steinberg ayalon shake hands 311.
(photo credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel-Aviv)
Members of Knesset are known around the world for their lack of decorum in
parliament sessions. But soon, thanks to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon,
they will be receiving a lesson in how to behave properly when abroad.
a meeting of the Knesset House committee on Tuesday, Ayalon offered the MKs a
special course conducted by Foreign Ministry officials that will teach them the
etiquette and manners appropriate for diplomats.
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“Knesset members are an
important resource in the effort to explain Israel abroad and they can be used
by our embassies abroad to help improve the country’s image,” Ayalon
During the courses, the MKs will study diplomatic protocol, how to
dress, how to behave at ceremonial meals and when to present their business
cards, as well as receiving tips in English and other languages and learning the
sensitivities of particular countries.
For instance, they will be told
not to hug or kiss their hosts in India, not to put their hands in their pockets
in Mexico, and not to give watches to their hosts in China – because for the
Chinese, the tick-tock symbolizes how long they have to live.
also learn how to use chopsticks and will be told not to cross them on their
plates in Japan, because the Japanese consider an X to be a symbol of
House Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) said such courses are
standard for members of parliaments around the world. He said MKs have come to
him complaining that they were not trained properly ahead of important
diplomatic trips abroad.
“MKs have many meetings with foreign officials,
so they must represent the country in the proper manner,” Levin said. “The MKs’
professionalism can determine the success of their meetings, as well as how
their counterparts will view Israel for years to come.”