A PR expert on the Goldstone report, Haiti and what Israel should learn about controlling its message.
Special To The Jewish Week
In October of 1982, seven people in Chicago died under what at first seemed mysterious circumstances but quickly became linked to cyanide-laced Tylenol that had been placed on drugstore shelves. At the time Tylenol had a whopping 37 percent share of the painkiller market.
I mention it now, in the context of public relations for Israel, because the Tylenol Crisis, as it is called in the industry, is universally considered a benchmark case to study in terms of response to the kind of negative public relations that could have forced the company to fold.
In a world of rather frequent natural disasters, the earthquake in Haiti and its eerie, hellish aftermath retains the ability to shock, reminding us of the fragility of life and even civilization itself. And yet, if we will call earthquakes “acts of God,” there is some solace in seeing how so many of us have responded in a way that ironically can only be called the image of God and all that’s holy.
As Iran continues a policy of delay and division in the face of international concern about its nuclear weapons program, it is time for the Obama administration to reconsider one element of its strategy. That would be to find ways to support a growing movement within Iran that rejects the repressive rule of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the entrenched fundamentalist clerics in power.
As we have said before, there are no easy answers as Iran moves ever closer to the nuclear threshold.
When Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb rose to speak before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here last week, “You could hear a pin drop,” she said.
The only rabbi, and one of just a handful of Jews to attend a dinner dialogue between Ahmadinejad and a coalition of religious peace groups during his visit to address the UN last week, Gottlieb knew her words would weigh heavily in the air — not least with the Quakers, Mennonites and other peace churches that sponsored the gathering.
When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first questioned whether the Holocaust had taken place, in a speech last December, much of the Arab world (convinced that Israel exploits the tragedy to compel international support) cheered.
But in the pages of the London-based, Saudi-owned Arab daily, Al Hayat, senior columnist Hazem Saghiyeh once again assumed the mantle of a lonely Cassandra.
While Duvid Feldman was attending a conference in Tehran last week that questioned the reality of the Holocaust, back home in Monsey, his 10 children were “suffering” at the hands of other ultra-Orthodox children thanks to “foolish” media coverage of the event, his wife said Tuesday.
President Bush is risking a backlash that could injure the Jewish community — and his own cause — by repeatedly citing Israel as his top rationale for possible U.S. military conflict with Iran, Jewish leaders and Middle East analysts warned this week.
For Israel this week, it was as if nothing had changed.
One week after an official U.S. National Intelligence Estimate effectively shrank to near zero the chances of a Bush administration military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities — or President Bush’s support for an Israeli strike — Israel continued to talk up its feasibility.
It is an irony that one of the first American Jewish groups to push the threat from Iran to the top of its agenda did so to placate a dovish Israeli leader’s demand that it reduce its involvement in Israeli-Palestinian issues.
In 1993, shortly after his election triumph, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin came to Washington and told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee he did not require its services as an intermediary on Israeli-Palestinian issues, recalled a prominent Jewish activist.
Sandi DuBowski’s new project is a kind of cinematic thumb in the eye to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president famously announced last year while speaking at Columbia University that there are no gays in Iran. A new documentary, “A Jihad for Love,” about the struggles of gay Muslims from Egypt to India, in South Africa and yes, in Iran, shows a different story.