Monday, January 10, 2011

Melanie, Michael, and the Useless Israeli Hasbara

Melanie Phillips was on Israeli TV the other day, telling about the Guardian and its ilk in the UK, and the total uselessness of the Israeli response. The funniest part is the incredulity of the interviewer, Yaacov Achimeir, who has been around for decades, but hasn't the slightest idea what she's talking about.

She mentions Haaretz, by the way.

Michael Totten is another non-Israeli journalist who tells our story better than we do. He has the unusual advantage of having repeatedly been embedded in fighting American units in Iraq, which gives him a perspective on war that most journalists lack; when he finagles a visit to the IDF base where the infantry trains in urban combat he is much better informed than most journalists would be. Even so, however, its too bad that - so far as I can see - his is a lonely voice in the desert. It would be nice if he were part of, say, a small chorus. (The 10,000 strong chorus over here, the 5-strong chorus over there).


Bryan said...

I thought the interviewer was hamming it up; that his visible reactions were feigned surprise. He was being serious?

That changes my view of things.

Silke said...

if he is the "stupid" one why does she then attack the government instead of attacking him?

one blackbird doesn't go for another blackbird's eye? (Eine Krähe hackt der anderen kein Auge aus?)

Victor said...

She's very good. I always thought of her as a kind of British Caroline Glick, except that Caroline seems more focused these days on rallying the troops, and less on attracting the unconverted.

Silke said...

I saw your blog still allows comments but not to me?
Am I out of grace?

Philips bashing the government was lousy PR. She is not an Israeli running for office.

One never ever bashes one's own side, she being a professional should know that. There are lots of ways she could have made her point without attacking the Israelis government.

PetraMB said...

Yaacov, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about Yaacov Achimeir: I've seen him in conferences, and he was keenly aware of the bad press Israel is getting, and very upset about it. Maybe he wanted to give Mel Phillips a chance to really really make a point. Personally, I don't much agree with her analysis.

Victor said...

Silke, not at all! Are you having problems with the comment system? For how long? Wow, anyone else?

Silke said...


I don't see a comment button any more, look at my last comment, at a maximum since a week after that, I am "banned"

If I'd had something really important to say, I'd have used the e-mail in your profile, so no problem there. I initially thought, you had stopped allowing comments but today I noticed in your new box that there is one from very recently.

I am using Safari and your last comment system never liked me i.e. it didn't send me e-mails for other comments in the same thread and there was at least one instance when it should have.

I've put that in a comment, but never got a comment from you back ;-)

(and you want me to introduce such hastle into my life ;-)

Victor said...

I'm sorry about that Silke. I was messing around with the comment system a couple of weeks back when I added new site elements (Amazon widget) and seem to have deactivated them completely by accident. They're back on, so fire away! :)

Silke said...

No need to be sorry, Victor, I should have told you earlier

Jacob Arnon said...

The interviewer did a good job drawing her out and Melanie response was admirable.

I hope ordinary Israelis were listening. I'd like to see more interviews like this one in Israel.

I know some Israelis who don't know or believe what Melanie was saying. It seems to me that they are too frightened to admit to themselves that she might be right.

annie said...

Yaacov Ahimeir was definitely hamming it up for the sake of the interview. He is a center-rightist, one of the few more or less sane voices in the Israeli media today.