On July 12, at 3 a.m., Asher and Chava Vodka heard a loud knock on the door of their small apartment in Bat Yam, a poor town on the Mediterranean Sea near Tel Aviv, where they had been asleep with their two young children.“Open up. Police,” they heard.
Responding to criticism from American Jewish leaders that Israel is suffering on the image front in its conflict with the Palestinians, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has opened an emergency office in New York to deal with its public relations problem.
Arye Mekel, 53, who served four years as director-general of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority and whose seven years as consul general in Atlanta prompted Ted Turner to call him “Israel’s ambassador to CNN,” was recruited to coordinate the hasbara, or p.r., effort.
Ariel, Israel — Sam Rafaeli and his wife, Roni, used to drive regularly from their settlement home here to Tel Aviv to attend the theater and concerts. Not anymore.
“It has been more than a year since I have been to a concert,” said Rafaeli, alluding to the start of the Palestinian violence in September 2000. “I had a subscription [to a concert series]; I gave it up.”
Pembroke Pines, Fla. — Sen. Joseph Lieberman sounded an ominous warning last week when he told The Jewish Week that Sen. John Kerry’s failure to speak substantively about Israel during campaign appearances here had weakened his support among Jewish Democrats.
“I was here two or three weeks ago and this question came up a few times, not from the media [but] from people,” said Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat.
“Why isn’t he talking about Israel?” he said voters wanted to know.
Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is well known for his power of oratory. But with his chief political rival, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, shown to be trusted by just 2 percent of Israelis, according to the latest opinion polls, Netanyahu has been uncharacteristically quiet of late, no doubt figuring there is no need to criticize Olmert when he is inflicting the most damage on himself.
(JTA) — Producers of an Israeli dance show said they were detained as a potential threat while taping in New York. Yoav Tzafir and Tzivka Hadar, who produce the televised contest “Born to Dance,” said Sunday that while preparing to tape in New York last week they found themselves in New Jersey and decided to tape the ride back. But their cameras got the attention of undercover police.
For months, officials in Washington had feared a diplomatic earthquake on May 4, when Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, terming it a “sacred date,” threatened to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state.
Instead, next week’s long-feared deadline may pass with barely a rumble, thanks to intensive U.S.-Palestinian diplomacy and a new initiative from Washington that promises to revive U.S. mediation efforts after the upcoming Israeli elections.
Israeli newspapers were in an uproar this week over reports that the Clinton administration is blocking Israel’s chunk of a big supplementary aid package now before Congress, while pushing the Palestinian appropriation. Not so, say numerous sourc
No Change In Aid Policy?
Israeli newspapers were in an uproar this week over reports that the Clinton administration is blocking Israel’s chunk of a big supplementary aid package now before Congress, while pushing the Palestinian appropriation. Not so, say numerous sources in Washington. The Israeli and Palestinian aid is still on the table, and there is almost no likelihood they will be split.
Israel never suffered from a lack of attention, but in 2002 the Jewish state attracted a surge of public interest surpassing anything in the past decade.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center for the Public and the Press, released at yearís end, Israelís civil war was ìone of the most closely followed international stories in Pewís 16-year history of measuring news attentiveness.î
srael is still winning the public relations war against the Palestinians, but is losing ground as the violence continues and more Americans blame both parties, according to the yet-to-be-released findings of a major new effort to track American attitudes toward the Mideast conflict and bolster Israel’s image.