Netanyahu Cancels Anti-Diaspora Ad Campaign

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News from Goldblog Headquarters: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his country's Ministry of Immigrant Absorption to immediately shut down its ridiculous Diaspora-bashing ad campaign, which was meant to guilt Israeli expatriates in America into going home. I first wrote about this campaign here; the original post prompted Israel's Immigration Minister, Sofa Landver, to tell Shmuel Rosner that Goldblog is a know-nothing and to defend rather too vociferously the ad campaign.

Goldblog just got off the phone with the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, who had brought the campaign to the attention of the prime minister after my first post on the subject appeared. Oren read to me the following statement:

"The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption's campaign clearly did not take into account American Jewish sensibilities, and we regret any offense it caused. The campaign, which aimed to encourage Israelis living abroad to return home, was a laudable one, and it was not meant to cause insult. The campaign was conducted without the knowledge or approval of the prime minister's office or of the Israeli embassy in Washington. Prime Minister Netanyahu, once made aware of the campaign, ordered the videos immediately removed from YouTube, and he ordered that the billboards be removed as well. The prime minister deeply values the American Jewish community and is committed to deepening ties between it and the State of Israel."

So there you have it: Another Diaspora-Israel crisis averted. The prime minister has acted swiftly and correctly. Goldblog's work here is done. Shabbat Shalom.  

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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