Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 19th, 2014

Do read your personality traits:

“1. You have a need for other people to like and admire you

2. You have this tendency to be critical of yourself

3. You have unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage

4. You have a few personality weakness, but you are able to compensate for them

5. Your sexual adjustment has presented problem for you

6. You are disciplined and have self-control on the outside, but you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside

7. Occasionally, you have serious doubts that you made the right decisions or done the right thing

8. You prefer a certain amount of change and varieties

9. You become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations

10. You pride yourself as an independent thinker

11. More often than not, you do not accept others’ statement without satisfactory proof

12. You realized that it is unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to other on many occasions

13. There are periods and times when you feel to be an extrovert, affable and sociable

14 other times, you feel an introvert, wary and reserved

15. A few of your aspirations are pretty unrealistic

16. Security is very high on your list of goals in life”

On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being highly accurate, you rated my evaluation as a 4 or 5.


You are not one of the rare people to rank what you read as a 5. Everyone ranked this text as 4 or 5. Why?

1, The statements are general in nature. No specificity involved.

2. Many statements are flattering

3. No negative statement in the text: This is the “feature-positive effect” at play

4. We accept whatever corresponds to our self-image and filter out everything else: this is the “confirmation bias” effect


Astrology, astro-therapy, handwriting analysis, biorhythm analysis, palmistry, tarot card readings, sessions with the dead, reading coffee grinds…

All these charlatan of pseudosciences that work well by applying the 4 behaviors common to us all, ingrained in our unconscious and permitting us to function in our daily life.


Note: The text was crafted by psychologist Bertram Forer in 1948 and used to coin the Forer Effect or Barnum Effect.

A chapter in Rolf Dobelli “The Art of thinking clearly”

Israel (Zionism) propaganda (Hasbara) Handbook

Hasbara is not breaking news, most of our readers are already familiar with Israeli Hasbara (which means “explanation” in Hebrew).

Ifr you admin a facebook or twitter account that posts anything remotely pro-Palestine or work in the media in general, you are probably all too familiar with the persistent Hasbara that floods the comments of every post about Palestine.

It’s a force to be reckoned with that attempts to control message and kill credibility of articles or commentary that reveal anything negative about Israel.

Wikipedia defines Hasbara as “Public diplomacy in Israel” and refers to it as “public relations efforts to disseminate abroad positive information about Israel.”

That’s true enough but in reality Hasbara is a manipulative propaganda machine.

Students are paid to spread pro-Israel messages online and have been slaving away in the Hasbara War Room to sell the Gaza war in social media.

According to the Hasbara Handbook – their main target audience is USA.

The Israeli Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary was originally leaked by Newsweek Online.

The link to the document in their original article now leads to a 404 page but you can read the 116 page PDF here.

It’s probably been updated since but the 2009 version is more than enough to understand how it works.

Are you persuadable?

According to the Hasbara Handbook Conservative Republicans and religious fundamentalists in USA are generally easiest to persuade or are already on board with team Israel.

This page has an interesting footnote that their “most favorable audience is white, male voters.

The Handbook refers to religious fundamentalists as Israel’s “Amen Choir” and claims they are “Israel’s strongest friends in the world.”

In general US conservative Republicans and/or religious fundamentalists don’t seem to be a primary target audience for Hasbara, however they dedicate an entire chapter on talking to the American left which appears to be their greatest challenge.

Hasbara propagandists are directed to use empathy – and this word is stressed – as an important factor to use as a tool of persuasion to build credibility.

If you are among the stubborn leftists they may tell you a story to appeal to your sense of empathy.

Hasbara also may target women for persuasion campaigns more than men as their charts seemed to indicate that women were less aware of “the facts” after Operation Cast Lead.

Each chapter of the Hasbara Handbook has helpful boxes outlining the “Words that Work”. There is even a section praising Obama’s notorious public speaking skills that states:

“President Obama’s language is so similar to what we have recommended for years that he could easily be stealing straight from our playbook.”

Posters that Work

Appendix IV of the Hasbara Handbook is dedicated to “Posters that Work” and lays out a style guide to follow when designing pro-Israel propaganda posters.

Apparently posters featuring Ahmadinejad as Hitler and babies strapped to bombs were epic fails, so now they aim to use “factually based” graphics to spread a positive impression of Israel.

The examples above are from several years ago but we’ve seen this same style of posters circulating during Operation Protective Edge.

Hasbara has it’s own team of graphic artists called the Interactive Media Team from Israel Under Fire which has been hard at work designing high quality, branded graphics to sell the assault on Gaza to western audiences.

The current Hasbara poster campaign features slick graphics, contrasting red and green colors that pop off pro-photographed backgrounds and bold fonts with key words like “rockets” or “tunnels” emphasized for impact. This is a 100% professionally branded media campaign.

HB poster 3

The lexicon of the Hasbara Handbook is really impressive as far as manipulation standards go. If you have time to read the whole handbook we definitely recommend it.

Propaganda exists all over the world and perhaps other countries also have official “playbooks” like Israel, but the Israeli Hasbara has mastered the art of persuasion, at least on western audiences.

Israeli Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary
Electronic Intifada – Israel student union sets up “war room” to sell Gaza massacre on Facebook
The Independent – Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
Israel Under Fire

Myths about Beirut? 

Despite being a tiny country, almost an invisible speck on most maps, there sure are quite a few rumor flying around about us Lebanese.

Most of which are unfounded stereotypes and others not that far off but nonetheless completely untrue.

Here are some of our favorites (or rather, not so favorite).

1. Beirut is the Paris of the Middle East

(Image via Profoundly Superficial Blog)

Let’s start with this. I just want to get it out in the open: Beirut is by no means even close to being the Paris of the Middle East.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Beirut just as much as the next person; it has its own unique charm and beauty – but it is not the Paris of the Middle East.

Everyone has to stop saying that.

Just stop. It might have been a mini Paris in the past, but in case you haven’t noticed, the past is long gone.

Last time I checked, Paris didn’t have bombs going off in its various arrondissements every two days. (or just wait till Da3esh infiltrate Paris?)

You know what else it doesn’t have? Nationwide electricity outages.


Why do we even want to be the Paris of the Middle East? Why can’t we do our own thing? We’re the Beirut of the Middle East – 5losna.

2. Beirut is a Terrorist Hub

(Image via Imagining Lebanon)

I blame the media 100%. I can think of a thousand examples in which the media has depicted us this way, but a particular TV series (cough cough HOMELAND ehmehm) comes to mind as a recent example.

And it doesn’t just happen through fabricated images either, but in text too.

If I was to form my perception of Lebanon through what I saw on American TV and read in British newspapers, honestly, I would think of the country as one big jolly terrorist hub, and that is not the case. For shame…

3. Beirut is a Desert Sauna

(Image via Desert Rose Racing)

This assumption isn’t completely unfounded, it’s understandable – we are in Middle East after all.

Some of our neighboring countries do look somewhat like that. It’s humid, yes, for sure.

But really, it’s not that hot. And yes, we do need jackets here in the winter. No, we don’t ride camels to work.

4. Beirut is a Cheap Place to Live

(Image via Blog Baladi)

HAHAHAHAHA! In what world, my friend?

Good luck finding an apartment for less than a $1,000 per month. Even the manakeesh aren’t that cheap anymore.

5. Beirut is Not a Nice Place to Travel

(Image via Fly to Barcelona)

Really? I mean, look at that picture! If you want an adventure, come here. We’ve literally got it all.

There is no such thing as making plans in this city, you take each day as it comes and just go with it.

Whether you’re here for the culture, nature, nightlife, food, or thrill of the danger in visiting a “third world” Arab country, you’ll end up experiencing everything in a chaotic, yet absolutely magnificent mess.

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September 2014

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