Yesh Atid MK calls for government to coordinate public diplomacy messages

Knesset member Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) receives appointment as coordinator between government and NGOs.

Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Dov Lipman)
Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Dov Lipman)
Israel needs a more unified public diplomacy policy, Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee chairman Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid) said Tuesday.
Following a meeting with government offices and NGOs dealing with hasbara (public diplomacy), Razbozov appointed MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) to coordinate with them ways to work together to improve Israel’s image in the world.
Representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office pointed out that they are responsible for coordinating between the many government agencies that deal with public diplomacy – Foreign Ministry, Diaspora Affairs Ministry, IDF Spokesman – but Razbozov expressed doubt about their effectiveness.
Jewish Agency representative Avi Mayer called to strengthen Jewish identity as a way to better connect Diaspora Jewry to Israel, without trying to hide Israel’s complexities.
NGO Monitor director Gerald Steinberg called to respond to delegitimization “like we’re in a war. We need counterattacks.” Steinberg also spoke out against Israeli organizations that visit Diaspora communities and claim that Israel commits war crimes.
Lipman said the various bodies dealing with hasbara need to “reach a situation of cooperation and work together on messages.”
Hasbara NGO StandWithUs’s Israel director Michael Dickson left the meeting optimistic: “We are engaged in a daily and global battle against divestment motions on campuses and boycott attempts.
The Knesset initiative to bring groups together in this fight is to be welcomed.”