“… There is a great deal of emphasis on hasbara, which is important but often simplistic, and is unlikely to achieve the task of genuinely locating Israel in the hearts and minds of American Jews. Indeed, there is a fear of complexity – those American Jews who are aware of post-Zionist literature and the findings of the new historians, etc., tend to be anxious about it… Israel’s legitimacy appears to have become dependent upon its moral perfection, which is outrageous. The question is whether young American Jews can be engaged in a serious conversation about Israel that brings them into the complexity, and allows them to become ’critical participants.’ In short, can the conversation shift from hasbara (advocacy) to havana (understanding)?”
Philosopher’s retreat, New-York, September 2003
In recent years we have become increasingly aware of the media as a central source of input into our engagement with Israel. This unit explores just how dominant and powerful the media is in comparison to other sources that inform and influence our engagement with Israel. We will also explore the SWOT — Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats — of our engagements with Israel through media sound bites.