoulder
6) I've cried through many endless nights
7) 'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
8) It's getting dark too dark to see
9) Spinning on that dizzy edge
10) Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure.
11) Nobody gets too much love anymore

12) Gonna go to the place that's the best
13) Made of silver, not of clay
14) Don't try turning tables instead
15) Bluebird, flying high tell me what you sing
16) The smell of gun grease and the bayonets they shine
17) Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
18) Look at the way I glide caught on the wind's lazy tide
19) and though my conversation doesn't always rhyme
20) Hey you with the pretty face, welcome to the human race
21) Newspaper taxis
22) I Thought That We Had Made It To The Top
23) Have you seen a valley green with spring
24) How long have I been running for that morning flight

Good luck and have fun!

TRN correctly guessed that the the theme for 142-143 was "flicks" Below, I've provided the answers based on the ordering at Musical Monday 142. I have also finally posted the answers to #139 (at #141) and the answers to #141 (at #143).

1 "So why on earth should I moan?" - "A Hard Day's Night", Beatles
M5) 1964 John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

2 "But his lies can't disguise what you fear" - "Goldfinger", Shirley Bassey
M6) 1964 Sean Connery, Honor Blackman

3 "But you won't need to read between the lines" - "For Your Eyes Only", Sheena Easton
M28) 1981 Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet

4 "A sacred why, a mystery gaping inside" - "A View to a Kill", Duran Duran
M37) 1985 Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts

5 "Hundred thousand changes, everything's the same" - "The Living Daylights - A Ha
M43) 1987 Timothy Dalton, Maryam d'Abo

6 "But every now and then I feel so insecure" - "Help", Beatles
M7) 1965 John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

7 "Now it's 'us', now it's 'we'" - "Ben", Michael Jackson
M13) 1972 Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Rosemary Murphy

8 "I've been kicked around since I was born" - "Stayin' Alive", The Bee Gees
M30) 1983 John Travolta, Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes

9 "Their lips are lying only real is real" - "Grease", Frankie Valli
M19) 1978 John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

10 "A million lights are dancing and there you are, a shooting star" - "Xanadu", Olivia Newton-John
M25) 1980 Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly

11 "Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask" - "Man in the Moon", R.E.M
M61) 1999 Jim Carrey, Gerry Becker, Greyson Erik Pendry

12 "Burns like a red coal carpet" - "Gimme Shelter", Rolling Stones
M12) 1970 Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts

13 "No one could look as good as you" - "Pretty Woman", Roy Orbison
M50) 1990 Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy

14 "Just because my composure sort of slips" - "Chances Are", Johnny Mathis
M48) 1989 Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan O'Neal

15 "One day soon, I'm gonna tell the moon" - "The Crying Game", Boy George
M55) 1992 Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Rea

16 "Can it be that it was all so simple then" - "The Way We Were", Barbara Streisand
M15) 1973 Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman

17 "Could it be finally I'm turnin' for home?" - "You Light Up My Life", Debby Boone
M18) 1977 Didi Conn, Joe Silver, Michael Zaslow

18 "It's a fact, we got a first rate act" - "The Main Event", Barbara Streisand
M21) 1979 Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal

19 "It's certainly a thrill" - "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ", Beatles
M20) 1978 Peter Frampton, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb

20 "Or the mountain should crumble to the sea" - "Stand by Me", Ben E. King
M41) 1986 Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman

21 "I just might have a problem that you'll understand" - "Lean On Me", Bill Withers
M49) 1989 Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume

22 "The devil take your stereo, and your record collection" - "Stand and Deliver", Adam and the Ants
M46) 1988 Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan

23 "Take my arms, I'll never use them" - "All Of Me", Many covers
M34) 1984 Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Victoria Tennant

24 "And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live" - "The Rose", Bette Midler
M22) 1979 Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest

25 "Just one look and I can hear a bell ring" - "Mamma Mia", Abba
M66) 2008 Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Pierce Brosnan, Meryl Streep

26 "And then you'll want the love you threw away before" - "One Fine Day", Chiffons
M59) 1996 Michelle Pfeiffer, George Clooney, Mae Whitman

27 "Treasure these few words" - "P.S. I Love You", Beatles
M65) 2007 Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow

28 "A friend who taught me right from wrong" - "To Sir, with Love", Lulu
M8) 1967 Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson

29 "But you've got dreams he'll never take away" - "Nine to Five", Dolly Parton
M26) 1980 Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton

30 "Light up the sky like a flame" - "Fame", Irene Cara
M27) 1980 Eddie Barth, Irene Cara, Lee Curreri

31 "'Cause we, could be happy, can't you see?" - "That Thing You Do", "The Wonders" (aka Fountains of Wayne)
M60) 1996 Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Johnathon Schaech

32 "Where the unicorn's the last one at the water hole" - "Romancing the Stone", Eddy Grant
M35) 1984 Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito

33 "I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher" - "St. Elmo's Fire", John Parr
M38) 1985 Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy

34 "We stare just a little too long" - "Something to Talk About", Bonnie Raitt
M57) 1995 Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, Robert Duvall

35 "If you're seeing things running through your head" - "Ghostbusters", Ray Parker, Jr.
M36) 1984 Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver

37 "Every one of us has all we need" - "Yellow Submarine", Beatles
M9) 1968 The Beatles

37 "Plastic tubes and pots and pans" - "Weird Science", Oingo Boingo
M39) 1985 Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith

38 "Don`t show me faded photographs, just tell it from the heart" - "Nothing in Common", Thompson Twins
M42) 1986 Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint

39 "Worlds collide and hearts will be broken" - "The Secret of My Success", Night Ranger
M44) 1987 Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan

40 "Send her back to me, cause everyone can see" - "Misery", Beatles
M51) 1990 James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth

41 "My train is going, I see it in your eyes" - "Babe", Styx
M58) 1995 James Cromwell

42 "I can't stand the beats, I'm asking for the cheque" - "Vertigo", U2
M2) 1958 James Stewart, Kim Novak

43 "Tomorrow's a day of mine that you won't be in" - "Vacation", The Go-Gos
M31) 1983 Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca

44 "There's a healing in those guitars, and a spirit in the song" - "The Doctor", Doobie Brothers
M52) 1991 William Hurt, Christine Lahti, Elizabeth Perkins

45 "I'm not gonna stand here and wait" - "Hero", Nickleback
M53) 1991 Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia

46 "If the Bible tells you so?" - "American Pie", Don McLean
M62) 1999 Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas.

47 "I believe to my soul now, po' Bob is sinkin' down" - "Crossroads", Cream
M64) 2002 Britney Spears, Anson Mount, Zoe Saldana

48 "And that cigarette haze has ecology beat" - "Better Off Dead", Elton John
M40) 1985 John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby

49 "Starring in our old late, late show" - "Key Largo", Bertie Higgins
M1) 1948 Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall

50 "Jackie, hey what you doing now" - "Nightshift", Commodores
M29) 1982 Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long

51 "Don't believe the church and state" - "Silent Running", Mike & The Mechanics
M14) 1972 Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin

52 "He makes his livin' off of the people's taxes" - "Take the Money and Run", Steve Miller Band
M11) 1969 Woody Allen, Janet Margolin, Marcel Hillaire

53 "We were just young and restless and bored" - "Night Moves", Bob Seger
M16) 1975 Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark

54 "After my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray" - "Time After Time", Cyndi Lauper
M23) 1979 Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen

55 "I'm sitting here waitin' the gun still warm" - "Twilight Zone", Golden Earing
M32) 1983 Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow

56 "More than some pretty face beside a train" - "Superman", Five For Fighting
M24) 1979 Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

57 "There's a place for us, you know the movie song" - "Romeo and Juliet", Dire Straits
M10) 1968 Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery

58 "Paintin' walls and sippin' wine, sleepin' on the floor" - "Rocky", Austin Roberts
M17) 1976 Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire

59 "So put away your make up" - "Roxanne", The Police
M45) 1987 Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich

60 "From out of the East a stranger came" - "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence", Gene Pitney
M4) 1962 John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles

61 "I tried to laugh about it, hiding the tears in my eyes" - "Boys Don't Cry", The Cure
M63) 1999 Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard

62 "I know I'm gonna love you any old way" - "Baby It's You", The Shirelles, Beatles
M33) 1983 Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin

63 "May good fortune be with you" - "Forever Young", Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart
M56) 1992 Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood

64 "Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'" - "Eve of Destruction", Barry McGuire
M54) 1991 Gregory Hines, Renée Soutendijk, Michael Greene

65 "People need some reason to believe" - "Running on Empty", Jackson Browne
M47) 1988 Christine Lahti, River Phoenix, Judd Hirsch

66 "You'll say, we've got nothing in common" - "Breakfast at Tiffany's", Matchbox 20 M3) 1961 Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal

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