1) How does 5MFI.com differ from helpuswin.org?
We have taken some of the most effective parts of Help Us Win such as the Action Items and video distribution but in other ways we are quite different. Five Minutes for Israel is designed as a site for Israel advocates rather an advocacy site. We aim to be a user generated site and portal where Israel advocates can meet, discuss, contribute, participate and distribute.
In addition we will be hosting a 5MFI blog and as many specialist blogs as people want to operate. To start with we will be running Blog #5 by the admins of this site and Lawyers are Advocates #2 dealing with the International Law, ‘lawfare’ and legal aspects of Israel Advocacy. All specialist blogs are very welcome.
One area we feel that the ‘Destroy Israel Lobby’ has had a constant edge is the area of graphics (animation, video, cartoons, photography, posters, photographs, etc). This could be because graphic artists in all media tend to work alone and distributing their work can be problematic.
Sometimes graphic art skill and ideas for cutting political humour just aren’t provided in the same package. Sometimes a great idea needs translation to reach a wider audience. We aim to help with those connections.
2) What is your relationship with Stand With Us?
We support and applaud the work of Stand With Us but we are totally independent. When we were negotiating to take over helpuswin.org we both realized our ideas for the site and Stand With Us’s could not be reconciled. As an established organization with officers, procedures, policy and donors they could not risk a poster or a commenter even unintentionally appearing to commit them to an action they could not control.
3) Why is the site in English we want Spanish, German, Swedish, Chinese …?
As do we. The helpuswin.org experience showed us just how unwieldy different languages on one site could be just keeping the links correct. I won’t even without go into the problems of moderating material we receive in a language we don’t understand.
The solution we came up with is this. We will donate the code and graphics for our site to groups who want to run sister sites in their own language and help them with hosting. All they will need to do is translate. Cinco Minutos Para Israel, anyone?
4) Isn’t Five Minutes for Israel duplicating work done by other Israel Advocacy sites?
We believe that we complement rather than conflict with the work of other sites.
- As far as I know there is no other organization targeting smaller media outlets with the aim of gaining a quick response (ten of the first fifteen online comments and victory in online polls) as we do in the signature Action Items.
- As far as we know there is no site aiming to bring advocates together at whatever level they want to contribute – 5 minutes to total 24 hr commitment.
- As far as we know the idea of encouraging specific areas of advocacy in line with skills or experience has never been tried before.
There may be some occasional overlap. As far as we are concerned the more Israel advocates out there the better.
5) Who is funding this?
At the moment everything comes out of the pockets and the free time of the admins. If the project takes off, we may, at some time in the future, turn ourselves into a non-profit organization and look for grants.
6) The state of Israel is eeeevil. Why do you deny the Palestinians the right to state their case?
Do it wherever you want but not here. This is a site for people who believe in the state of Israel and want to work to protect her. We are no more obliged to let you be heard than a Vegan website has to accept ads for steak restaurants. We encourage debate within reasonable limits and we are well aware of the width of opinions but we stick within the Israeli consensus.
7) Isn’t what you are doing a waste of time?
We are attempting many things but let’s look at things we know work. We saw from Operation Cast Lead that our signature Action Items generated real results. Many small and not so small media outlets don’t have the resources for their own presumably neutral foreign correspondents so they rehash agency reports, sometimes without even crediting the agency. Even worse, they accept articles from the ‘Destroy Israel Lobby’ as news.
From discussions with editors we discovered that until people started pointing out the numerous errors, often at our prompting, the media people were shocked that anyone was even reading the articles; relied on the agencies fact checking without doing fact checking themselves and saw our efforts as a wake-up call.
It shows, even in five spare minutes you can do something for Israel.
8) Guide for Comments
Five Minutes for Israel appreciates your comments that abide by the following guidelines:
- Avoid profanities or foul language unless it is contained in a necessary quote or is relevant to the comment.
- Stay on topic. Remember this is a blog for Israel Advocates.
- Disagree, but avoid ad hominem attacks.
- Threats are treated seriously and reported to law enforcement.
- Spam and advertising are not permitted in the comments area.
- Any post not made in English (or that does not include an exact English translation) will be deleted.
These guidelines are very general and cannot cover every possible situation. Please don’t assume that Five Minutes for Israel management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment. We reserve the right to filter or delete comments or to deny posting privileges entirely at our discretion. If you feel your comment was filtered inappropriately, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does Five Minutes for Israel plan to do?
Five Minutes for Israel is a site for people who want to advocate for Israel on the Public Diplomacy battle field. If you don’t support the continued prosperity of the State of Israel; have doubts about the justice of its cause or want Israel to be anything but a Jewish state, this is not the place for you. Look elsewhere!
When we are up and running we plan:
- 24/7 around the world monitoring of the world, English online press about Israel, Judaism and related subjects. Our aims are to achieve 10 out of the first 15 comments (the first page) on articles we focus on for either brickbats or bouquets and to swamp every online poll.
- A place for original pro-Israel material, especially graphics and videos, to be freely distributed, localized and adapted according to need.
- Material for translation. We know that producing in English discriminates against other languages so we encourage translators to take material and adapt it to other societies. This is especially true for subtitling videos and relabeling graphics. Similarly we hope to collect Hebrew language material for translation to a wider non-Hebrew speaking audience.
- Interviews with established Israel advocates with the aim of encouraging new advocates to contribute. There is work to be done even if Israel is not at war, today or you only have five minutes to spare.
- A blog where Israel advocates can chat, swap tips and stories, ideas for this site, etc.
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