What is a Hasbara Troll?

11 Jul

Today I commented on an article about the Iran Nuclear Deal and Israel.  The article was authored by Michael J. Koplow and is published on the Politico Website, see:

My comment verbatim was:

Thanks for authoring such a thoughtful article! I was expecting it to purely focus on the Iranian Nuclear Deal, but you changed course to a subject often overlooked (Israel’s public relations). Kol Hakavod!

I agree with your statement that claiming the behavior of Israeli soldiers during Operation Protective Edge as being “the most moral army in the world” may be interpreted as arrogant/ off-putting. Whether this claim is true or not, stating so could be insulting to the men and women that Israel wants to win over, namely Westerners. It would be different if such statements were first made by world leaders, rather than later backing it up with an analysis report by Western Generals.

Nevertheless, I doubt the “moral army” claim really pushed people further against or for Israel. The lines have been drawn for quite some time and it is unlikely that such nuanced positioning really is going to sway someone to support Israel. For people to change positions, they need to visit Israel and meet Arab, Druze, Christians and Jews in Haifa, Tel Aviv/ Jaffo and Jerusalem. They need to understand that the West Bank and Gaza are mostly under Palestinian Control, and that the narrative is not black and white. See:

– http://www.gatestoneinstitute….

To which, a commenter (Martin McCue) responded to my comment and called me a Hasbara Troll.  I had never been called this term before.  I had seen it mentioned on the Internet, but did not think much of the word, until now.  Mr. McCue included a link to the Hasbara Handbook authored by the World Union of Jewish Students.  I looked at the PDF and came to the conclusion that he must think that anyone who makes Pro-Israel comments on-line is a Hasbara Troll.

As I was being labeled, I wanted to understand what was the guiding advice for dealing with people like me.  My Google search for “Guide to Hasbara Trolls” returned 9,670 results, including links to White Supremacist sites, Conspiracy Theory sites, Muslim/ Palestinian Organization sites and other Israel Hater sites, clearly good company to be associated with.

In the meantime, I think it is great that there is an organization out there that is training young people how to deal with hate groups and their minions.