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Israel's PR campaign notes

BRICUP has received this leaed memo. While we cannot verify its authenticity it is consistent with everything on The Israel Project web site

"I am posting below the PR campaign notes of Israel in the US. These are the lies we have to fight to end the massacre in Gaza. This has been leaked from sources in Washington DC.

Please study this and prepare a response as defiantly yet respectfully as you can do. this is easy to trash, but do so in a civil manner please. Outrage is our weapon, but respect is our salvation."

See also the Jewish Chronicle article Israel claims success in the PR war

____________________ Date: December 28, 2008

To: Israeli and Jewish Leaders From: The Israel Project LANGUAGE GUIDE ON GAZA: ISRAEL'S ACTIONS TO DEFEND ITS CITIZENS AGAINST THE IRAN-BACKED WAR AGAINST ISRAEL*

Over 6,300 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel since Israel withdrew from all of Gaza in 2005, more than 3000 were fired in 2008 alone. They have increased not only in number but also in range thanks to support from Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. Thirteen innocent people have been killed in Israel, more than 780 have been wounded and thousands have been traumatized. The toll which this has taken on Israelis living in the south is literally unimaginable to most Americans and Europeans with whom you are trying to communicate. Not only is it hard to imagine, but due to a severe lack of media coverage it is also largely unknown.

Despite the more than 6,300 rockets shot by Iran-backed terrorists groups towards Israel since Israel gave up all of Gaza in hopes of peace, *fully 60 percent of Americans have heard "little or nothing at all" about the rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel*. Thus, in all your communications you must remember that the majority of your audience does not know about the intentional targeting of Israeli civilians. They don't know that for more than three years families in southern Israel have spent nights in bomb shelters rather than bedrooms and that during the day school children, adults and the elderly are all forced to run for bomb shelters on a regular basis. They do not know that over *90 percent of Sderot residents experienced a rocket exploding on their own street or an adjacent one*.

It is vital that we educate the public in a human and personal way about the state of siege that Sderot residents face daily as we communicate about Israel's actions and the responsibility that Iran bears in this conflict. *We have seen the damage and destruction that Iran-backed terrorists can do with rockets and missiles. Imagine what can happen when Iran decides to share its nuclear material as well.* As Israel exercises its right to self defense, we should be aware that we are faced with very powerful and destructive images in the media as innocent Palestinians are also hurt and killed in these defensive actions. We therefore need to include and emphasize empathy and Israel's desire for peace as critical components to our communications strategy. We need to point out clearly that Iran-backed terrorists are using Palestinians as human shields – which is a war crime.

Several core messages are essential to a winning communications strategy about IDF defensive actions in Gaza:

- Israel's obligation to defend its citizens;

- Israel withdrew from all of Gaza more than three years ago in hopes of peace, there is NO occupation of Gaza, Israel wants a two-state solution - The dire situation in Sderot where neighborhoods of innocent Israelis are being deliberately attacked with rockets as often as dozens of times a day - The expansion of the threat to Ashdod and Ashkelon – a city with 120,000 people that is now also under attack by Iran-backed terrorists who are shooting rockets from inside human shields - Israel has an obligation to defend its citizens from the threat of Iran-backed terrorists now – just as it did when Iran-backed Hezbollah attached Israel not long ago - Iran's President has said he wants to "wipe Israel off the map." They are developing nuclear materials in defiance of the world while supporting, training and arming Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and others. - Israel is no different from any other sovereign nation that must protect their citizens from those who would kill them.

- Empathy for the average Palestinian; - Israel's desire and actions for a two state solution and a secure peace – the fact that there is an active peace process underway and that Israel, like when it gave up the Sinai for peace with Egypt, Israel is ready to make painful sacrifices for a better future for both sides. - Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups are funded and armed by Iran. We must refer to them as Iran-backed terrorists in order to keep the critical issue of Iran's nuclear development in the headlines as well. Using words like, "We have seen the damage and destruction that Iran-backed terrorists can do with rockets and missiles. Imagine what can happen when Iran decides to share its nuclear material as well."

President-Elect Obama is widely respected around the world, especially by our European allies. His words and views carry great weight with people whose hearts and minds we still need to win. Use his own quotes to emphasize the importance of this issue. During his presidential campaign, he visited Sderot and at a press conference in the local police station, Obama said of the Qassam rocket fire, "*If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing*."

Obama also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat, saying, "A nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat and the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE

Israel has shown incredible restraint in its response thus far to the rocket attacks from Gaza, but the world does not know that there has been restraint because, as research shows, they know surprisingly little about the attacks themselves*. *Thus, you must set the stage for Israel's right to self defense by describing what Israel is defending itself from. Bring it to a human level, this year over 3,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israeli neighborhoods hitting, living rooms, kindergartens and playgrounds -- women and children driving to school and the supermarket. These rockets come five, ten, over 50 a day, hundreds of rockets in less than one week. For three years families have slept together in bomb shelters rather than bedrooms.

Because so little is known of this threat it is critical that include the following components in your argument to provide the full context to this message.

· Israel withdrew from Gaza over 3 years ago, with no intention of returning. Every man, woman, child, soldier left Gaza in the hands of the Palestinians in hopes of peace.

Q: And what did they get in return?

A: Terrorism (see www.theisraelproject.org for more statistics and examples)

§ 335 rockets were fired from Gaza into neighborhoods in one week. As many as 150 rockets have been fired at Israel in one DAY.

§ No responsible Member State would sit back in silence and do nothing as its citizens and territory are under constant attack. They would not be idle as the alarms in Sderot - and now Ashkelon - blare "Colour Red, Colour Red", giving Israeli civilians less than 15 seconds - 15 seconds of terror - that's all it takes, before the rocket slams into their lives, their homes, hospitals, kindergartens, schools, and playgrounds

§ Thirteen Israelis, including innocent toddlers have been killed by rockets from Gaza. Nearly one thousand have been injured. Residents of Sderot have been dealing with this for eight years! An entire town is terrorized and traumatized by the daily onslaught and randomness of rockets targeting their homes, schools, and businesses.

§ Children can't sleep, can't go to school, and can't live normally. And why? What have these people done? What did the Israeli father of four who was brutally killed while seeking a diploma at Sapir college do to be killed?

§ There should be no doubt in our minds that Hamas' true vision is the extermination of the State of Israel, and not to live peacefully side by side with us. It does not even seek to restore normalcy for the sake of the people of Gaza.

§ Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization is in charge in Gaza. It permits, encourages, funds and conducts terror attacks from Gaza into Israel. They have declared war on innocent Israelis and their proclaimed goal is not resistance to occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, their goal is the destruction of all of Israel.

§ With funds and arms coming from Iran into the Gaza strip, the reach of their rockets, the damage they inflict and the danger to the southern part of Israel are growing every day.

§ One must wonder about the timing of Hamas' escalation of violence, and whether its purpose is to distract the international community's attention today and this week from the real threat to the world – a nuclear Iran.

Americans understand that Israel, just like any other sovereign country, has not just a right but an obligation to defend its citizens. Use rhetorical questions to gain permission from the audience for Israel's actions. When presented with the facts and questions, Americans will come to the right conclusions.

*Words That DO Work*

*"What should Israel do? Imagine, if thousands of rockets were fired from Canada into homes in Rochester every day and every night? What would America do? What would you want them to do if you lived in Rochester? Don't we have a duty to protect our citizens?"*

* "How can you call it a "cycle of violence" when in reality, if Israel stopped fighting terror, the violence would not end? Israel left all of Gaza and were rewarded with rockets. If the Palestinians stopped terror, Israel would have no reason for curfews, fences, checkpoints, and other defensive measures."*

*"Israel tries everything they can to avoid civilians in their actions in Gaza, but unfortunately, Hamas and other terrorists place guns, rocket launchers and weapons smuggling tunnels in the heart of their civilian population. Israel must defend its citizens, why does Hamas intentionally place Palestinians in the line of fire to create more 'martyrs' for their cause?" *

Don't pretend that Israel is without mistakes or fault. It's not true and no one believes it. Pretending Israel is free from errors does not pass the smell test. It will only make your listeners question the veracity of everything else you say. Americans do not expect Israel to be 100 percent successful in all their efforts to stop terrorism. Admitting that Israel has and continues to make mistakes does not undermine the overall justice of Israel's goals: peace and security and a better quality of life for BOTH sides. Use humility.

Words That DO Work

"Is Israel perfect? No. Does Israel make mistakes? Yes. But we want a better future, and are working towards it. But the Palestinians must have a better future as well. They need to have a place where they can have hope and a place of their own. They deserve a government that will eliminate the terror not only because it will make my children safer—but because it will mean a better future for Palestinian children too."

*"I know that in trying to defend its children and citizens from terrorists that Israel has accidentally hurt innocent people. But what can Israel do to defend itself? If more than 6000 rockets had been fired into your neighborhood, across American borders, what would you expect of your government?

EMPATHY

While Israel is well within its rights to defend itself against terrorists, this also means that at minimum the lives of innocent Palestinians will be disrupted by military action, and very likely there will be casualties and deaths. It is of utmost importance that you express empathy for these victims. BUT YOU MUST POINT OUT THAT IRAN-BACKED TERRORISTS ARE USING HUMAN SHIELDS WHICH IS AN INTERNATIONAL WAR CRIME.

This is about peace for BOTH sides. The first step to winning trust and friends for Israel is showing that you care about peace for BOTH Israelis and Palestinians – particularly for the children. Indeed, the sequence of your conversation is critical and you must start with empathy for BOTH sides first. Begin with empathy before bridging to a different message.

*There is an immediate and clear distinction between the empathy Americans feel for the Palestinians and the scorn they direct at Palestinian leadership and for Iran-backed terrorists. *You must take pains to focus on the suffering the Palestinian people now face because of the years of corruption under Arafat's leadership and current leadership of Iran backed Hamas. You CANNOT attack the Palestinian people along with them.

Words That DO Work

*"The death of a Palestinian child is no less of a tragedy than that of the Israeli child. I know that the vast majority of both Palestinian and Israeli mothers want an end to this conflict; they want a better more peaceful future for their children. But when will the Iran-backed Hamas terrorists stop firing rockets from Gaza into Israel? When will they stop using civilian areas as launching grounds?"*

*"Cutting off supplies and closing border crossings are horrible, ugly, difficult things. I see the same pictures as you do and I am very troubled that Iran-backed Hamas is forcing Israel to take these measures to defend its citizens. Israel left all of Gaza in hopes of peace, but since Hamas and other terrorists are allowed and encouraged to attack Israel from Gaza, we must protect our citizens."*

*ISRAEL WANTS PEACE ISRAEL WANTS PEACE ISRAEL WANTS PEACE*

No, that wasn't a mistake to repeat that heading over and over again. It is a reminder that this is what communicators for Israel must do! Consistently in our research we have found that this message moves persuadables to be more supportive of Israel, BUT, they don't necessarily believe it to be true, which is an even more compelling reason to get this message out to the world during any military action in Gaza or the West Bank.

Whoever is on the side of peace will win more American hearts and minds for Israel. Don't forget to use examples of historic steps Israel has taken for peace: peace with Egypt, withdrawal from the Sinai, peace with Jordan, withdrawal from Gaza, and the acceptance of a two-state solution.

Words That DO Work

*"Israel is committed to a better future where both Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace. Israel realizes that it needs to share responsibility with the Palestinians for the conflict and for the damage to innocent lives. Israel wants the pain and suffering to end, and is committed to working with the Palestinians toward a peaceful, diplomatic solution where both sides can have a better future."*

*"Israel made painful sacrifices and took a risk to give peace a chance. They voluntarily removed over 9,000 settlers from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, abandoning homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship in the hopes of renewing the peace process." *

* "We want more words and less wounds, more dialogue and less death, this is why the peace process is so important."*

* "Despite making an overture for peace by withdrawing from Gaza, Israel continues to face terrorist attacks, including rocket attacks and drive-by shootings of innocent Israelis. Both sides deserve a better more peaceful future."*

*"Israeli children learn about peace and tolerance in school, their school halls are filled with posters of astronauts, scientists and athletes. I pray for the day when Hamas will teach Palestinian children to aspire to be doctors, lawyers and teachers, not suicide bombers, not to aspire to death. Don't you think that is child abuse?"*

*"I long for a time when Palestinian TV will show a Mickey Mouse that is fun – not a Hamas Mickey Mouse that glorifies terrorism. I want Palestinian children to grow up – not blow up. Isn't it time for them to replace jihad with jobs and hate with hope?"*

*The Peace Process *

It is essential that while Israel is taking these actions, it is understood that despite these threats that they face, they still are trying to advance the peace process. This is not a conflict that will be solved overnight, so refer to language below to build more realistic expectations among your audience.

- *"Working toward a solution":* Americans don't expect the dispute between Israel and the Arabs to end overnight, but they do need to know that *"We are working to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone involved."* This suggests movement. This suggests progress. This suggests hope. And all three are important components of a successful communication effort. - * "Cooperation and compromise"**:* This is an emotion one doesn't expect to hear from either side, yet it is at the core of how Americans believe the conflict must be solved. The side that uses these words will definitely have an advantage. - *"We need to take this one step at a time, one day at a time":* It is essential to lower expectations and reduce the pressure on Israel to rush into an agreement that is either not in its interests or jeopardizes its security. The *"one step at a time"* language will be accepted as a common sense approach to the land-for-peace equation. - *Optimism**:* *"The day will come when Israeli children and Palestinian children will grow up together, play together, and eventually work together side-by-side not just because they have to but because they want to."* - *Respect**:* "*We are hoping that the Palestinian people recognize that the leadership they had for so many years unfortunately had a very different agenda from the real agenda of the Palestinian people. We do not have the right to tell the Palestinians whom to elect to represent them. The political landscape has dramatically changed for the Palestinian people. We know Abbas is working towards peace but that in Gaza the Palestinians are led by Hamas – which wants to destroy Israel – even if that means destroying the Palestinian people in the process. The Palestinians deserve leaders in Gaza who will care about the well being of their people, who understand that firing rockets into neighborhoods out of civilian areas is not working for peace or a future Palestinian state. The Palestinians need homes and jobs AND peace."*

Appendix A: Sample talking points for letters to the editor or op eds:

· Israel gave up all of Gaza more than three years ago in the hopes of peace, evacuating 9,000 Israeli civilians from this territory. What has Israel gotten in return? More than 6,300 rockets shot towards Israel – rockets that are aimed at kindergartens and other civilians.

§ 335 rockets were fired from Gaza into neighborhoods in one week. As many as 150 rockets have been fired at Israel in one DAY.

§ No responsible Member State would sit back in silence and do nothing as its citizens and territory are under constant attack. They would not be idle as the alarms in Sderot - and now Ashkelon - blare "Colour Red, Colour Red", giving Israeli civilians less than 15 seconds - 15 seconds of terror - that's all it takes, before the rocket slams into their lives, their homes, hospitals, kindergartens, schools, and playgrounds

§ Thirteen Israelis, including innocent toddlers have been killed by rockets from Gaza. Hundreds have been injured. Residents of Sderot have been dealing with this for seven years! An entire town is terrorized and traumatized by the daily onslaught and randomness of rockets targeting their homes, schools, and businesses.

§ Children can't sleep, can't go to school, and can't live normally. And why? What have these people done? What did the Israeli father of four who was brutally killed while seeking a diploma at Sapir college do to be killed?

§ There should be no doubt in our minds that Hamas' true vision is the extermination of the State of Israel, and not to live peacefully side by side with Israel. Iran-backed Hamas does not even seek to restore normalcy for the sake of the people of Gaza. It was the same with Iran-backed Hezbollah who, like Hamas, also used civilian shields in Lebanon. The world should stand up for Arab civilians who are being used as human shields by Iran-backed terrorists!

§ Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization is in charge in Gaza. It permits, encourages, funds and conducts terror attacks from Gaza into Israel. They have declared war on innocent Israelis and their proclaimed goal is not resistance to occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, their goal is the destruction of all of Israel.

§ With funds and arms coming from Iran into the Gaza strip, the reach of their rockets, the damage they inflict and the danger to the southern part of Israel are growing every day.

§ One must wonder about the timing of Hamas' escalation of violence, and whether its purpose is to distract the international community's attention today and this week from the real threat to the world – a nuclear Iran.

· Now as many as 150 rockets a day are being shot into Israel from the Iran-backed Hamas. An Israeli father of four was killed by rockets. His crime? He dared go to back to Sapir college in hopes of a diploma so he could make a better life for his family.

· Israel is working for a peaceful solution with Palestinian leader Abbas. However, Iran-backed Hamas controls Gaza and Abbas is either unable or unwilling to stop the rockets to date.

· Now the rockets firing at Israel are increasing in both number and range. This puts all the families in the town of Sderot and all of the 120,000 people in Ashkelon at risk.

· Rockets from Iran-backed terrorists in Gaza are hitting Israeli living rooms, kindergartens and playgrounds. Children in towns near Gaza, many having spent now two years sleeping in bomb shelters, are growing up traumatized. Indeed, 74% of children in Sderot aged 7-12 suffer from post-traumatic anxiety.

· In all, thirteen civilians in Israel have been killed by the rocket and mortar fire and more than 780 have been injured.

· In response to the daily targeting and killing of its civilians, Israel is trying to target terrorists and terrorist infrastructure only, and doing its utmost to avoid harming any Palestinian civilian. Sadly, however, Iran-backed terrorists in Gaza deliberately hide in highly dense civilian areas – putting Palestinian civilians at risk. By using Palestinians as human shields, Iran-backed terrorists are causing the loss of lives on both sides.

· Iran-backed Hamas has generated a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip, firing more than 220 Qassam rockets at Israeli children in more than 4 days and forcing Israeli authorities to take measures to protect its population, and thus reducing fuel shipment to Gaza. What other country would give power and supplies to neighbors who murder their civilians and want to destroy them?

· While the Gaza strip is still receiving three quarters of its electricity supply from Israel and Egypt, Hamas terrorists deliberately decided to cut off the only power plant in Gaza, letting 5 Palestinians in the hospital die as a direct result of their actions. Hamas was still able to provide all the electricity necessary for the launching of rockets into Israel.

· As the civilian population from Gaza finds themselves prisoners of the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hamas, Israel decided to make a humanitarian gesture and renewed its shipments of fuel into the Gaza Strip.

· Hamas terrorists are receiving very large sums of money from Iran, but instead of using this money to help their population, they use it to fire more Qassam rockets on Israeli children (according to the Israeli General Security Services, on Jan. 13 last year Hamas had managed to smuggle $100 million into the Gaza Strip).

· Given the onslaught of rockets into Israel from Gaza, what is Israel to do to protect their citizens? When will Arab and Iran-backed terrorists stop the rockets so that both Israelis and Palestinians can have a better future?

One pager to take with you to interviews

*Iran-based Hamas: Security threats*

- Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip over 3 years ago, with no intention of returning. Every man, woman, child, soldier left Gaza in the hands of the Palestinians in *hope of peace*. - Despite this, more than 4,000 rockets have been fired into Israel since the withdrawal from Gaza. *Of these, some 3,000 rockets have fired since the beginning of 2008.* - The Gaza Calm began in June of this year, yet the violence *has not ceased*. For example, in November, 150 rockets were launched into southern Israeli communities. These rockets are deliberately aimed at Israeli civilians and are fired from within civilian populations in Gaza. - Israel sympathizes with Palestinian civilians and understands that it is the terrorist regime controlling the Gaza Strip which threatens both Israelis' and Palestinians' safety and security.

*Humanitarian situation*

- Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and toward this goal aims to improve the quality of life in both West Bank and Gaza. Yet these efforts in Gaza have been hindered by *repeated attacks on the border crossings*. - In the past six months, --- trucks carrying fuel, food, medicine, and humanitarian equipment have crossed into Gaza. - In 2008, more than 12,000 Palestinians entered Israel in order to receive medical attention. - In comparison to the situation in the Gaza Strip, Israel has been pursuing peace with its Palestinian partners in the West Bank for the past three years, and there has been much progress. For example, through the "Jenin Pilot", Israel is working to raise NIS 1.63 million ($417,000) in international aide, and with Israel's support, 550 Palestinian police officers have been deployed in Hebron to provide security to the streets of the city.

*Gilad Shalit*

- Israel soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian terrorists in June 2006 through a tunnel on the Israel-Gaza border. - Despite ongoing efforts by Israel, Shalit has yet to be released. - No international organization has been allowed by the Hamas government to visit Shalit since his capture. We again call on Hamas to allow the Red Cross access to Shalit.

*Iran*

- Iran* arms and funds* terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and the Gaza-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad and has recruited 40,000 suicide bombers. - Iranian-made rockets that were smuggled into Gaza through various means, such as the complex underground tunnel system, are fired into Israel from Gaza on a regular basis. - A nuclear Iran could spark an arms race in the Middle East and could pose a nuclear threat to Europe and the United States. - Iran could give nuclear weapons to terrorist groups, who could then use them in the Middle East or smuggle them into countries abroad.

*Looking Forward…*

- Restate Israel's formula for positive change, e.g. the recognition of Israel by Hamas, cessation of violence, etc.

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 22, 2008*

*Contact: *Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644, jenniferm@... Jennifer Packer: 202-857-6657, jenniferp@... www.theisraelproject.org<http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp? a=huIWK8PKLiKYKjL&s=%5b%5ben_supporter_id%5d%5d&m=%5b%5ben_MailID2%5d%5d >

*Iran-backed Palestinian Groups Continue Attacking Israel In 3 Days Following Ceasefire, Hamas Steps Up Strikes on Civilians*

*Experts for comment Graph: Rockets and Mortars Fired From Gaza June – December 2008 Iran Press Kit<http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.2059623/ k.9254/Iran_Pre\ ss_Kit .htm> *

*In the three days since Israel's ceasefire with Iran-backed Hamas formally ended Friday (Dec. 19) Palestinian terrorists have fired 45 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians, wounding a foreign worker who was hit by shrapnel. Hamas and other Iran-backed terrorist groups claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also hit a home and struck near an elementary school.[1] *

*During the past year, Iran-backed terrorist groups in Gaza have fired more than 3,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians in the southern Negev region, killing four people and wounding more than 270.[2]

Since Israel gave up all of Gaza in 2005 – relinquishing homes, farms, places of business and worship – terrorists have launched more than 6,300 rockets and mortars into Israel from Gaza. The attacks have killed 10 civilians, wounded more than 780 and traumatized thousands of others.[3] The only remaining Israeli in Gaza is Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit who was abducted from Israel on June 25, 2006 by Hamas in a bloody cross-border raid in which the terrorists killed two IDF soldiers and wounded four others.[4] *

*During a visit five months ago to the southern Israeli city of Sderot, then-candidate and now President-elect Barack Obama defended Israel's right to protect itself from such attacks: "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing."[5] *

*Speaking about the Iranian nuclear threat, Obama also said during the visit, "*

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