The Israeli government is planning a campaign to communicate to the international community that Israel is not occupying Palestinian territory, Israeli Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan said on Monday.
“We have not occupied any territory. There is no occupation,” she said.
Atbaryan said she disagrees with Israel’s previous attempts at branding itself as a place of innovation, advanced technology, culture and gay rights, because it failed to convince the world of Israel’s historical and legitimate rights in the area.
“That initiative says, ‘Listen, we are amazing and wonderful. We have USB sticks and cherry tomatoes and water technology and look at how we did at the Eurovision and what wonderful gay pride parades we have,’ but the response to that is often ‘that’s nice, but you have stolen and captured a house, so leave the home and do all those wonderful things somewhere else.’ We have not captured or stolen a home,” she said.
The campaign aims to explain that Jews have historical ties to Judea and Samaria, which go back thousands of years and that those rights are based on, or found to be confirmed within, the Bible. The campaign will focus its efforts on changing attitudes in the Arab world, the public diplomacy minister said.
“I don’t believe that most of the Arab world hates Jews and Zionists. There are many people in the Arab [states] who have fallen sway to mistaken information and incitement,” Atbaryan said.
The public diplomacy ministry aims to provide information and research materials for other Israeli offices and institutions that deal with public diplomacy, so that a common infrastructure for spreading the message of the “no occupation” campaign can be established.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.