Israel spends NIS 40 million each year on hasbara, the oft-used Hebrew word to describe its public relations efforts, through the Ministry of Public Diplomacy, it emerged at a Knesset committee on Monday.

Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein told the Committee on Aliya, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs his ministry employed 150 emissaries overseas, funded 500 delegations and 22,000 speakers.

"We are fighting ignorance around the world," he said, arguing that the pluralism of Israeli society was relatively unknown abroad.

"Many people do not know there are Ethiopian Jews or Israeli beduins." MK Danny Danon (Likud) called on the government to increase spending on hasbara.

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