Melanie Phillips, a staunch British advocate for Israel had this to say about the sad state of affairs of Israeli hasbara (public relations) in England:
Perhaps it could be said that, in her frustration, Ms. Phillips exaggerates somewhat. However, the lack of an effective hasbara campaign by the Israeli government is both well-known and longstanding.
Of course combating anti-Israeli propaganda all over the world is a massive job, especially when an anti-Israel (read: anti-Jewish) message is so readily accepted in so many quarters. But the Israeli government and Foreign Ministry have proven quite incapable of doing a competent job, let alone showing the kind of ingenuity that Israelis are famous for in so many other fields.
It should be clear that a substantial portion of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, including the diplomatic core, are from the political Left and are highly invested in the ever-failing peace process — politically, professionally and personally. These people shy away from an active defense of Israel’s position since that is confrontational and would upset the Arabs. And they may be hesitant to work with Israel’s natural allies on the Right.
Due to the way the system in Israel works, these people can not and will not be purged from positions of importance any time soon. Don’t expect them to change or to go away. Therefore it is pointless to rely on the Israeli government to handle this job effectively.
The only options are 1) to bypass the “official” hasbara system and/or 2) to find an effective pro-Israel message that the Left in Israel can support.
Alas, it seems that #1 is much easier to accomplish than #2.