The conflict stemming from Hamas’s attack on Israel has reopened wounds and laid bare raw emotions related to the unsettled state of affairs there. Many are voicing strong opinions and I am disheartened to see all the anti-Israel sentiment.
To me it is clear. Israel was attacked by terrorists. They have every right to fight back and try to neutralize the enemy, just like we did after 9/11.
Yes, I fully appreciate the complexity, the history; and yes, I agree that Israel should not punish all Gazans as a result. Hamas makes no such distinctions when it comes to attacking civilians, in fact that seems to be their go-to.
I understand not everyone agrees, and the topic has become a minefield, tying the media and brands up in knots about how to respond.
NY PRSA Bows to Pressure
E.g. I saw an email from the public relations association NY-PRSA with the subject line:
Statement and Pledge of Support for Israel, from PRSA-NY President Carmella Glover
PRSA-NY’s leadership is deeply saddened and troubled by the recent acts of terrorism in Israel and Gaza. We unequivocally condemn the murder, violence and abduction of innocent civilians and are deeply committed to supporting those in our community who have lost friends, family, equanimity, and stability
It seemed like a fine sentiment, but I was chagrined to see their follow-up note:
I am writing to offer a heartfelt apology on behalf of PRSA-NY for the recent email communication that has caused disappointment and hurt to some of our valued members. We deeply regret the insensitivity in our subject line, which was thoughtless, partial, and irresponsible.
The Two-headed Media Monster
It was am embarassing about-face for an association that should know a thing or two about communications. Worse still are the media that feel like both sides of the conflict deserve equal treatment.
Scott Galloway, who co-hosts the Pivot podcast with Kara Swisher, said this on the show last week:
Naftali Bennett Drops Mic on Anderson Cooper
The former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennete made the same point as Galloway, and unleashed on CNN’s Anderson Cooper yesterday, regarding reports that Israel may have been behind the bomb that hit a hospital in Gaza.