Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|campaign aims to polish Sharon's image in America|
|02/17/01 at 19:06:05|
|New PR campaign aims to polish Sharon's image in America|
Monday, February 12, 2001
New York - The Israeli consulate in New York, in cooperation with two
public relations firms, has launched an "unprecedented" public relations
campaign in the American media, to improve Israel's image among the
In the coming weeks, the campaign, directed by Consul General Alon
Pinkas, will concentrate on rebuffing the ongoing attempts by commentators
and columnists to present Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon as a
belligerent extremist likely to take a hard line against the Palestinians.
The campaign was launched after the consulate signed a contract with
Howard Rubinstein and the firm of Morris Corrick Goma (MCG), which
together will be responsible for shaping the content of the campaign and
Rubinstein's company is one of the largest public relations firms in
America and will deal with obtaining access to the media; it will and
organize appearances by senior Israeli officials on television programs,
and interviews with quality newspapers and journals. MCG will deal with
planning the goals and strategy of the campaign.
At a meeting Pinkas held yesterday with representatives of Howard
Rubinstein, it was decided that the central messages would be that there
will not be any negotiations for peace as long as the violence continues,
and that the responsibility for the current poor state of relations
between Israel and the Palestinians would be laid at Arafat's door.
Additionally, the Boston firm of Martilla Communications will conduct
public-opinion polls to examine views among Americans concerning the
Middle East, and specifically, towards Israel and its policies.
A senior consular official refused to say how much the campaign would
cost. The funding will come from the foreign ministry budget, and
according to a senior official, will cost "a few thousands dollars a month."
Since Election Day, consul Pinkas has appeared on eight talk shows on
local television stations, and has conducted four debriefing sessions
with the editors of four leading papers.
The public opinion polls will include Jews and non-Jews. In order to
prevent political use being made of the results, the pollsters were
instructed not to relate to political questions or Israeli politicians. The
goal of the pollsters is to pinpoint individuals and audiences
interested in foreign news and in the international area, and to examine their
preferred sources of information.
The polls have so far found that while most columnists have showed an
understanding of Sharon's victory - which has been described as the
response of the majority in Israel to the Palestinian's recalcitrance -
very negative comments have been heard on local radio stations, with a
commentator dubbing Sharon a "butcher.
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