Netanyahu Cancels Anti-Diaspora Ad Campaign

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.  

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/12/netanyahu-cancels-anti-diaspora-ad-campaign/249404/