Dec 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Top U.S. Jewish groups target misinformation on Israel-Hamas war

Illustration of a pencil hitting the bullseye of a target.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The most powerful Jewish interest groups in the country have come together to launch the 10/7 Project, a bipartisan effort to fight what they believe is misinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: It's the biggest unified effort from the Jewish lobbying sector in recent memory.

  • "Having these five organizations work together in this fashion is unprecedented and shows how important American Jewry believes this moment is to the State of Israel to combatting Jewish hate in America and the world," said Josh Isay, executive director of the 10/7 project.

Details: The effort is being led by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations.

  • Those five groups will fund the creation of a centralized communications operation that aims to provide newsrooms and policymakers with fact-based information on the war.
  • It will also engage in rapid response efforts to try to ensure media coverage is accurate and fair about the war in real-time.
  • The group will launch the "10/7 Project Daybook," a daily newsletter that highlights issues of the day that they believe are being ignored or underreported by mainstream American outlets. It plans to work with surrogates, celebrities and people with recognizable brands, to help amplify its message.

State of play: As part of the effort, the group plans to call out specific news outlets and reporters for coverage they think is inaccurate.

  • Coverage it plans to address include stories that portray Israeli hostages held by Hamas and Hamas fighters imprisoned in Israel with equivalent language, and stories that it believes amplifies Hamas propaganda.
  • "While most journalists are doing very important work under difficult circumstances, too many seem unable to apply the simple journalistic ethic of fairness to the Israel-Hamas conflict and to the issue of rising anti-semitism in America and the world," Isay said.

Zoom in: The Jewish groups are working with several bipartisan political operators and public affairs firms, including SKDK, where Isay was formerly CEO, OnMessage Public Strategies and CKR Strategies, the firm co-founded by former Hillary Clinton spokesperson Philippe Reines.

  • The groups are collectively committing seven figures to the effort, which will initially launch with a focus on earned media, before eventually rolling out a paid advertising campaign.
  • The focus of the project's work will be on the U.S. only.
  • All of the funding for the effort is coming solely from American Jewish interest groups.

The big picture: The war with Hamas is forcing newsrooms to reconcile with the growing number of Americans who say they are more sympathetic to Palestinians than Israelis.

  • The debate around whether to call Hamas a terrorist organization or not has also become heated in the U.S.
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