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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

2010 Hasby Award Winners

As announced last night in my live presentation in New York, here are the winners of the 2010 Hasby Awards:

People's Choice Runner Up with over 2000 votes:
Pilar Rahola's article, "The Anti-Israel Hysteria"


People's Choice winner, with over 2700 votes: 
Paris Zionists' unique protest against the anti-Israel Gaza photo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris:

Hasby Awards Fifth Place: 
The IDF releasing video of soldiers being attacked on the Mavi Marmara within hours of the event, causing most viewers to see that the "peace protesters" were hardly peaceful:

Hasby Awards Fourth Place:
RabbiLIVE revealing Helen Thomas' anti-semitism and ending her career:

Hasby Awards Third Place:
 Gabriel Latner's speech at the Cambridge Union Society debates arguing "Why Israel is a Rogue State."

Hasby Awards Runner Up:
16-year old Elad Daniel Pereg facing off, alone,   against an angry anti-Israel mob in Los Angeles with an IDF shirt and Israeli flag:

And the Hasby Awards Winner for 2010 is....


Latma TV's We Con the World:


Rationale:

Good hasbara, as I mentioned yesterday, must be effective in having people change their perspective of the conflict, and must be accessible to a large audience. My talk also emphasized the importance of more visceral media (i.e., live events, video) compared to text.

Latma's We Con the World has over 2.4 million views on YouTube so far, and its use of humor in order to get through to people who are ambivalent or unaware of Israel's viewpoint was extraordinarily effective.

Gabriel Latner's speech, had it been on video, would probably have made it to second place, but the emotional impact of watching Elad Daniel Peleg take on a screaming crowd of Israel-haters is much higher than reading any speech, no matter how good or how compelling the back-story.

The Helen Thomas video (literally) revealed the ugly face of anti-semitism in a major media figure. It was public and effective in removing her from her job, and it set the stage for her to prove her bigotry again and again.

The IDF was very quick to release the videos showing soldiers being beaten on the Mavi Marmara, and that speed was what made them deserve the award. If they had released it a day later it would have been too late and the media, hungry to make an instant decision as to who was at fault, would have already turned against the IDF. 

While I would not have chosen the Pilar Rahola article or the museum protest as winners, mostly because they  did not reach a mass worldwide audience, both are noteworthy because they resonate with European Zionists who feel besieged by the constant demonization of Israel they are exposed to every day. In both these cases, it allowed them to feel empowered to be able to fight this scourge of one-sided and very disproportionate Israel-hatred. So while those entries are not "hasbara" per se, they were both very important in shoring up and galvanizing Israel's defenders in Europe, which is a critical but separate issue. (I would modestly put my blog in that category as well - it is not hasbara, as I explained yesterday, but it is empowering for those who want to enter the front lines of the battle.) 

Congratulations to all the winners!