A private, low-profile ‘public diplomacy’ outfit is setting out to train ‘Secret Hasbara Agents.’ But don’t worry, it’s not propaganda. A private Israeli hasbara – or “public diplomacy” – organization on Wednesday put out one of the weirdest responses yet to the incitement campaign by far-right group Im Tirzu of two weeks ago.

The Israeli government believes it is locked in an epic struggle to save Israel from the growing movement calling for an international boycott. Benjamin Netanyahu warns that Israel must “rebrand” itself to avoid pariah status. Ordinary Israelis are therefore being conscripted into an army of spin doctors in a campaign termed “hasbara”.

On the morning of Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Israel’s public diplomacy awoke form a deep slumber. It had been blissfully reposing for more than two years, since the day Yuli Edelstein completed his term as minister of diplomacy and Diaspora affairs. Has anyone even noticed that no one took over that ministry in the interim? So let’s give a warm round of applause as we welcome his replacement: Minister Gilad Erdan. 

Last week, the Jerusalem Post announced a new joint venture between the Israeli Prime Minister's office and StandWithUS, a nonprofit organization, aimed at training university students on how to use social media to educate the world about Israel. 

There was a strong diplomatic presence, including Ambassador Shapiro, at the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade in 2012

Are there too many cooks in Israeli PD? CPD Blogger Ilan Manor answers.

Israel’s hasbara efforts just received an enormous boost thanks to a new collaborative effort launched jointly by the Prime Minister’s Office and StandWithUs. The initiative, in which StandWithUs will coordinate closely with the PMO’s National Information Directorate, is designed to “educate young people about how to use social media for education and public diplomacy.”

Israel’s current Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, aimed at stemming rocket fire from the coastal enclave, may also propel the issue forward as the Jewish state faced a torrent of criticism partly, many believe, due to less than desirable public diplomacy efforts. “I think that the war itself will be the catalyst for that to happen, because I think people realize how critical it is that this just be organized,” Lipman affirmed.

The Financial Times was blunt in a recent editorial entitled ‘Anti-Semitism is a menace to us all: Criticism of Israel should not extend to Jews worldwide.’ “Israel, a mature democracy, is frequently subjected to a double standard that is not applied to other states. In London this month, thousands marched in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza.