Thursday, May 24, 2018

U.S. Embassy in Israel

usembassy.gov

image (not from entry) from

US Embassy in Israel

Education & Culture

Through its ‘people-to-people’ programs, the Cultural Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Israel supports a rich variety of cultural, educational, and professional exchange programs. Our public engagement activities span a wide variety of themes, including women’s empowerment, and youth leadership, entrepreneurship and employment opportunity, arts and culture, science and technology, sports diplomacy, and more. We also have programs to engage alumni of our many exchange programs.

The efforts of the Cultural Affairs Section contribute to goals such as enhancing educational opportunities and English language skills, promoting conflict mitigation and management, fostering shared society values and respect for diversity, promoting democratic values, enhancing the U.S.-Israel security partnership, and fostering mutual understanding among Israel’s wide diversity of communities as well as between the Israeli public and the American people. Many of these programs are focused on school children, NGOs, women’s organizations, young entrepreneurs, Model UN groups, current and future leaders, as well as leading experts, scholars, policy makers, and opinion leaders in academia, think tanks, and government. The Cultural Affairs Section administers several grants programs to support these many efforts. The Cultural Affairs Section also sponsors conferences, roundtables, art performances and workshops, and other outreach activities that address U.S. policy, U.S.-Israeli relations, regional affairs, terrorism, security issues, environment, health and American history, government, economics, culture and society.

The Cultural Affairs Section works from two offices: the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Section, and the American Center in Jerusalem. The following links describe a number of programs that are led by each office.

Study in the U.S.A.



American Spaces



Local Programs


U.S. EMBASSY
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser
Jerusalem 9378322, Israel
Phone: 02-630-4000

BRANCH OFFICE
Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon Street
Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel
Phone: 03-519-7575

Rediscovering Canada’s undervalued statecraft tools


Daryl Copeland, policyoptions.irpp.org; original article contains links

Image from article, with caption: The National Arts Centre Orchestra performing at Salisbury Cathedral on Oct. 29, 2014, part of a 9-day UK tour.

After years of neglect, it’s time to see how culture, science and diplomacy can be used to help us return to centre stage on international policy.


For too long, culture, science and diplomacy have suffered from neglect in Canada. Yes, they share a high-toned reputation, but they have been widely misunderstood — disdained even — by parliamentarians, public servants, scholars, the media, opinion leaders, think tanks and the public.

Rather than looking at them as esoteric outliers in the overall scheme of things, we need to see them for what they are: Undervalued instruments of statecraft. And they should once again be integral to Canada’s contemporary image, reputation and brand.

Alain Noel: Nominee for Best Column at the 2018 Digital Publishing Awards
I argued as much when I testified before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee last December.

Culture, science diplomacy and international policy are the far-flung precincts of our shared national experience, and Canada’s marginalization of them has taken a toll on international relations and Canadian foreign policy.

To understand how, we need to go back to basics:

Culture: It is all-encompassing and amorphous, but not airy-fairy or fuzzy. It is the norms, customs, characteristics, traditions, artistic expression and behaviour of human groups. We learn about it through literature, film, journalism, music, dramatic and documentary television, scholarship, and interpersonal exchange — which I think is key.

Science: It is an empirical and objective form of knowledge creation, drawing on postulation, interrogation, trial and error, and rigorous scrutiny to provide systematic insights into the nature of things. It is civilization’s best bet for achieving progress.

Diplomacy: It is the management of international relations characterized by dialogue, negotiation, compromise, representation, problem solving and complex balancing. Its tools include soft power — the power of attraction — public and digital engagement, persuasion and influence, lobbying and branding.

Public diplomacy [JB emphasis] is the term for when governments bundle culture and science with education, media relations and advocacy to pursue interests internationally, promoting policies and projecting values.

It is worth examining the connections between these three critical, often overlooked (remember the “Third Pillar,” anyone?) aspects of Canadian foreign policy.

Diplomacy uses active listening and meaningful two-way exchanges, choosing talking over fighting, and it supports peaceful resolution. It reinforces cooperation, and accommodation. Diplomacy’s art content, by the way — creativity, imagination, innovation, improvisation — remains largely unappreciated.

Science can be used to address the drivers of underdevelopment and insecurity, ranging from climate change and diminishing biodiversity to public health and management of the global commons. Science reinforces openness, transparency, collaboration and constructive dissent as constituent elements of culture.

Science and diplomacy once enjoyed pride of place within the firmament of Canadian foreign policy. From Pierre Trudeau to Justin Trudeau, historic achievements have shaped Canada’s values, cultural identity and brand. Think: helpful fixing, honest brokerage, peacekeeping and enlightened approaches to the formulation of international policy – the one-time essence of Canadian middle powerdom.

Pierre Trudeau energetically supported, and then co-chaired the Cancun Summit on North-South Relations. His government was deeply involved in the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) negotiations, which produced the treaty signed by Canada in 1982. Trudeau’s still-born “Strategy of Suffocation,” aimed at slowing the arms race, and his much-maligned, late Cold War “Peace Crusade,” had they borne fruit, would have both relied heavily upon scientific verification.

Under Brian Mulroney, Canada significantly upped its game – and burnished its image and reputation – by rolling out a string of environmental accomplishments. The government concluded the Acid Rain Treaty with the USA and hosted the meeting that produced the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It led in the organization and delivery of the landmark “Rio Earth Summit” (UNCED). That convocation produced an unprecedented range of achievements, including: the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; the Framework Convention on Climate Change; the Convention on Biological Diversity; the UN Convention to Combat Desertification; the Statement of Forest Principles, the Commission on Sustainable Development, and Agenda 21.

Under Jean Chrétien, the pace and intensity of Canadian science diplomacy ebbed, and support for international science was reduced by cost- and deficit-cutting measures associated with the Program Review. Still, his government marshalled a great deal of scientific evidence to win the battle for public opinion and defeat Spain in the so-called “Fish War” and strongly supported the essential but unheralded Global Partnerships Program. It hosted the first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP 23), which was soon after ratified by Parliament.

Paul Martin established the Council of Canadian Academies and appointed a National Science Advisor whose writ – until the position was eliminated by the Conservative government in 2008 – extended to issues of foreign policy.

Whatever might be said about the performance of any of these leaders, when compared against the carnage inflicted by the Harper government’s “war on science,” their cumulative record veritably shines.

For almost half a century, science occupied a privileged position within Canadian foreign policy. If the government of Canada is to re-establish that aspect of its liberal internationalist credentials, new directions will have to be explored.

Culture, science and diplomacy transcend borders and serve as a bridge between nations, groups and peoples.

International cultural relations and artistic expression deepen understanding and forge networks and partnerships, and weave together the exquisitely delicate fabric of civilization. They are an antidote to some of the downsides of globalization, which tends to exacerbate inequality and to socialize costs while privatizing benefits, and to salve the paradox of connectivity, which, even as it homogenizes and integrates, tends to fragment and alienate, disrupt and divide.

The case for prioritizing culture, science and diplomacy is compelling.

And yet: The responsibility and accountability for public diplomacy, culture, arts and science are splintered, atomized and uncoordinated. These functions are split between Global Affairs Canada; Heritage; Innovation, Economic Development and Science; Environment; Natural Resource; Health, Parks Canada; the myriad granting councils and on and on.

Responsibility for these sprawling files is diffuse, disaggregated. There is no strategy and no plan.

Canada 150 was an unrealized opportunity to showcase Canadian diplomacy, culture and the performing arts. But to expect an active, engaged foreign policy from a beaten-down foreign and public service is a bit like asking a former weightlifter who has been lying on a gurney in the hallway for 10 years on life support, with muscles atrophied and reflexes dulled, to get up and run a marathon.

It’s not going to happen.

Governments everywhere face daunting public policy and administrative challenges. But if the relationship between these swaths of enterprise can be understood, the possibilities are without limit.

Culture in the arts, diplomacy and science should be understood as the defining features of “Brand Canada,” the world’s globalization and innovation nation.

What, then, are the essential policy and resource implications for decision-makers?

Here are five takeaways:

First: Identify culture, science and diplomacy as international policy priorities. Situate them within an integrated and coordinated framework, strategy and plan. Right now, they are absent.

Second: Rebuild. Reinvest in culture, diplomacy and science. There is a direct dialectal relationship between results and resources, and the support for basic science promised in the recent federal budget, although ambiguous about internationalization, is encouraging. Moreover, this formula is highly cost-effective and leveraged. When I entered government in 1981, I was in large part skeptical that there was any significant place for culture or science in diplomatic practice. Mea culpa. After 30-plus years of watching it and sometimes doing it, I am a believer.

Third: Public diplomacy, including culture, the arts, education and science, connects directly with democratization, transparency and openness. Reinstate the panoply of promotional programs that were cut by the Conservatives in 2012, and augment them with new initiatives pitching to the popular, not just the elites. Cultivate the “grass tops”: the opinion leaders, the organizations and associations, and the influence aggregators. But don’t forget the grassroots: students, labour and the general public. Focus not only on the usual suspects, but also the strange bedfellows. The lot… go storefront; go retail, go on tour with this stuff.

Fourth: The government has repeatedly declared its commitment to culture, arts and science, but has largely under-delivered. Last February’s budget contained about $4 billion in support for science, but little of that was directed towards its internationalization. There exists a real risk of plunging headlong into the perilous “say-do” credibility gap. What, for instance, is Canada doing to substantially support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Fifth: The next federal election is now only two years off, the G-7 presidency and summit hosting are now upon us and we have declared our candidacy for an elected seat on the UN Security Council with the campaign in 2020 and the vote in 2021. What exactly is on offer?

The emperor desperately needs some presentable new clothes. There is no substitute for a comprehensive approach to using culture and science as instruments of foreign policy.

Culture and science with the international political agency inherent in diplomacy can help build relationships that go beyond commercial or state-centric alternatives. These currents run deeper and tap into something very elemental and very human.

They are based upon two-way interpersonal communications, meaningful exchange.

They enlarge understanding.

They encourage collaboration.

Most of all, they penetrate places of the heart and mind that are immune to the machinations of politics, the appeal to narrow economic interest, or the blunt application of armed force. The connections that are forged tend instead to be strong, resilient and enduring.

The potential is there, and Canada desperately needs those kinds of partnerships if we are ever to attain even a reasonable facsimile of our global promise.

Carpe diem.

Silk Road School opens at Renmin University of China


Liu Jiaxin, news.cgtn.com; article contains additional illustrations

China's first school linked to the Belt and Road Initiative, named Silk Road School, has opened its doors at the Suzhou Campus of Renmin University of China.

Image from article, with caption: Suzhou Campus of Renmin University of China

The school is the first educational institution built under the Belt and Road Initiative. And it has grand goals. Hu Zhengyue, vice president of China Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] association, says the Silk Road School will be home to global talents, to deepen friendships and connections.

"Everything new needs time to grow. And this is the case with the Silk Road School. The key, during the process, is to cultivate talent and connections. Because you want them to be a part of it, to know about the Belt and Road, to know about China, and to know about relations and cooperation between China and other countries," says Hu.

Enrollment has already started, with the first semester set to begin in September of this year. Students will be offered full scholarships, medical insurance, and a living allowance to study Chinese politics, Chinese economics, and Chinese law and culture.

Slovenian ambassador to China, Janez Premoze, conveyed sincere congrats to the new school. He thinks that it is great for the school to embrace young scholars from many different countries, in order to "not only learn about the Belt and Road Initiative but also learn about the modern reality of China."

Christine Chappuis, former dean of law school at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, talked about her hopes for the younger generation. “I trust the students. Look at the students who are here. We the older generations did our best. But look at the state of the world, it needs new ideas to reach the gap between the rich and the poor, between man and woman, new ideas to save our environment, to fight against the waste of resources, to stop wars."

The Silk Road School has made Belt and Road studies its theoretical basis. This is the first time that the policy has been made into an academic subject. Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, pointed out that the establishment of the study and the school is to improve China’s right to speak. Through academic study and further analysis, the Belt and Road Initiative will be firmly and sustainably developed.

As the first substantial educational practice of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Silk Road School will keep exploring cooperation projects with other schools within Renmin University of China, with the goal of reaching 200 students within three years.

Zimbroff receives Fulbright Scholar Award to Brazil


cehs.unl.edu; University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Zimbroff image from entry

Brad Stauffer, cehs.unl.edu

Andrew Zimbroff, assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design, has been selected for a Fulbright Scholar Award to Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ) in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil from Sept. 1-Dec. 31. During his time at ESALQ, a unit of the University of San Paulo, Zimbroff will be teaching, researching and promoting innovative agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“Many countries, much like Brazil, are beginning to adopt large-scale farming models like those seen in the U.S. I believe a Fulbright Award is a perfect opportunity to lean into this global trend and help both myself and UNL prepare for leadership in this future globalized world,” said Zimbroff.

Zimbroff noted that Brazil has much in common with U.S. agricultural production, especially in corn, soybeans and beef. He looks forward to opportunities for shared entrepreneurial innovations and insights.

“Brazil is rapidly developing and growing, and it is currently a very interesting period to spend time there,” said Zimbroff. “How entrepreneurs respond to this rapid change and growth can be highly insightful, not only for Brazilian startups, but all new businesses, that are forced to respond rapidly to changing market conditions.”

Zimbroff also looks forward to developing a network of Brazilian collaborators that will result in future partnerships that will strengthen Nebraska’s international presence and allow the university and state to benefit.

“The public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and cultural exchange mission of the Fulbright Scholar program has never been more important to education and global relations,” said Chancellor Ronnie Green in his letter of congratulations to Zimbroff. “A Fulbright Scholar's work is good for the world, and it will certainly impact the way you approach your teaching and scholarship at home.”

“I am confident the agricultural entrepreneurship education research and programming that I deliver at ESALQ will be adaptable for U.S. audiences both on and off campus,” Zimbroff said. “I look forward to sharing what I learn with others at UNL.”

Zimbroff’s research in Brazil will include analyzing the agribusiness entrepreneurship landscape in Brazil and examining interventions to promote innovative agribusiness entrepreneurship. He looks forward to partnering with ESALQ for this research and sharing the results with stakeholders in academia, industry and government worldwide.

A Sign of the Times: China's Recent Actions and the Undermining of Global Rules, P. T.


Tuan N. Pham, cimsec.org; original article contains links

Chinese-style dragon image from article

Excerpt:
Last March, CIMSEC published an article titled “A Sign of the Times: China’s Recent Actions and the Undermining of Global Rules, Part 1” highlighting three troubling developments that oblige the United States to further encourage and challenge China to become a more responsible global stakeholder that contributes positively to the international system. ...

A month later, CIMSEC published a follow-on article underscoring that these undertakings continue to mature and advance apace. The article featured China possibly considering legislation to seemingly protect the fragile environment in Antarctica, but really to safeguard its growing interests in the southernmost continent; taking more active measures to reassert and preserve respectively its perceived sovereignty and territorial integrity in the SCS; and restructuring its public diplomacy [JB emphasis] (and influence operations) apparatuses to better convey Beijing’s strategic message and to better shape public opinion abroad. At the end of the article, the author commented that although the United States made progress last year calling out wayward and untoward Chinese behavior by pushing back on Chinese unilateralism and assertiveness, strengthening regional alliances and partnerships, increasing regional presence, reasserting regional influence, and most importantly, incrementally reversing years of ill-advised accommodation; there is still more America can do. ...

What America Can Do in the Indo-Pacific
...

The U.S. must take each opportunity to counter China’s public diplomacy point-for-point, and keep repeating stated U.S. diplomatic positions to unambiguously convey U.S. national interests and values such as:
  • The United States supports the principle that disputes between countries, including disputes in the ECS and SCS, should be resolved peacefully, without coercion, intimidation, threats, or the use of force, and in a manner consistent with international law.
  • The United States supports the principle of freedom of navigation, meaning the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations in international law. United States opposes claims that impinge on the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea that belong to all nations. United States takes no position on competing claims to sovereignty over disputed land features in the East China Sea (ECS) and SCS.
  • Claims of territorial waters and economic exclusive zones (EEZ) should be consistent with customary international law of the sea and must therefore, among other things, derive from land features. Claims that are not derived from land features are fundamentally flawed.
  • Parties should avoid taking provocative or unilateral actions that disrupt the status quo or jeopardize peace and security. United States does not believe that large-scale land reclamation with the intent to militarize outposts on disputed land features is consistent with the region’s desire for peace and stability.
  • United States, like most other countries, believes that coastal states under UNCLOS have the right to regulate economic activities in their EEZ, but do not have the right to regulate foreign military activities in their EEZ.
  • Military surveillance flights in international airspace above another country’s EEZ are lawful under international law, and the United States plans to continue conducting these flights as it has in the past. Other countries are free to do the same. ... 
The U.S. can encourage and support Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to put additional pressures such as legal challenges, public diplomacy, and collective maritime activities on Beijing to curb its assertiveness and unilateralism, stop its land reclamation and militarization activities, and come in good faith to the multilateral (not bilateral) negotiating table for a peaceful and enduring resolution of the competing and contested maritime claims. ...

Conclusion

Beijing’s strategic actions and activities are unwisely and dangerously undermining the current global order that it itself has benefited from. Hence, Washington has a moral and global obligation of leadership to further encourage and challenge China to become a more responsible global stakeholder that contributes positively to the international system. Otherwise, Beijing will continue to view U.S. acquiescence and accommodation as tacit acknowledgement and consent to execute its strategic ambitions and strategies unhindered and unchallenged. The U.S. window of opportunity to regain and maintain the strategic high ground and initiative will not remain open forever.

"Days Like This": President Clinton's Public Diplomacy in Northern Ireland


clinton.presidentiallibraries.us

uncaptioned image from article

Public diplomacy [JB emphasis] is communicating directly with foreign citizens in order to influence popular opinion in other countries. This Digital Library Exhibit revisits President Clinton’s most visible act of public diplomacy on behalf of peace in Northern Ireland: his excursion to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas holiday season in Belfast and Londonderry on November 30, 1995. Northern Irish musician and activist, Van Morrison, performed his Northern Ireland peace anthem "Days Like This" at the Belfast Christmas Tree Lighting in celebration of President Clinton's visit.

Helping bring peace to Northern Ireland was one of the most remarkable achievements of the Clinton Administration. When President Clinton assumed office in 1993, the conflict between the Protestant and Catholic communities in this province of the United Kingdom had claimed over three thousand lives. In 1998, aided in part by President Clinton's unceasing efforts, Protestant and Catholic political parties signed the Good Friday Agreement with the British and Irish governments. This ended thirty years of violent sectarian conflict.

While behind-the-scenes negotiations were critical to securing this legal settlement, most observers agree that President Clinton’s travels to Northern Ireland were crucial to the success of the peace process. During three trips to Northern Ireland with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the President spoke with residents on the streets and in the factories and city squares. They met with entrepreneurs and fruit shop owners, textile workers, housewives, and school children from both religious faiths. The First Couple also met with the victims of terrorism and their families.

Follow the footsteps of the President and the First Lady as they demonstrate the power of a single day to rekindle hope for the future. [JB - refer to original article]

[Map courtesy of the Library of Congress. Originally published by the Central Intelligence Agency, 1987.]

Breaking the Australia–China media feedback loop


Fergus Ryan, aspistrategist.org.au; original article contains links

Uncaptioned image from article

Julie Bishop was playing a dangerous game when she privately blamed the Australian media’s ‘negative reports’ for adversely affecting Australia–China relations during her meeting with her Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the G20 in Argentina this week.

The Foreign Minister didn’t include any mention that she had scapegoated Australia’s fourth estate in her own rosy version of the encounter, but Beijing made sure to highlight it in their version of what they pointedly described as ‘not an official bilateral meeting’.

No doubt Beijing will be delighted to amplify Bishop’s message that the Australian media is to blame for the nadir in relations between the two countries. After all, it was the Chinese embassy in Canberra that first laid the blame on ‘fake news’ from the Australian media for ‘harming mutual trust’.

Ever since the leader of the free world took to labelling reports he doesn’t like in the US media as ‘fake news’, Beijing’s propagandists have adopted the term with gusto. Reports of Beijing’s plans for a military base in Vanuatu? ‘Fake news,’ according to the Chinese foreign ministry. Western reports of human rights lawyers being tortured? ‘Fake news!’ according to the People’s Daily.

At any rate, Bishop’s excuse for the deterioration in relations looked fairly hollow when, just a day later, her Western Australian Liberal Party colleague, Andrew Hastie, used parliamentary privilege to shine further light on the Chinese Communist Party’s influence operations in Australia. Pretending the Australian government doesn’t have a beef with Beijing isn’t going to cut it.

Instead of standing up for the free press like Hastie did, the Foreign Minister and her diplomats in the Australian embassy in Beijing have been running down our media to their Chinese counterparts. As Fairfax’s reporter in Beijing, Kirsty Needham, attests, blaming the Australian media has been ‘the consistent line to the Chinese from DFAT’.

It has become depressingly routine for Australian billionaires doing business with China to denigrate the media. Just last week, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest , while standing next to Julie Bishop, moaned that the Australian media doesn’t run the official government line.

‘They [Australia’s media companies] don’t have government endorsement. They are not the government voice. They are business people trying to sell a few newspapers,’ Forrest told reporters gathered at his Cloudbreak mine. ‘When it gets reprinted in China, it does break my heart.’

But it’s another thing altogether for Australian diplomats, who according to DFAT’s Foreign Policy White Paper, are supposed to be ‘determined advocate[s] of liberal institutions, universal values and human rights’, to do the same.

That’s not to say that the Australian media gets it right all the time. When Yancoal director and former China ambassador Geoff Raby claimed that ASIO was the ‘most likely source’ for the Dastyari/Huang Xiangmo phone-tap story leak in a recent blog post, the Australian media repeated it uncritically.

Left out of the reports was the crucial context that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had specifically ruled out ASIO’s involvement. The claim that particular leak was ‘intelligence agency–sourced’ has been repeated in the media despite the fact that there are other, much more probable explanations.

Of course, Raby’s claim was immediately picked up by the fiercely nationalistic Communist Party mouthpiece, the Global Times. And once that media cycle had run its course, Raby fed the beast once again by dramatically calling for Julie Bishop to be sacked.

It’s an entirely predictable feedback loop that is reportedly frustrating our Beijing-based diplomats immensely. But instead of blaming the media, the government needs to start thinking outside the box.

For one thing, the Australian government should be giving diplomats sufficient resources and leeway to be more on the front foot with their digital diplomacy efforts in China on platforms like Weibo and WeChat. Public diplomacy [JB emphasis] is vital, and doubly so when bilateral relations occasionally sour.

As my upcoming report on ‘Weibo diplomacy and censorship in China’ will show, the Australian embassy barely makes it into the top 10 foreign embassy accounts on that platform, and is clearly hesitant to be on the front foot with its messaging.

While the Australian government vacillates, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is aggressively running his own line on Chinese social media. Instead of blaming the media, Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull should at least join Weibo and take part in the conversation.

Entry-level position in public diplomacy and gov relations for Russian speaker!



GatherDC

Contact Information

Contact Benjamin Cohen
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More Information


The National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ) seeks a Russian speaking Program Associate to support research, legislative, communication, and government relations initiatives. This is an entry-level position for a highly motivated college graduate that offers a wide range of unique opportunities to gain knowledge and experience in public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and foreign affairs. NCSEJ offers excellent, comprehensive benefits and observes all major Jewish and U.S. holidays.

Founded in 1971 as the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, NCSEJ advocates on behalf of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including all post-Soviet republics. Working closely with national Jewish organizations, the U.S. and foreign governments, and Jewish community councils abroad, NCSEJ works to protect and defend Jewish community interests in more than twenty countries.

Responsibilities:

-Monitor international media, including publications in Russian and other languages as needed, to track, investigate, and report anti-Semitic incidents and other events regarding Jewish communities in partner countries;
-Research foreign policy, domestic policy in foreign countries, and historical issues affecting Jewish communities;
-Track and report on relevant legislation in U.S. Congress;
-Compose and distribute weekly mass news briefings;
-Attend and draft memos on relevant think tank and congressional briefings;
-Coordinate with U.S. and foreign government agencies to arrange meetings and conferences;
-Process and respond to communications from overseas Jewish communities;
-Assist in the planning of official visits of partner organizations to Washington, D.C. and for NCSEJ leadership missions abroad;
-Draft memos and talking points for NCSEJ leadership and partner organization leaders for meetings with the U.S. and foreign governments;
-Promote the organization’s presence across social media platforms;
-Provide general administrative support and support during NCSEJ meetings and conferences;
Other tasks as assigned.

Requirements:

-Bachelor’s Degree and proficiency in Russian a must; knowledge of other regional languages (Ukrainian, Polish) a plus;
-Superior interpersonal, communication, cross-cultural, and organizational skills;
-Demonstrated written and oral communication skills;
-Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks and projects at once;
-Experience studying or living in the region a plus;
-Experience with social media and/or website maintenance a plus;
-Familiarity with Jewish culture and community concerns a plus

LEVEL OF LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
Russian - Fluent

PROFESSIONAL LEVEL
Entry level

MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIRED
4-year degree

HOW TO APPLY

jobs@ncsej.org

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and two brief (1-2 pages) writing samples to jobs@ncsej.org with your name and Program Associate in the subject line. No phone calls, please. Qualifying applicants will be contacted about next steps.


"A search for that special place under the sun in modern Europe: migration in the twenty first century"


eizg.hr

Zagreb image from

Third Annual Conference of the Western Balkans Migration Network, Zagreb, May 25–26, 2018

Conference Agenda

Venue: University College Effectus for Law and Finance
John F. Kennedy Square 2, Zagreb

Excerpt:
May 25 ...

Keynote Speech (Blue room – 2nd floor)
Aija Lulle
14:30 – 16:00
Challenging the Notion of European 'Peripheries' From Balkans to
Baltics: Migrants and Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Work ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The “Art of the Deal” and Kim Jong Un: how Donald Trump negotiates


Nate Kerkhoff, nknews.org; article contains links and additional illustrations

Image from article, with caption: Trump has never as President negotiated with an adversary like Kim Jong Un

The President stakes a lot on his negotiation skills - but will they work on North Korea?

Excerpt:
Even before the White House announced Singapore on June 12 as the location and date for the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and American president Donald Trump, pundits and scholars had been analyzing this historic meeting from all angles. ...

Throw in complete control of internal media by the state, and Kim can easily come away from this summit with no tangible concessions and keep his job. In other words, Kim will not be an easy hostage.

What’s more, he has already pulled off a public relations coup by appearing energetic and humane in the highly-publicized inter-Korean summit. By establishing an affable image and receiving symbolic backing from China through two visits with Xi Jinping in the past month, he has gotten off to a head start in the race for public diplomacy [JB emphasis]. If a meeting with Trump goes sour, the burden will be on the American president. ...

Can America meet the China challenge in Southeast Asia?


David Shambaugh, aspistrategist

Great Wall of China image from article

The strategic sands are shifting in Southeast Asia, as China makes multiple moves while the United States seems on its back foot. This is the predominant perception throughout the region. Seen from Beijing, countries in the region are making practical choices to build their economies and China is there to assist. From Washington’s perspective, as captured in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy, ‘China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor.’

Clearly, over the past two years, a subtle but noticeable gravitation towards China has been apparent across the region. The principal question is whether this is a temporary and tactical or a more long-lasting and secular trend. Further, are all ASEAN states gravitating equally towards China? What does the apparent ‘bandwagoning’ with Beijing suggest about Southeast Asians’ vaunted hedging strategies to avoid dependence on external powers? If Beijing is pulling these countries into its strategic orbit, what is pushing them? Might China overreach and overplay its hand? Can Washington compete effectively in the game of strategic competition? What strengths and weaknesses does each major power bring to the competition?

The United States possesses broad and durable security ties, diplomatic interactions and commercial presence across the region. Its military assistance programs and security cooperation are second to none, and Beijing cannot compete in this sphere. US cultural exchanges are also robust, and the appeal of American soft power is strong—whereas China’s remains weak. US–ASEAN trade totalled US$234 billion in 2015, while US companies invested US$32.3 billion in ASEAN countries in 2012–2014 alone—more than three times that of China. The total stock of US foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region is US$226 billion—more than that of China, Japan and the European Union combined. Washington also contributes a variety of regional aid programs such as the Lower Mekong Initiative, and its US$4 billion in aid (as of 2015) outstrips that from Beijing three to one.

For its part, China’s strengths are primarily its geographic proximity and vast sums of money. Beijing’s lack of criticism concerning human rights and governance is also appreciated by Southeast Asian countries. China benefits from a more regular diplomatic presence, much greater trade, rapidly growing FDI and close geographic proximity. China’s economic footprint is huge and growing fast in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s trade with ASEAN reached US$345.7 billion in 2015. The trade relationship received a big boost in 2010 when the China–ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) came into effect.

Chinese investment into ASEAN has also been spiking upward, reaching US$8.2 billion in 2015, with a total cumulative stock of US$123 billion by the end of 2014. China is already the largest foreign investor in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar, and the second largest in Singapore and Vietnam. China is also beginning to increase its military assistance programs and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] outreach in the region.

On the other hand,  China has no real ability to provide security or defence for the region, and there China’s weaknesses include (ironically) its geographical proximity (too near and overbearing), its South China Sea claims and militarisation, and its occasional diplomatic manipulation of ASEAN. China has no real ability to provide security or defence for the region, and there remain historical suspicions that Beijing uses ethnic Chinese communities as ‘fifth columns’ in several Southeast Asian societies.

Thus, on balance, when comparing China’s regional involvement to that of the United States, I come to the counterintuitive conclusion that the United States possesses comprehensive comparative strengths vis-à-vis China in Southeast Asia. The United States is truly a multidimensional actor, while China remains primarily a single-dimensional power.

Recognising this, the United States needs to capitalise on its strengths and develop a comprehensive plan to effectively compete with China in the region and undertake a major public diplomacy effort to educate Southeast Asians about what the United States has to offer.

One major challenge is to correct the pervasive perception that the United States has repeatedly proven itself to be episodically engaged and not dependable. Washington should substantially raise Southeast Asia as a strategic priority in its Asian and global foreign policy—it is too important a region to cede to China. Many Southeast Asian states look to the United States as an offshore balancer, a role that the United States can and should play. This role should not be confined only to the security sphere, but should be comprehensive in scope—including the full range of diplomatic, cultural, public diplomacy and economic instruments.

When China overreaches and becomes too assertive in the region, which is quite likely (and there are already indications), then the United States needs to be physically present and be perceived to be a reliable partner for Southeast Asia.

EU-China International Literary Festival promotes cultural interaction


Zhou Xinyu, Global Times

images and captions from article
A Chinese female writer delivers a speech at the event.

Writers from China and Europe at the event 

Experience Europe

The opening ceremony of the 2nd EU-China International Literary Festival was held in Shanghai by the Delegation of European Union to China on May 21, officially opening the 2nd EU-China International Literary Festival, which runs from May 21 to 27 in Shanghai and from May 24 to 26 in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province.

The EU-China International Literary Festival aims to introduce the diversity of European culture to Chinese readers and let Chinese readers experience Europe more intuitively. It is a part of a public diplomacy [JB emphasis] project called #ExperienceEurope held by the European Union (EU).

Several outstanding European authors from different European countries, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Estonia, together with 26 well-known Chinese writers, were invited this year.

The writers will engage in a series of literary events and discussions with readers and audiences, sharing their creative experience and their understanding of literature.

Audiences at the festival's events will also be privy to intimate discussions between these renowned authors on topics including finding creativity in research; the beauty of short fiction; global themes in local stories; three rules for writing; the creation of complex, well-rounded characters; and much more.

Literature has long been at the heart of the European way of life. The festival will thus be an opportunity to encourage young people to explore Europe and China's cultural and literary heritage and to reflect on the place that personal exchanges occupy in everyone's lives, according to the Ambassador of the European Union to China, Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, in a booklet about the festival.

Made in China

Gavin Corbett is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. His novel This Is the Way was named the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year in 2013. The Guardian described him as "one of the most refreshing novelists writing today." He said his deep engagement with the written world began with the word, "China."

"When I was very young, there was a shop in Dublin. It used to sell plastic products and kitchenware. Everything that was laid there used to carry labels, 'Made in China,'" Corbett said.

"The font of the word 'China' is very specific. After years and years, I see this typeface again today. On the way from the airport to here, I see this typeface everywhere. It connects me with the young boy who adapted the global written world."

Another prominent author, Zhou Jianing, is a fiction writer and literary translator. She said she does not believe that people can truly communicate with each other face to face.

"But it doesn't mean that writers can't communicate with each other at this festival. During this period, writers from different countries have to speak English. There must be many misunderstandings. But these misunderstandings can make up the most exciting part, as people can exchange ideas of the spark."

About #ExperienceEurope

Between May 2017 and April 2019, the #ExperienceEurope campaign by the Delegation of the European Union to China will entertain Chinese audiences as it informs them about the history, policies, values, economy, culture and lifestyle of the EU.

The overall #ExperienceEurope campaign will also feature cultural events, four large policy forums and a series of public lectures on issues such as peace and prosperity, the environment, education, trade and many other topics of interest.

Youth Diplomacy - A New Trend in Cooperation of Universities


en.usue.ru [May 16, 2018]

At the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, one of the leading educational institutions in the world training specialists in international relations and economics, there was a meeting of the USUE  vice-rector for social work Roman Krasnov with the Academy vice-rector for research Oleg Ivanov and the head of the Center for Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] and World Cultures and Religions Natalia Maslakova-Klauberg .  
 
The meeting discussed the prospects of holding scientific events, joined with themes of public diplomacy based on mutual affection and attraction - the so-called "soft power" of Russia.
The officials of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation expressed their interest in participating in the Eurasian Economic Youth Forum - 2019 as partners. It should be noted that in the current geopolitical situation, countries need to look for new ways to build relationships, and, perhaps, one of the   options of   long-term cooperation would be the development of youth diplomacy.

Job Announcement: Resident Threshold Director, MC-301-2D


usajobs.gov; on the Threshold program, see

image from
Excerpt:

Summary

This position is located in the Threshold Programs Division within the Department of Policy and Evaluation (DPE), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

This is a full-time, term position that will last 5 YEARS. MCC has the option of extending this term appointment.

The Resident Director Threshold will be physically based in Lomé, Togo.

Although the position is advertised equivalent to SES/SL in pay, MCC uses a pay banded system to compensate employees. This position is pay band MC-2D which is generally equal to SES/SL pay only.

Responsibilities
  • Provides ongoing guidance, advice, technical feedback, and support to the entity designated by the government of the threshold country to implement the program (the "accountable entity").
  • Leads the management, oversight, and support activities of a multidisciplinary threshold program team based at MCC headquarters in Washington, DC, including oversight during in-country missions by MCC staff and MCC consultants.
  • Assists the government's accountable entity and other divisions of the partner country government in ensuring that program implementation is in accordance with MCC policies, guidelines, and standards.
  • Keeps the U.S. Chief of Mission (COM) informed regarding threshold program activities in country, and, as appropriate, attending and participating in USG country team meetings, Congressional delegation (CODEL) visits, and other briefings for senior USG officials.
  • Ensures proper management of MCC approvals and other internal control procedures, as well as audit and monitoring and evaluation efforts.
  • Serves as an observer on the board of directors of the accountable entity and exercising MCC's rights and authorities as designated in the threshold program grant agreement and any supplemental agreements.
  • Performs site visits and reports on the progress of threshold program implementation to key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Organizes public outreach and representational events related to the implementation of the threshold program.
  • Works with staff at post to ensure delivery of administrative services to be provided through an International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS) agreement. Assists in the preparation of analytical, background, and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] materials, and assists in preparing for and conducting meetings and events, including outreach.
  • Manages, and reports on MCC's in-country presence, including procurement, staffing, budgeting, financial, and asset management needs, and coordinate in-country visits by MCC staff and technical advisors. ...

The “Art of the Deal” and Kim Jong Un: how Donald Trump negotiates


Nate Kerkhoff, nknews.org; article contains links and additional illustrations

Image from article, with caption: Trump has never as President negotiated with an adversary like Kim Jong Un

The President stakes a lot on his negotiation skills - but will they work on North Korea?

Excerpt:
Even before the White House announced Singapore on June 12 as the location and date for the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and American president Donald Trump, pundits and scholars had been analyzing this historic meeting from all angles. ...

Throw in complete control of internal media by the state, and Kim can easily come away from this summit with no tangible concessions and keep his job. In other words, Kim will not be an easy hostage.

What’s more, he has already pulled off a public relations coup by appearing energetic and humane in the highly-publicized inter-Korean summit. By establishing an affable image and receiving symbolic backing from China through two visits with Xi Jinping in the past month, he has gotten off to a head start in the race for public diplomacy [JB emphasis]. If a meeting with Trump goes sour, the burden will be on the American president. ...

Can America meet the China challenge in Southeast Asia?


David Shambaugh, aspistrategist

Great Wall of China image from article

The strategic sands are shifting in Southeast Asia, as China makes multiple moves while the United States seems on its back foot. This is the predominant perception throughout the region. Seen from Beijing, countries in the region are making practical choices to build their economies and China is there to assist. From Washington’s perspective, as captured in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy, ‘China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor.’

Clearly, over the past two years, a subtle but noticeable gravitation towards China has been apparent across the region. The principal question is whether this is a temporary and tactical or a more long-lasting and secular trend. Further, are all ASEAN states gravitating equally towards China? What does the apparent ‘bandwagoning’ with Beijing suggest about Southeast Asians’ vaunted hedging strategies to avoid dependence on external powers? If Beijing is pulling these countries into its strategic orbit, what is pushing them? Might China overreach and overplay its hand? Can Washington compete effectively in the game of strategic competition? What strengths and weaknesses does each major power bring to the competition?

The United States possesses broad and durable security ties, diplomatic interactions and commercial presence across the region. Its military assistance programs and security cooperation are second to none, and Beijing cannot compete in this sphere. US cultural exchanges are also robust, and the appeal of American soft power is strong—whereas China’s remains weak. US–ASEAN trade totalled US$234 billion in 2015, while US companies invested US$32.3 billion in ASEAN countries in 2012–2014 alone—more than three times that of China. The total stock of US foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region is US$226 billion—more than that of China, Japan and the European Union combined. Washington also contributes a variety of regional aid programs such as the Lower Mekong Initiative, and its US$4 billion in aid (as of 2015) outstrips that from Beijing three to one.

For its part, China’s strengths are primarily its geographic proximity and vast sums of money. Beijing’s lack of criticism concerning human rights and governance is also appreciated by Southeast Asian countries. China benefits from a more regular diplomatic presence, much greater trade, rapidly growing FDI and close geographic proximity. China’s economic footprint is huge and growing fast in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s trade with ASEAN reached US$345.7 billion in 2015. The trade relationship received a big boost in 2010 when the China–ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) came into effect.

Chinese investment into ASEAN has also been spiking upward, reaching US$8.2 billion in 2015, with a total cumulative stock of US$123 billion by the end of 2014. China is already the largest foreign investor in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar, and the second largest in Singapore and Vietnam. China is also beginning to increase its military assistance programs and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] outreach in the region.

On the other hand,  China has no real ability to provide security or defence for the region, and there China’s weaknesses include (ironically) its geographical proximity (too near and overbearing), its South China Sea claims and militarisation, and its occasional diplomatic manipulation of ASEAN. China has no real ability to provide security or defence for the region, and there remain historical suspicions that Beijing uses ethnic Chinese communities as ‘fifth columns’ in several Southeast Asian societies.

Thus, on balance, when comparing China’s regional involvement to that of the United States, I come to the counterintuitive conclusion that the United States possesses comprehensive comparative strengths vis-à-vis China in Southeast Asia. The United States is truly a multidimensional actor, while China remains primarily a single-dimensional power.

Recognising this, the United States needs to capitalise on its strengths and develop a comprehensive plan to effectively compete with China in the region and undertake a major public diplomacy effort to educate Southeast Asians about what the United States has to offer.

One major challenge is to correct the pervasive perception that the United States has repeatedly proven itself to be episodically engaged and not dependable. Washington should substantially raise Southeast Asia as a strategic priority in its Asian and global foreign policy—it is too important a region to cede to China. Many Southeast Asian states look to the United States as an offshore balancer, a role that the United States can and should play. This role should not be confined only to the security sphere, but should be comprehensive in scope—including the full range of diplomatic, cultural, public diplomacy and economic instruments.

When China overreaches and becomes too assertive in the region, which is quite likely (and there are already indications), then the United States needs to be physically present and be perceived to be a reliable partner for Southeast Asia.

Israel court halts immediate expulsion of Human Rights Watch head


Ruth Eglash (The Washington Post), Stars and Stripes

Image from article, with caption: Human Rights Watch's Israel and Palestine director, Omar Shakir

Excerpt:
JERUSALEM — An Israeli court issued an interim injunction on Wednesday temporarily preventing Israel's Interior Ministry from deporting Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch.

Shakir, a U.S. citizen, had his work permit revoked earlier this month based on a recent amendment to the country's immigration laws aimed at fighting supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

This is the first time that Israel is applying the law against a person already inside the country; in previous instances, BDS activists seeking to enter the country have been blocked. If Shakir is expelled, critics say, it places Israel in a highly undesirable group of nations that have banned human rights activists.

Attorneys for Shakir have challenged the ministry's decision in a legal petition and requested that he be allowed to stay in the country pending the court case. That request was initially turned down by the Jerusalem District Court but on Wednesday the same court reversed the decision, allowing him to remain. ...

"After a thorough investigation, it was found that in recent years, Mr. Shakir has worked consistently, prominently, and continuously to promote boycotts against the State of Israel and international companies investing in Israel," said a statement from the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis], which has been tasked with combating the BDS movement. ...

Gilad Erdan, minister for strategic affairs and public diplomacy, said: "Even when they attempt to hide their promotion of anti-Israel boycotts by appropriating the language of human rights, we will reveal their hypocrisy and moral double standards and hold them accountable for their actions." ...

Israeli diplomats dominated media during Gaza riots, Foreign Ministry says


Raphael Ahren The Times of Israel; article contains videos; see also (1) (2) (3)

Image from article, with caption: A girl raises a Palestinian flag as another Palestinian boy holds a wooden key symbolizing the return, as they stand with others before the barbed-wire marking the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 13, 2018.

Israeli diplomats held intensive contacts with foreign media across the globe to explain Jerusalem’s policies regarding the violent riots at the Gaza border earlier this month, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Responding to claims that Israel has no “hasbara,” or public diplomacy [JB emphasis], the ministry published data showing that the country’s senior diplomats gave interviews or wrote op-eds for at least international 161 news outlets.

This number is incomplete as not all embassies and consulates reported about their media outreach back the headquarters, the ministry said. The number also does not include background briefings to journalists.

“To all those who argue, without basic knowledge, that Israeli hasbara didn’t function properly in recent days: over 160 interviews of our representatives in important capitals [leading to the] exposure of Israel content in social networks to millions across the world,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted.

“We at the Foreign Ministry work hard at all times all over the world.”

In Europe, 17 out of 35 diplomatic missions reported back to Jerusalem headquarters about their hasbara efforts, saying Israeli envoys gave a total of 69 interviews.

Israeli diplomats in Paris, for instance, had a total of 22 media appearances, including eight interviews with Ambassador Aliza Bin Noun, six interviews by her deputy, Marc Attali, and another eight by the embassy’s spokesperson, Shimon Mercer Wood.

In London, Israeli diplomats gave 17 interviews; in Madrid five; and in Berlin, Rome, Bern, Riga and Vilnius three.

Curiously, Israeli diplomats in Latin America, who had 53 media appearances, appeared to have been busier than their colleagues in North America, who only raked up 31, according to the figures the Foreign Ministry provided. (Israel has 14 diplomatic missions in Latin America and 13 in North America.)

There were only two media appearances in African media, by the ambassadors to Kenya and Ethiopia.

Israel’s hasbara has long been criticized by Israelis and friends of the Jewish state, who argue that Jerusalem is failing in the information war against Hamas and other terror groups and losing global sympathies despite its just actions.

“There’s a war being waged, and we’re not even on the battlefield,” Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy Michael Oren told The Times of Israel in a recent interview. Indeed, he posited, Israelis underestimate the importance of public opinion for the army’s ability to continue defending the country.