Published on August 30th, 2010 | by Eli Clifton4
Israeli Gov’t-endorsed ‘Public Diplomacy’ Site Pushes Iran Attack
Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS) has sprung to life again — and it’s promoting a U.S. attack on Iran at beyond the scale discussed by any respected analysts.
The “online public diplomacy platform of Israel” is promoting an interview with an “ex-Mossad expert on Iran” conducted by IsraeliGirl, a woman who also happens to be one of the founders of the social networking tool.
Given GIYUS’ official link — a number of Israeli embassy websites endorse the program — this new posting offers a troubling insight into where the Internet public diplomacy experts of Israel are focusing their attention.
Itzhak Barzilai—the “ex-Mossad expert”—makes the case that the United States should directly attack the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp:
[I]f I were in the shoes of Mr. Obama, I would not attack Iran’s military nuclear plants. I will attack the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps), Iran’s hard core group which controls the state. Without the IRGC the regime will collapse.
Barzilai acknowledges that bombing Iranian nuclear facilities will only result in increased popular support for the government:
…[I]f a military action will take place against the nuclear facilities the Iranian people will have to unite around the Regime and fight back. The best way to fight Iran’s nuclear program is to help the people overthrow the radical regime and take their country back.
Even proponents of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities often admit that the large number of facilities and their geographical dispersal across Iran makes an effective air strike difficult to plan or execute. Barzilai doesn’t indicate if he is promoting an air strike or a full-scale ground assault to destroy the IRGC, but both plans would be fraught with potential pitfalls.
Barzilai goes on to blame Iran for the failure thus far of talks with the West, employing the trope that Iranians can’t be trusted because of a bazari negotiating techniques:
So is Iran lying at the negotiation table? Again you need to understand Iranian culture to analyze Iran’s behavior. The concepts of truth and lies are very different in the eyes of Iranians. In the Persian language “yes” is not a common word. You use the word “BALEH” instead which has a much weaker, non-committed meaning. It is not polite to say “no” so if an Iranian has to decline an offer he will say “NA KHAIR” which means “no, yes” to avoid offense.
So in essence, the negotiation culture in Iran is very different, and Iran is using negotiation to weaken the West and buy it time to build its nuclear weapons.
The interview with an ex-Mossad agent probably wouldn’t get much attention were it not for the internet bullhorn which GIYUS provides. IsraeliGirl is already promoting the interview on Digg. As we’ve discussed on this blog, GIYUS leverages existing social networking sites, such as Digg.com, and uses the Megaphone software to drive large numbers of sympathetic users to specific sites, blogs, forums or articles.
GIYUS has been rather quiet since its burst of activity surrounding the Gaza Flotilla in June. The number of alerts issued by GIYUS’ homegrown Megaphone software sharply increases during periods of crisis, such as the 2008-2009 Gaza War and the 2006 Lebanon War during which the program was first introduced.
The fact that GIYUS is now directing its users to an interview with an ex-Mossad agent who advocates for a direct U.S. attack on the IRGC would suggest that affecting the public discourse on Iran’s nuclear program has become a priority of the administrators behind “the online public diplomacy platform of Israel.”