Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is why Israel will always Lose the PR Battle

You may have read reports of the former Israeli soldier who posted photos of herself sitting next to blindfolded and handcuffed Arab prisoners.  Like the "dancing soldiers" video, popular a couple of months ago, the photos are in bad taste, at the least, destructive at worst.  (I'm not providing links to these images because I do not want to do my part in perpetuating them.)

What's the big deal?  It's simple, really.  A picture, it is said, is worth one thousand words.  And with every juvenile posting propagated by Israeli progeny, the case for Israel's defense becomes increasingly problematic.

As a kid I was taught that I represent all Jews.  When I litter, someone will say, "Look at that Jewish kid littering," and NOT, "Look at Alan littering."  It's exactly the same thing with young Israelis.  They have an obligation to think ahead 10 steps to the possible reputational repercussions of their actions.  Adding insult to stupidity, is that Israeli soldiers - who are as technologically advanced as anyone - think that by posting such material on the Internet, it wouldn't spread like wildfire across the Globe.

So, this is why Israeli will forever be playing catch-up and defense against itself: Israelis across the board need to understand they play a crucial role in their country's - and people's - reputations.  It isn't only an issue to be managed by elected officials and "someone else."  Every single citizen must take responsibility and behave accordingly.

Public relations, as I am fond of saying, is about what you do and NOT what you say.

No comments: