Is Israel Losing The War?

By | June 15, 2024
Joel Leyden, journalist, crisis communications consultant.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — June 15, 2024 … Never, in my 25 years of living and serving in Israel have I ever uttered the words: Is Israel is losing the war? Even before I moved to Israel, during the Yom Kippur War, with Syrian and Egyptian troops running over our borders, Russia threatening to land their paratroopers in the Sinai, with the head of the border Kibbutz I was defending saying that we would be lucky to see the sunrise, did I ever smell defeat. These days are very different.

I went to synagogue on this sunny, Shabbat morning only to feel my phone vibrate. It was an alert that 8 IDF soldiers had died in an explosion in Gaza. The damage was so extensive it was difficult to identify and locate the bodies of those killed, the IDF said. We know that when one soldier dies in Israel, the pain is so deep that it feels like a family member. But this was eight, young, brave Israelis who died hunting for the monsters who created the October 7 Hamas Massacre. These men were searching for 120 hostages hidden in Gaza by Hamas and their leaders hiding in Qatar.

But will you hear of these brave IDF soldiers in the international media, whose bodies were torn apart today, will you see the fires caused by hundreds of Hezbollah rockets that consume northern Israel or will you hear more about the fake Palestinian massacre of 174 Palestinians caused by the heroic IDF rescue of Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, Shlomi Ziv, and Noa Argamani? 

For decades many of us have criticized Israel’s PR efforts. As part of the governmental PR infrastructure, I used to say that the reason was a lack of money, it was never a priority, that we needed the money for Iron Domes and combat jets. I was wrong. For the same reason Israel suffered a massive, Holocaust style terror attack on October 7 – we lack effective crisis communications today for one reason – arrogance.

The lower ranks of Israeli INTEL warned of an attack, but the mid ranks failed to believe the facts that were in front of their eyes. They said that Hamas was not capable of such a well-coordinated assault on Israeli homes. The INTEL of a massive Hamas attack never made it to the desk of the Prime Minister.

Recently, a good friend of mine who owns a PR firm in Israel asked me to stop uploading maps of Hezbollah rocket terror attacks. I asked why. He responded that it makes us look weak, that it makes many Israelis feel uncomfortable. I quickly replied that the maps were for international media consumption – not domestic and if these maps were triggering anxiety and depression among Israeli PR pros, then they needed to seek support for PTSD and withdraw from the information campaign.

Does Israel have professional crisis communications?

The answer is yes, but is extremely limited.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office does the best they can but lacks professionals with years of crisis communications PR agency experience. Professionals who know how to interact effectively with international wire services. Same with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We have one PR firm under contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that does an outstanding job.
I will not mention names as they don’t need a larger target on their backs, but for this private PR organization to be more effective they need to hire experienced, professional PR crisis communications professionals – dozens of them in cities across the US, Canada and Europe. They need to match the numbers of PR, hasbara professionals that our enemies employ from Qatar, Russia and Iran to Indonesia, Turkey and India.

Does Israel have professional public relations?
One simply needs to ask the question: Where is the Israel Hamas Hezbollah War Media Center in Jerusalem?

Israel has evacuated it’s North and it’s South. If Iran directly enters this holy war of Jihad with a flood of thousands of missiles, will we evacuate the Center?

If we are to win this war, we need people who are native English speakers to address a global audience.
In the last few months the Prime Minister’s Office has fired two of the best English speaking advocates we had in public diplomacy. Eylon Levy and Noa Tishby, we miss you.

And it’s not just Israel. As we get slammed in Jerusalem for not controlling the narrative, the anti-semitism we fail to neutralize in the media, quickly spreads like a malignant cancer to universities and the streets of every city in the United States and Europe.

If you have over ten years of professional agency experience in global crisis communications, please contact me at LeydenDigital @

We are seeking urgent donations and grants to create a non-governmental crisis communications response team for Israel and to combat global anti-semitism.
Please donate here:

We can’t evacuate the center of Israel.