Strategic Affairs Ministry introduces fund for pro-Israel NGOs

Restart was created in order to enable positive initiatives for Israel and "give breathing room to pro-Israel NGOs who have suffered amid the pandemic to keep activity and advocacy up."

Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen (photo credit: TOURISM MINISTRY)
Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen
(photo credit: TOURISM MINISTRY)
The Strategic Affairs Ministry and Concert Together for Israel announced the introduction of the Restart Fund on Tuesday.
The fund is intended to encourage public diplomacy initiatives, such as to promote normalization between Israel and Arab countries and to combat antisemitism - with the goal of telling the "Israeli story" by way of social media endeavors.
Fund organizers estimate that the pool will reach a total of NIS 40 million. Half of the funding will be provided by the Israeli government, with the other half coming from private benefactors and participating organizations.
Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen spearheaded the plans to organize the fund in order to "concentrate resources to promote Israel in the digital arena," which is "often recognized as instrumental in shaping public opinion," according to a ministry statement.
Considering the Internet-hungry nature of the world, coupled with increased virtual situations due to the coronavirus pandemic, that statement is not far off.
With the coronavirus seriously affecting the budgets of pro-Israel non-profits – considering the lack of seminars, conferences, events, etc. – the Strategic Affairs Ministry has been attempting to find a way to boost revenues in these areas to combat antisemitism and the disappearance of these organizations while continuing to promote public diplomacy.
Restart was created in order to enable positive initiatives for Israel and to "give breathing room to pro-Israel NGOs who have suffered amid the pandemic to keep activity and advocacy up.
"Since taking office, I have focused on increasing Israel's presence in the digital arena," Farkash-Hacohen said. "Its importance in establishing perceptions and awareness regarding Israel suffers from the rampant spread of anti-Israel hatred and falsehoods. During the pandemic, with no meeting or events taking place, the obligation to move our center of gravity to social media has dramatically increased.
"Important organizations that were hit hard economically will receive vital financial assistance, while at the same time, the fund will provide an opportunity for NGOs to continue operating during this difficult, challenging period," she concluded.


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