Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid appointed Israeli-American actress and activist Noa Tishby as the state’s first-ever special envoy for combating anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel.
“She is a gifted author and thinker who has long been a powerful voice on issues of antisemitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel,” Lapid said regarding Tishby. “In this fight, it’s critically important to tell the Israeli story well, influence decision-makers and world opinion, and to be quick and powerful in our response to acts of hate and violence directed against Jews.”
Lapid said that few people were “better prepared to do that on the world stage than Special Envoy Tishby.”
In her role, Tishby will “act on behalf of the Foreign Ministry to spearhead initiatives worldwide before key audiences, generate an international dialogue, and respond to acts of antisemitism,” the foreign minister’s office added in a statement.
I’m proud to name @NoaTishby as the first-ever @IsraelMFA Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism & the Delegitimization of Israel. In this new role, Noa will be a powerful voice in the fight against the rising tide of hate directed at Jews and the State of Israel. pic.twitter.com/PJo4ZphMIt— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid🟠 (@yairlapid) April 11, 2022
Tishby, 44, became famous in Israel for her starring role in an Israeli soap opera in the 1990s. She later took her acting talent and production skills to Hollywood. In Los Angeles, she became an outspoken advocate for Israel and authored the book, “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.”
Dividing her time between Los Angeles and Israel, Tishby often gives speeches in front of international audiences and influential Jewish groups. She describes herself as liberal, with strong positions on Israeli security and defense. Whenever Israel finds itself involved in a new security escalation, Tishby takes to social media and makes on-air appearances to explain the situation and appeal to a wide range of political opinions, including ones held by anti-Israel top celebrities.
“I like to say that I am 100% Israeli and 100% American, and I believe I can be a bridge between the sides,” Tishby told the Jewish Insider. She plans to focus on “the silent majority” of Americans, which she defines as people “with common sense, not those on the fringes of society who have been brainwashed.”
Tishby would serve as an official envoy for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, but not as a government employee as the role is unpaid. Her guiding agenda is to allow people to see that the increase in anti-Semitism is bad for all of society. She wishes to raise awareness in international forums, including the United Nations, and push more governments and organizations to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism as a legal baseline.
“Israel is the only country that has its right to exist questioned, and I have realized that this is an existential threat,” Tishby concluded in her interview with the Jewish Insider. “But this is not only a Jewish issue, it is not only an Israeli issue, it is also an issue of security for the U.S. and everyone.”
Israel and 16 other European nations have laws in place that criminalize Holocaust denial. The latest country to join that list is Canada. The move has the backing of both Liberals and Conservatives in the Canadian parliament, which is set to add the Holocaust denial clause to the criminal code in the must-pass government budget.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.