They asked for it. And now they have it. So many Israelis, and lovers of the State of Israel, have been saddened in the past several decades by the perception of Israel and Israelis among non-Israelis. Whether Israelis were traveling through India, Thailand, Europe, South and North America, or even Dubai’s al-Bustan Rotana hotel, they were confronted with awful perceptions of Israel.
The Israeli government’s solution is… well first of all, they decided to have Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon snub the visiting delegation of U.S. Members of Congress this week. That will boost Israel’s perception in the minds of U.S. lawmakers and appropriation leaders. The second solution is to direct Israelis to a comical webpage which instructs Israelis how best to represent Israel and Israel’s mission and cause to the world. Unfortunately, at first glance, it seems as if the Masbirim Ministry is under the false perception that the world thinks Israel is backwards and everyone rides a camel. They should have spent some shekels on outside polling. They might have found that the world thinks Israel is technicaly advanced, but just an oppressor.
The Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs and its information minister, Yuli Edelstein, is even offering a course. The slogan is “Together we will change the picture.” It is catchier than saying, “Together we will vote an administration into office, we will make certain policy decisions which affect the world perception of the country its people and leaders, and then the elected administration will help you, the citizen-tourist and isra-phile, not change the picture but at least help to essplain this decision and correct the world’s perception.. 2gether.”
See my response in the comments in the “Can We Also Be Called a Think Tank” post.
Yes. As always, I love your comments and analysis and prescriptive advice. This needs to be taken out of a bureaucratic Ministry, which seems to think that the battle is about camels and grilling. They (the Ministry leaders) are either being disingenuous or unsophisticated or naive or missing the importance of the issues. They seem to be so embedded in their own culture, that they fear confronting the real issues that their opponents are raising. Namely… telling people that Israelis don’t ride on camels and live in tents will not stop a group that is seeking to exlcude Israeli films and academics from international festivals and conferences.
Ayalon did the right thing by leaving JStreet to Soros & friends. You’ll never convince those Representatives that Israel is any good so why try?