The Israeli government is to launch a wide-ranging campaign to boost the global image of Jewish settlers and bolster its illegal settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories. The move was announced by the Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yulu Edelstein.
The campaign will include direct and indirect media activities which target social networks across the world. The main aim is to create some degree of legitimacy to Israeli settlement activity in areas considered by Tel Aviv to be "disputed", and counter anti-settlement activities which oppose settlers' attacks on Palestinian lands carried out with open and tacit support from the Israeli government.
Edelstein claimed that the proactive campaign will cost around $250,000. He wants to "expose opinion-makers to the complex Israeli reality, thus improving Israel's global image."
In response, Israel's Peace Now movement said that the government is wasting public funds.
"The government has turned into the Settler Council's public relations firm, and is financing these endeavours with money from the pockets of Israeli taxpayers," said Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer. "Even when the time comes to cut budgets in other fields, there is always money to be spent on the settlers' image."