Responding to criticism over his failure to appoint a foreign minister since March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset State Control Committee on Monday that "Israel's ties with the world are better than ever."
A recent State Comptroller report criticised public diplomacy employed by the Netanyahu's government to combat the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Referring to the report, Chair of the Knesset Control Committee, Karin Elharrar, from Yesh Atid party, criticised the government's lack of coordination in public diplomacy. "This harmed and harms Israel's public diplomacy," she said, according to Jerusalem Post.
In his defence Netanyahu said public diplomacy is not an end in itself but a means to an end. He added that success and failure are judged on the basis of international trade, foreign visitors, public opinion and that "Changes are happening for the better."
Netanyahu defended his PR performance and battle against boycotts, saying Israel making new allies worldwide, but acknowledges need for full-time top diplomat, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Regarding the BDS movement, the Israeli prime minister said that his policy had achieved many successes, citing the failed attempts to get FIFA and the Methodist Church to boycott Israel.
Netanyahu told the Knesset that his policy made the BDS busy in defending its right to boycott instead of being active in boycott activities. "The BDS movement is on the defensive," he said, "Now, they are trying to defend their 'right to boycott.'"
Netanyahu praised Israel's relations with Egypt, saying: "I think that supporting Egypt would help us. I want peace with the Palestinians, as well as with the Arab states."