The term strategic communications is missing from the Israeli academic and professional discourse. Instead, there are three different conceptual approaches to state communication in Israel—hasbara, public diplomacy, and cognitive campaign. Analysing the history of the development and employment of these three concepts, this article makes two contributions important for the field of strategic communications. First, it analyses how Israel has found itself with various approaches; why it does not have one comprehensive framework; and whether any of the three approaches can be considered the equivalent of ‘Israeli strategic communications’. Second, based on the case of Israel, it establishes the need for states to have an exhaustive conceptual framework to conduct strategic communications and the consequences of the absence of such a framework.

Keywordsstrategic communications, strategic communication, Israel, Hasbara, public diplomacy, cognitive campaign

About the Authors

David Siman-Tov is a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University, Israel. His recent publication is The Cognitive Campaign: Strategic and Intelligence Perspectives (INSS, 2019) coedited with Yossi Kuperwasser.

Dr Ofer Fridman is Director of Operations at the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC) and a Lecturer at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.


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