Hasbara is called illegitimate by BDSers because some people are paid to do it, but making good money from your own political opinions- without the bother of being a politician – Is okay? I don’t get this logic.

BDS leaders systematically trash-talk the “Zionist Hasbara Machine”, which they claim funds pro Israeli opinions to be voiced in an unfair way – it drives money into the so called “neutral” system of activist public debate. While these activists regularly cross the very fine line between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism (As I observed here several times), they are generally comfortable with classic anti-Semitic metaphors that compare Hasbara to sort of “elders-of-Zion” capitalist global array, fueled by a lot of money.

I thought I’d check the financial integrity of these activists, who seem so sensitive when it comes to money. I chose 5 leading names, well-known in the Anti Israeli propaganda community, and tried to find out what do they make a living out of? Are they hardworking laborers at day who non-profitly run their voluntary activities by night?

The attached image shows some information that anyone with a little patience and basic web skills can check and see for themselves. Each one of them wrote at least one book on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Books sell at average 50$ each). All of them give lectures on the subject often, usually for money, sell CDs, and write on this sole issue. I don’t know how much Al Jazeera or the Guardian pay their writers, but I’m pretty sure it’s good money.

Is their massive online activity, as well as countless media appearances, not promoting – either specifically or indirectly – Their sales? I doubt that.

Do notice Ben white’s bio from his Super active (not to say spammy-ish) twitter account:

Writer, freelance journalist, activist. Author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ & new book ‘Palestinians in Israel’.


The link will take you to his blog, where the first thing you’ll see is a promotional post regarding his (Not so) new book.

I tried to find some established sources to the exact amounts of money these people are making by selling their boycott based books and lectures, but eventually realized the specifics numbers are irrelevant to the principle. The books they’re selling get high Amazon rates and keep selling for years, and well established institutions pay them to speak and write.

Boycott, divestment and economic sanctions on Israel aren’t a political tool for these people- It’s a business and a source of profit.

What will they make money of once the conflict is over? I don’t know, maybe other conflicts. In the meanwhile, I’ll start calling them Lobbyists rather than activists…


  1. Daniel says:

    As much as I appreciate the work you do on this site, I do think quoting two of Finkelsteins books at $80 and $125 is obviously wrong. There is no way in hell that anybody would pay these prices for these books. I just checked amazon and found no such pricing.
    If you wish to be taken seriously, you must not lie.
    Ben Whites written rubbish is to be had for under $20 new or used. PLEASE check these numbers and correct them. Otherwise you are wasting your time.

  2. Esther Cohen says:

    I do not believe you have read Mr. Atzmon’s book given that, if you had, you would realize that it does not qualify as a “…boycott based book(s) and lecture(s)…”. It is a book that examines Jewish ideology. It is a topic worth considering by all Jews as well as non-Jews, and therefore, I recommend that you read it before making claims about it. In fact, this is always a good policy — to know what you are talking about — it will only improve your credibility. Good luck with this!

    • Didn’t read, not planning on reading it. thank you for the tip.

      • Esther Cohen says:

        Then how can you make a claim such as “academictruth” if you clearly have no interest in Academic Truth, as evidenced by your flippant response? The very fact that there is dissonance in your name and your actions calls into questions your judgement, making it quite easy to disregard them. If you wish to more successfully reach an audience, you may wish to align more closely with your assigned identification. Good luck to you!!

  3. Kenny Alligood says:

    So it is ok with you that the israeli lobbyist groups rake in billions of dollars for their cause … not to mention the unknown amount of rewards from diplomatic prejudices in the UN and the world … or the back door deals on military weapons and technology that is either extored from the US or stolen by the israelis … hmmm … someone makes some money by exposing these and other atrocities like genocide … i say pay them double.

    i won’t call you a liar but it is clear where your loyalties lie … as are mine i hope. so please stop towing the zionist lines that claim they are the only ones that can have a say and their words are unquestionably correct. as we have seen — and the world is opening it’s eyes to — the zionist/israeli propaganda is nothing but lies to further their quest of genocide and land theft … not necessarily in the order and certainly not as separate actions.

    now i am certain you will sling those nasty zionist slurs at me after this post … oh you are nothing but an anti-semite or a nazi or a plethora of other colorful and meaningless adjectives … but know this … when the truth is contrary to your viewpoint … it doesn’t make a person a racist … itg makes him right and you wrong … which — if you missed the implications — is why the slurs are thrown so quickly … because you have no defense or argument for the truth and all you can do it attempt to attack a person’s character … another ploy that is quickly being learned by the world at large and losing it’s luster.

    • Have we ever met? do you know me or I know you? Cuz you sure write like you live inside my brain knowing all my thoughts and can presume exactly how will I repay you.
      I am not here to change your mind. I’m here to say mine.
      there are sure enough ways to see and hear the Zionist “crimes” as you like to call them, it’s all over the media and web, but there aren’t almost anyone who shows the injustice BDS movement does.
      BDS uses A LOT of money on their propaganda. They BULLY anyone who will speak differently on their cause, they use violence and preaches to hate.

      These are MY opinions. and you can be certain I will keep on writing them. thanks for the comment.

    • The UN? Tool of dictators, particularly of the Islamic variety. But since it cannot rescind the articles of the Mandate for Palestine giving Jews the right to settle closely on the land including on Judea and Samaria your “occupation” turns out to be by the Arabs who never lived on the land while Britain still exercised – however badly – its mandate.

      Why not just look for some truth – for example, that the ‘Nakba’ was caused mainly by Arab leaders as was the murder and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries.

      And as for money, what about those paid rioters in Bil’in? Just ask the IDF about them.


  4. John Turnbull says:

    Haven’t you guys figured out how to sell hasbara?

  5. Ariela says:

    Esther Cohen ……… is Gilad Atzmon, he is known as a NAME USER and usualy Jewish Female names…. Yocheved is another name he uses……..

    • Esther Cohen says:

      Oh really? I was Esther last time I checked…and certainly not a ‘he’ but a ‘she’… And, why don’t you respond to something substantive rather than attempt to divert the conversation to something that is meaningless?

  6. bob says:

    Unfortunately, propagandists are like pseudo-film-critics who talk about films which they do not see. A proof of idiocy, laziness or complete dishonesty.

  7. Iris says:

    Treason is always a lucrative business…

  8. N. Joseph Potts says:

    HOW does writing and selling books benefit from people boycotting Israel? (Some of) the books PROMOTE BDS, and sale of the books DOES yield income to the authors (and others), but BOYCOTTNG? THAT yields NO material benefit that I can imagine to the authors. Saying it does is a total and obvious non sequitur.

  9. Larry Robson says:

    Who are you working for?

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