the israel project 58.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
WASHINGTON – The Israel Project is expanding and overhauling its operations to
include outreach to policymakers as well as journalists across the globe, with a
new emphasis on Latin America and US Latinos.
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“The need is so urgent,”
declared Leah Soibel, director of the organization’s new Spanish Media Program,
referring to trends both in the United States and among its
“There is anti-Semitic sentiment in the US Latino community,”
she said, pointing to Cuban-born CNN reporter Rick Sanchez’s recent accusations
about Jews controlling the media. He was fired following the broadcast of his
And, according to Soibel, “Iran has made huge inroads in Latin
She noted that Iranian-controlled Press TV just announced the
creation of a 24-hour Spanish- language channel and that President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad has identified the cultivation of ties with South American countries
as a key priority.
The Israel Project, a pro-Israel group that tries to
provide the media with facts about Israel and Israel’s side of the story, will
now also be working with diplomats, elected officials and other international
leaders to get more information out.
Its European team is now traveling
monthly to London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna to hold events, and the
organization has dropped “security, freedom and peace” from its logo and
replaced it with “facts for a better future,” so as not to alienate authorities
in Russia, China and other countries wary of NGOs promoting a so-called freedom
The organization is also making a tremendous push in the Arab
world and among Palestinians to combat the negative view of Jews and Israel in
so much of the media. TIP has already generated hundreds of stories in the Arab
press by arranging briefings with Israeli officials, tours in Israel and other
outreach efforts, according to founder Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.
closely with the Israeli government but can benefit from being an NGO rather
than an official body, she said.
“We’re not tying to replace but to
augment,” she said, noting that her organizations $7 million budget has already
surpassed the Israeli government’s allocation for public diplomacy.
funding is now bigger than the entire Israeli government’s budget for hasbara,”
Mizrahi said. “I say that with sadness.”