Bintel Blog

Israel’s New PR Scheme: Healthy Zionism or Sinister Stalinism?

By Nathan Jeffay

So, Yuli Edelstein has decided to turn every Israeli in to an ambassador. As part of a new campaign called “Explaining Israel” he is putting out pamphlets, running television advertisements and operating a website asking citizens to get involved in a public diplomacy drive for Israel. “We decided to give Israelis who go abroad tools and tips to help them deal with the attacks on Israel in their conversations with people, media appearances and lectures before wide audiences,” Edelstein, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister, told the Jerusalem Post close to the start of the campaign. “I hope we succeed together in changing the picture and proving to the world that there is a different Israel.”

Last week his office said that the campaign’s Web site Masbirim (“explainers”) received 150,000 hits in its first fortnight, and revealed that an English-language site is in the pipeline.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Explaining Israel, Masbirim, Stalinism, Yuli Edelstein, Zionism

Israel’s New P.R. Scheme: Healthy Zionism or Sinister Stalinism?

By Nathan Jeffay

Likud Knesset member Yuli Edelstein has decided to turn every Israeli in to an ambassador. As part of a new campaign called “Explaining Israel” he is putting out pamphlets, running television advertisements and operating a website asking citizens to get involved in a public diplomacy drive for Israel. “We decided to give Israelis who go abroad tools and tips to help them deal with the attacks on Israel in their conversations with people, media appearances and lectures before wide audiences,” Edelstein, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister, told the Jerusalem Post close to the start of the campaign. “I hope we succeed together in changing the picture and proving to the world that there is a different Israel,” he said.

Last week his office said that the campaign’s website Masbirim (“explainers”) received 150,000 hits in its first fortnight, and revealed that an English-language site is in the pipeline.

Some are excited by the initiative — as much for its potential effect on Israelis as on the country’s PR. Hagai Segal, a right-wing columnist on Ynet wrote that a “lethal virus of skepticism has been running wild here for years and pulverized our faith in the righteousness of our way.” He believes that “these public relations efforts are not directed at the international arena, but rather, are aimed inwards. Israel’s citizens, who are supposed to use the website’s help in order to promote the country abroad, are the real target audience of this new venture, and rightfully so.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yuli Edelstein, Masbirim




Find us on Facebook!
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.