The Spokesperson — In the Crossfire: A Decade of Israeli Defense Crises from an Official Spokesperson’s Perspective

By Nachman Shai

A paper by Nachman Shai, fall 1996 fellow, builds a case for the proposition that “truth” rather than “spin” is the basis of effective public information efforts, even when a nation is at war. Shai focuses on the turbulent decade in Israeli life that begins with the Lebanon War (1982) and ends with the Gulf War (1991). Through an analysis of the interplay between Israel’s press, military, government, and the public during this conflict-ridden period, he concludes that the only “bulletproof vest” available to military spokespeople is truthfulness, not the manipulation of public opinion or deception.

Download the paper (PDF).