By Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky
The Israeli Foreign Ministry made a strategic decision about a decade ago to base the country’s image on this “PR Trinity”: tourism, hi-tech, gay rights. This strategy does not work – practically and spiritually. There is another “trinity” Israel has to sell.
A few years ago my friend, one of the top world graphic designers and an ardent Christian Zionist (a rare bird, since this form of art, like any other art, is dominated by the Left) proposed to the Israeli Foreign Ministry to bring his international colleagues on tour to Israel and show them the separation wall, the bomb shelters of Sderot, the revived Jewish villages of Judea and Samaria (slurred as “settlements”), heroic Jewish pioneers living there and the Jewish victims of terror attacks. All that, as my friend planned, would make this international artist elite understand the Israeli side of the story and probably even turn them into supporters of Zionism.
It may have worked, but the Israeli Foreign Ministry shot down the proposal. They told my friend that they do not want to put emphasis on the Arab-Israeli conflict, settlements and terrorism. Instead, they want to show the world that Israel is a great place for tourists, investors into hi-tech and that Tel-Aviv is the best place on earth for LGBT revelers.
My friend was in shock. Does it help Israel, he asked me. Well… At least a decade has passed since this new PR strategy was put into action. It didn’t reduce anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. It did not add new friends. Old friends of Israel, Christian Zionists, had to redouble their prayer efforts asking the Almighty to protect Israel and not to hold against his holy nation this new unholy strategy.
Divine Relations apart, these Public Relations gimmicks do not work practically. Innovations in medicine, communications, weapons and agriculture are all good but not unique. The same goes for tourism and gay rights. Dozens of countries have the same.
However, Israel has a unique “PR trinity”: Land-People-Torah. Promote it – and Israel with garner millions of new supporters.
Put the government hasbara (public diplomacy) resources into creative delivery of the gist of Israeli story: Jewish devotion to Torah, to keeping the nation from assimilation and to the Land made restoration of the State of Israel after 2000 years of exile – the greatest national history on Earth.
Israel should also stress that it owes its success to a universal “trinity” which can be emulated by any nation: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness:
Israel is devoted to Life since Abraham was stopped by God from sacrificing his son 3800 years ago.
Israel is devoted to Liberty, proving 74 years ago, in the Independence War, that a dream of being a free nation in its ancestral land – is not just a dream.
And Israel is successful in its pursuit of happiness since the creation of the modern economy 25 years ago, because that pursuit of prosperity always went hand in hand with the devotion to the higher ideals mentioned above.
That message will inspire additional millions of people in the United States and Canada, in Australia and New Zealand, in the UK and EU, in India and South Korea – all places where people feel that the foundation of their national life is being eroded by the woke culture, betrayal of their traditions, faith and national sovereignty – in favor of some faceless international digital government.
Encourage tourists to visit not the gay clubs of Tel-Aviv and not even the usual Christian holy sites, but the restored Biblical communities of Judea and Samaria, take them onto the Temple Mount and talk about the spiritual innovation: making Jerusalem, the Israel’s ancient and undivided capital, the true center of global unity.
Marketing what everyone sells is a bad marketing strategy. Sell the authentic and unique product – and you will prosper.
Dr Dmitry Radyshevsky is a Moscow-born Harvard-educated Israeli-American theologian, political analyst and writer. Author of “Universal Zionism” and “The New Maccabees”. He’s the founder of Jerusalem Summit – a think-tank dedicated to uniting the free world around Jerusalem and developing a joint strategy against the twin dangers: “Man without God” of Post-Liberalism and “God without man” of totalitarian states’ Statism and Islamism.