November 11, 2010
It seems the Peace Now movement wants to collaborate with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to help bolster Israel's image abroad.
A meeting was held with Lieberman's deputy, Danny Ayalon, to propose the help.
At the meeting, which was initiated by Peace Now, the activists asked Ayalon if the Foreign Ministry could cooperate with Leftist circles in its hasbara [public information] efforts in Israel and abroad – in a bid to present Israel as a pluralist country that allows for a variety of opinion.
During the meeting the organisation delegates suggest to Ayalon a number of possibilities for including the Left in hasbara efforts, including sending Peace Now delegates to lecture abroad on behalf of the Foreign Ministry. “Often it’s actually the voices coming from the Left that have a better chance of improving Israel’s standing in the world than speakers from the right,” Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer told Ayalon.
Openheimer explained Yedioth Ahronoth yesterday that “although the foreign ministry has a political minister, this minister has a state duty to represent Israel in all of its variety.”
“We have no intention to become spokesmen for Lieberman. We will continue attacking his policies. But we believe the foreign ministry has an interest to encourage those other voices to be heard around the world,” Oppenheimer said.
This could only make Ayalon happy.
Ayalon promised Peace Now to take a positive look at their request. “I welcome the real and important dialogue between all parts of society and all Zionist organisations. Peace Now defines itself as a Zionist organisation, and as such I see no problem in them cooperating with the Foreign Ministry.”
And if this wasn’t enough, B’tselem director Jessica Montell met with foreign ministry officials and discussed possibilities for cooperation. Montell had met with foreign ministry officials before, but this was the first such meeting since Lieberman took office.
Peace Now needs to learn that when liberals try to work with the far right, it never works out well for the liberals.