The infamous Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels famously said:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Today there are a number of untruths with regard to Jews and Israel that are being consistently propagated by enemies of the Jewish people. Due largely to public ignorance, many of these lies have become accepted as truths. Of course this is a matter of great concern to many Jewish activists and leaders.
As a result, a number of innovative programs and organizations have been formed to combat this, and some have been quite successful in their mission.
Upon scrutinizing the aims of some of these organizations they seem to share a common denominator in that they are mostly structured defensively and are largely reactive. They can be subdivided into two basic groups.
1. Organizations like The David Project, Stand with Us, The Israel Project, Fuel for Truth and Israel21c are dedicated each in a unique way to what is termed as Hasbarah. Hasbarah which means explanation by definition is a defensive word. These groups are largely educational, working to influence young minds and infiltrate media outlets in defense of Israel and principles of freedom and democracy.
2. BICOM, CAMERA, MEMRI, PMW, FLAME and Honest Reporting are essentially watchdogs that monitor what is being printed and published. They valiantly fight against injustices and untruths, often with great success, and they too are also defensive in structure and practice.
The above analysis should in no way be interpreted as undermining the work of these important organizations, what I am saying however, is that there seems to be a missing dimension.
Yes, Jews have always strived to be peace loving, and are not prone to aggression, even the Israeli army is labeled a Defense Force. However everybody knows that in many instances the best form of defense is offence and certainly in the arena of competing information and ideas we should have no qualms about being aggressive.
In the past the flow of information was controlled and limited by a few influential individuals who had the ability to convey any message to the masses, today however the tools of information dissemination are at our fingertips and we have yet to take advantage of this opportunity and harness its power.
It is up to us to create our own independent outlets, so that we can proactively dictate the message that Jews bring to the world. Unless we do so, the Jewish message and the case for Israel will always be subject to manipulation, by those who wish to harm Jews and Israel.
Jews need to establish a news media network that is for us, what Al Jazeera is for the Arabs.
On the Al Jazeera website, the corporate profile declares: “The channel aims to give voice to untold stories, promote debate, and challenge established perceptions.”
It is time that we had an outlet that gave a voice to untold Jewish stories, promoted Jewish debate, and challenged established perceptions about Jews and Israel.
In the battle of ideas there is never a disproportionate response. We should be standing on the front lines of the war against misinformation aggressively sharing our truths, because as Joseph Goebbels continued, “the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie.”
The Author is the director of the Algemeiner and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org