Some random thoughts from a New York Zionist Jew who analyzes media through the prism of owning a PR Agency:
Eleven Israeli athletes were slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago – and the International Olympics Committee refused them, their families and their nation a moment of silence at the Olympics. The Italian Olympic team, including Italy’s minister of sport, the heads of the Italian Olympic Committee, and athletes, stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team Sunday in memory of the victims. It is a noble gesture, and one which many more could have taken. As Ze’ev Jabotinsky said: “Silence is Despicable.”
In the “Book of Ethics” (Pirkei Avot) it is written: “In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.” This was simple ethical behavior on the part of the Italians which no other nation could muster.
Then, on the other hand, there are those who stand up selectively – when it comes time to criticize the Jewish state. There’s a massacre taking place in the second largest city in Syria, and there’s such a deafening silence from the liberal Jewish organizations. Where is Peace Now – does peace in Syria not matter? Peter Beinart, weren’t you on a mission to save the Middle East? These people, who are so concerned when some rioter gets dealt with harshly, or if “aid” flotillas get to the poor people of Gaza – they are amazingly silent today.
It’s selective behavior rooted in bias.
Unfortunately, often the Israeli public relations machine does very little to help Israel’s cause. There’s a ridiculously ineffective website of the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Ministry – “Masbirim Israel,” which seems to be a complete waste of money and time.
By visiting the website, one can learn of the “State of Israel in its 62 years of existence” (wrong), and that in Israel, you should “talk with your hands and make broad gestures,” (impolite in much of the world). The campaign is fluffy, soft and completely inappropriate for a government entity. Ridiculously inappropriate.
Let’s hope that the selectively of people is rooted in fairness and equality – and no, PR is not best done by talking with your hands.