Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Ambassadors from Sderot" to visit Europe

Monday, May 28, 2007

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

A delegation of residents from Sderot - "The Ambassadors from Sderot" - will visit Europe with the aim of gaining European sympathy for the plight of the residents of Sderot and the surrounding areas.

The idea of sending delegations of residents from Sderot and the surrounding areas was initiated because of the unbalanced reporting of the security situation, primarily in the European media.

The first delegation of some 40 French-speaking residents will leave on Wednesday (30th May) for Switzerland, France and Belgium

The visiting delegation will meet with members of the press, members of parliament, members of the Jewish community and with regional leaders. The delegates will tell of their personal experiences from the long years of constant shelling, the effects on their families, their businesses and their daily life.

A similar delegation, made up of English-speaking residents, is due to depart shortly. The second delegation will visit the Netherlands and Great Britain. Their agenda has been planned by the Israeli embassies in those countries and by the Jewish Agency.

Europe is considered a central sphere in the fight for public opinion, due to the unbalanced reporting of the European media, which tends to inflate reports on Palestinian suffering, but does little to detail the suffering of the residents of Sderot.

The delegations expenses will be covered by the MFA, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.

Prior to their departure, the delegates will participate in a workshop organized by the MFA, which will include background briefings on political and media-related subjects and instruction on appropriate methods of interacting with the media.


FM Livni meets with British Ambassador Tom Phillips

Source: Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met today with Mr. Tom Phillips, British ambassador to Israel, with regard to reports that certain institutions and unions in the UK intend to boycott their Israeli counterparts.

FM Livni expressed her disapproval of the intended boycott, and stated that it may have an adverse effect on public opinion in both countries. She further stated that the boycott is completely contradictory to the positive relationship between the two countries.

Ambassador Phillips stated that the British government is opposed to any intention to boycott Israel. He reiterated his country's position that a boycott or sanctions will not help the Israelis or Palestinians achieve their goals.

The Ambassador detailed the activities of the "British Council", aimed at strengthening the bond between academic institutions in the UK and Israel and the cooperation between various institutions and private citizens in both co