Monday, September 18

Israel's new media relations chief enters the fray (Exclusive Audio)

David Horovitz, The Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief has a great interview with Miri Eisen, the new media relations point man - 'er, woman, in the Prime Minister's Office.

In an ascerbic, wickedly accurate opening, David deftly deconstructs what Israel has to offer the maw of world media coverage of events here:

I keep thinking that it must be here somewhere - at the end of a distant corridor, or hidden in some overlooked wing: The Communications Department of the Prime Minister's Office.

In one room, facing banks of television screens, the PM's expert news monitors are doubtless taping and taking notes on live broadcasts from the Arab world and beyond. In another, the rapid-response information unit is bound to be collating the material Israel wants conveyed to the world in urgent response to current events, commissioning the necessary film clips and interviews. In a third, the strategic team, a carefully chosen mix of academics and ex-intelligence wizards and media veterans, is obviously formulating the wider, longer-term messages Israel seeks to impress upon the rest of the global village, gearing up for its routine daily liaison session with the communications departments of the Foreign Ministry and the IDF, and for its crucial weekly meeting with the prime minister.

But alas, as Col. (res.) Miri Eisin, the transparently decent, earnest new English-speaking face of the Prime Minister's Office, knows all too well, there are no news monitors here, no instant-response team, no strategic planning unit. On the so-called "second battlefield," the media arena where official Israel tries to impact the world's perception of what is happening on the real front line, Eisin is Ehud Olmert's lone English-language soldier.

"We're a small staff," she acknowledges with heart-breaking understatement...

Read it all.

I recorded Eisen at a moving address she gave at a 2004 memorial service for North American immigrants who died in battle or in terrorism against Israel, held by the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel. She talks about her parents brave decision to make "aliyah" (immigration to Israel), and her decision put down roots here, and proudly raise a family in the face of terror and tyranny.

Well worth listening to.

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