Thursday, February 4, 2016

Israeli diplomats appeal for increased presence abroad

Herb Keinon,

image (not from article) from
The paltry sums Israel allocates for public diplomacy, also known as hasbara, was discussed on Wednesday at the foreign relations subcommittee of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chaired by Kulanu MK Michael Oren.
The Foreign Ministry’s Noam Katz, from the ministry’s public diplomacy division, said the ministry’s operating budget for public diplomacy is NIS 14m. for all the country’s missions abroad.
“This is a tiny budget that does not permit carrying out major projects,” he said. For example, he pointed out, the budget available for Israeli public diplomacy in Sweden, which is one of Israel’s harshest critics in Europe, is $19,000.
Oren, who characterized the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [see] movement as a “threat of the first order,” said it was “impossible to seriously fight delegitimization of Israel and the BDS movement with a marketing budget of NIS 14m., when, by comparison, the Osem firm’s annual advertising budget is NIS 110m.
“How can Israel fight the boycott movement in Sweden when its advertising and marketing budget there is $19,000?” he asked.

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