Public Relations Efforts for Judea and Samaria Should be Encouraged
Owning 5WPR, a top 25 US PR Agency I watch media reports on Israel and am often frustrated. As a Zionist who grew up as a member of the Betar movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, I know that Israel doesn’t dedicate enough attention to vital initiatives that educate the media about what is really going on in the Middle East. It is indeed a David vs. Goliath situation – and Israel is the small guy fighting Arab giants.
As such, I was thrilled to learn that the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs is launching a campaign to boost the global image of the residents of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank.) The program is a wonderful idea and will help educate media, bloggers and digital media users. Israel won the land in a defensive war – and the land is Jewish land, with religious and strategic importance to the entire State of Israel. Educating the media about the settlements is important for the entire country.
Inside Israel, similar efforts are being made by a non-profit called Mishkefet (“binoculars” in Hebrew) to have as many Israelis as possible visit the settlements, meet their residents and get to “know their land.”
I am blessed to be able to visit Israel numerous times a year, and spend time in various settlements with friends – and many of my secular compatriots are amazed. They look at me with wild eyes and ask, “you took your kids to Hebron?” A New Yorker who works in communications goes to the “settlers'” homes? Yes, I take my young children to visit the Jews of Hebron and see the second holiest site in Judaism. I take my kids to play at the homes of friends who live in settlements.
The Jews there are wonderful people who simply wish to live a Jewish life in the land of our forefathers. It is impossible to visit the settlements and not feel a sense of camaraderie with the people, realizing that these Jews also have the right to live life, raise children and build homes. Jews can own property anywhere they choose in the world, so why not in the land of our forefathers?
The great Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky declared that settlement of the “land” is the only “law” – and he was of course right. Today in 2012, public relations efforts are necessary to show the world that Jews too have the right to live as free people in a free land. I applaud the newly organized PR efforts that will highlight the importance of these areas to the State of Israel.