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Press Release – 4 June 2007

“Israel’s image is at its peak” says The Jerusalem Post’s Gil Hoffmann

Gil Hoffmann, political correspondent and columnist for The Jerusalem Post, proved that he is indeed the most optimistic man in Israel in his address to the community entitled, “What the Future Holds: An Insider’s Look at Israeli Politics”, at Beth Weizmann on Sunday June 4th.

The Israeli people have elected in Kadimah a party who is committed to, “…moving forward immediately on the big issues”, remarked Hoffmann, drawing on the literal Hebrew meaning of the word. “To understand this, you must have experienced a traffic jam in Israel, where we honk our horns and yell – Yalla, Kadimah”, joked Hoffmann. But all joking aside, by voting in Kadimah, Israelis proved that they want to move on from the recent stalemate issues such as, working towards a solution with the Palestinians; bridging the gap between rich and poor; stabilizing the political system by curbing the frequency of elections and defining Israel’s permanent borders by unilateral withdrawal.

Having just spent 6 months on the campaign trail with Olmert, as well as the other candidates, Hoffmann demonstrated his expertise and knowledge of Israeli internal politics in addressing whether and how Kadimah will fulfil its main election promises and whether Olmert will pass the 3 keys tests: selling his policies and ideas internally, internationally, as well as proving himself worthy of the leadership. “Ehud Olmert is a good salesman and experienced in regards to travelling the world and selling Israel, so he could prove successful…” Hoffmann commented. “How he will fare as a leader is also a huge test and yet to be proven, “he said.

Hoffmann’s optimism is well-founded with recent statistics in The Jerusalem Post proving that Israel’s image is at its peak, particularly in Europe, after several years of taking a battering in the international media. “Israel invaded Gaza this week, but there was no mention of it in the news”, he pointed out.

The following morning, June 5th, Hoffmann discussed the topic, “Peeved at Israeli PR”,
at Beth Weizmann for the active Israel Advocacy Network, which meets on a monthly basis.

Advocacy issues such as the British academia ban on Israeli institutions; continued media bias by television stations SBS and The Age newspaper; and the general difficulty in getting balanced reports published, were focal points for discussion by the group.

Hoffmann addressed the advocates about the importance of focusing on positive advocacy, rather than reacting to issues. “Talk to the 95% that do want to hear what you have to say, rather than that extreme 5% who will never accept what you have to say”, he stressed.

“Remind your audience that 100 out of 120 Knesset members believe in a 2-state solution and that Kadimah was elected to make this happen. But even more importantly, separate Israel in and out of politics; present Israel beyond the conflict”, Hoffmann concluded, quoting Alan Dershowitz, “Focus on the positive aspects, that will unite all people”.