This weekend, the Third Regional Public Relations Conference was held in Doha, Qatar by the International Public Relations Association. The keynote speaker was Khamis Al Muqla, the president and chairman of Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Middle East. Hill + Knowlton is one of the world’s largest PR firms – and Al-Muqla spoke of the importance of PR in the Middle East.

Want to take a guess which nation in the Middle East was not amply represented at this conference? From a Google search, one can learn of a firm named Triwaks, an Israeli PR agency which “is the exclusive affiliate in Israel of Hill + Knowlton Strategies” – yet one can be rest assured that Khamis Al Muqla isn’t involved with helping them. The Middle East on their map surely didn’t include a discussion of the tremendous impact of Israel’s Start-up Nation.  Yet, Israel is “inflexible.”

A month or so ago, it was reported that Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, the head of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry wanted to make a business trip to Israel. Now, naturally Israelis want trade with anyone in the Middle East – but there’s still not too many Israelis (or Jews) represented at the majority of these conferences.

Amazing for all the liberals who clamor for peace, those discussions aren’t directed at the Arab business community.  Am sure that Israeli technology – and other – companies would welcome expansion into the Arab world.

Needless to say, the PR community at this conference also didn’t focus on how Qatar is involved with discrimination against women, torture and that they sentenced a poet to prison recently for a poem he penned against the government.  What if it was Israel?