An unfortunate facet of modern politics is the use of marketing and public relations firms to “sell” oneself to the public, or rather, in most cases, to discredit one’s opponents.
Modern marketing is notorious for exaggerating the benefits of one product and the faults of its competitors in order to boost sales. The more extreme the marketing pitch, the more likely it is to gain attention and succeed. In our era of information overload, only the loudest and most dramatic are often seen and heard.
And all of that applies, too, to marketing politicians and defaming their rivals. Which is why the current political debate in Israel is characterized by such harsh rhetoric and bombastic slogans.
And it’s about to get worse. Because Americans know how to do this better than anyone, and an Israeli opposition movement just hired a top US public relations firm to help bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Blue and White Future, an Israeli NGO that provides financial and organizational support to several groups actively protesting against Netanyahu’s government, recently hired a Washington-based PR firm to bolster its cause in the United States.
Trident DMG will provide Blue and White Future with “strategic communications services,” according to filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act cited by Politico. The three-month contract is reportedly worth $75,000.
Among other services, Trident will distribute press releases, arrange radio and TV interviews, and disseminate the “positions of the pro-democracy movement in Israel” in newspapers and magazines, the Department of Justice filings revealed.
Trident DMG was founded by Democratic Party strategist Josh Galper, former CNN journalist Eleanor McManus, former Clinton White House special associate counsel Adam Goldberg and former Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis.
Blue and White Future is chaired by CEO Eran Schwartz, a leader in the demonstrations against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s judicial reform drive. Other public faces of the association include Gilead Sher, who served as chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, as well as Maya Jacobs, Barak’s former spokesperson.
The organization collects donations, and “when one group wants to initiate an activity, they are supported by this organization with public relations, funding, logistics, legal counsel” and other services, the Times of Israel reported in May.
Last month, “the Pro-Democracy Struggle’s Central Headquarters led by Blue White Future” ran a full-page paid advertisement in The New York Times. A full-page ad in the Grey Lady can cost anywhere between $75,000 and $200,000.
In July, Israeli Transport Minister Miri Regev sent a letter to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara calling for an investigation to be opened against Barak for allegedly inciting a coup d’état.
Regev cited a video clip circulating on social media that “shows without any shadow of a doubt that beginning in March 2020, former officials began concocting a plan for a coup d’état and civil disobedience, with detailed and careful planning.”
Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel-Atbaryan described in a July 21 X post what she claimed was Barak’s plan to bring down the government, citing an interview with Barak from 2020 to Forum 555, a group of retired Israel Air Force pilots and navigators.
The plan, Distel-Atbaryan said, included inflaming the civilian population, creating a false representation of a danger to democracy and bankrolling protests, including purchasing flags.
Asked during the 2020 interview about a possible reprise of the “success of 1999,” when he was elected prime minister, Barak said, “A friend of mine, a historian, once told me, ‘Ehud, they will call you when bodies are floating in the Yarkon River [in Tel Aviv].’
“I wish to stress: It is not the bodies of Palestinians from the territories illegally residing [in Israel] that will be floating, and not those of Israeli Arabs. The floating bodies will be of Jews that were killed by Jews,” explained Barak.
With reporting by JNS.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.