Mon Jul 24th, 2006 at 05:02:58 PM EST
Will bad PR stop the fighting? It just might.
First, let's talk about the famous photo of the Israeli girls writing messages on the Israeli shells, which I would include here if I knew how. Thishas given Israel some really bad PR. This is from the Jerusalem Post:
In the public relations battle brewing on-line, there is a new eye to the center of the storm surrounding the war with Hizbullah - a series of photos showing Israeli children writing messages on shells meant for targets in Lebanon.
An official close to Israel's public relations campaign said that there was "no way" to spin the incident in a positive light. "Some people are simply irresponsible," said the official.
An online battle is being waged about this incident, with many people shocked by the image of youngsters and shells.
Then, there is this the effect of bad PR on Israeli politicians. According to an Israeli security specialist:
Ben-Dor said if Israel's image has been in any way tarnished by the so far lopsided toll of death and destruction of air strikes in Lebanon, it is likely to suffer more if a decision is made to push forward on the ground.
"A lengthy ground war in Lebanon will make Israel look very violent and aggressive at the very moment that Israel needs maximum credibility to rally the world to a common front against the real existential threat before us — Iran's nuclear ambitions," Ben-Dor said.
"Any move forward now could become a hindrance to our security later. That is part of the decision that has to be made."
Criticism of Israel's air campaign over Lebanon peaked on the weekend, with the most pointed comments coming from British Foreign Office minister Kim Howells. "The destruction of the infrastructure, the death of so many children and so many people. These have not been surgical strikes," Howells said after visiting Lebanon on Saturday.
Maybe next time, there will be spin doctors working before starting the shooting.