Israelis to become goodwill ambassadors


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A new campaign will turn Israeli citizens into goodwill ambassadors for Israel abroad.

The Ministry for Public Diplomacy and the Diaspora has started an initiative to teach Israelis how to present Israel positively. The initiative includes pamphlets given to Israeli passengers leaving Ben Gurion International Airport, a Web site and training workshops across the country.

The trainees will include ordinary citizens, as well as businessmen, celebrities, athletes, youth groups participants and politicians, among others.

“To counter the vast sums of money invested by Arab states in propaganda against Israel, we have to mobilize our human capital, meaning the residents of Israel,” Information Minister Yuli Edelstein said in a statement.

A poll commissioned by the ministry found that 91 percent of the 495 Jewish Israelis surveyed believed that Israel has a bad or very bad image abroad. Some 85 percent said they would want to help represent Israel when they are abroad.

Three million Israelis go abroad each year.

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