- 24 June 2010
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- (February 19, 2010, Burlington, Vermont) American and Israeli human rights activists interrupted a performance by the Israel Ballet at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, Vermont, unfurling banners which read “Sponsored by Apartheid Israel” and “No tutu is big enough to cover War Crimes”.
The Israel Ballet is currently touring the U.S. as part of an official state campaign, dubbed “Brand Israel” to use the Arts to revive its sagging image abroad in the wake of unanimous condemnation from the major human rights organizations and, most recently, the U.N. “Goldstone Report”.
The Israeli government, deeply worried about the country’s declining international image, began a campaign in February 2010 to turn every Israeli — and ultimately every Jew — into a traveling public relations agent.
According to the New York Times: Eytan Gilboa, (director of the Center for International Communications at Bar-Ilan University outside Tel Aviv) is a longtime advocate of improved public diplomacy for Israel, he states that some of what the ministry published was fine, but he added that he did not believe that the country’s poor image had to do with a misperception that it was primitive. “This country’s main challenges are the false comparison people make with an apartheid state and the questioning of its right to exist,” Mr. Gilboa said. “And the pamphlets don’t deal with those.”
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