Israel seeks new image, hires public relations firm

October 6th, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Oct 6 (DPA) Israel has hired a British public relations firm to re-market it to the world, and the company is in the final stages of preparing to launch the new image, the Israeli Ha’aretz daily reported Monday.”Our research shows that Israel’s brand is essentially the conflict,” Ido Aharoni, the foreign ministry official in charge of the program, said.

“Even those who recognize that Israel is in the right are not attracted to it, because they see it as a supplier of bad news. The conclusion is that it is more important for Israel to be attractive than to be right,” he said.

According to the Israeli daily, Fiona Gilmore, the founder of the company Acanchi, hired to come up with the new image, toured Israel last week, as part of her brief to create an image disconnected from the Arab-Israeli conflict and focusing instead on Israel’s scientific and cultural achievements.

The idea of rebranding Israel first surfaced following the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.

The Israeli Consulate in New York reasoned that since the war against Islamic terrorism had become global, Israel had an opportunity to escape its image as the main source of conflict with the Islamic world.

US experts, hired and paid for by international Jewish donors, carried out extensive research on Israel’s image and in late 2005 the Israeli Foreign Ministry decided to make the project an official programme.

The contract with Acanchi was signed about six weeks ago, Ha’aretz said.

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