Culture, Israel, Politics

Event: Israel’s Image in New Media: Perspectives from a Government Insider and from an Activist Outsider

Next Wednesday (11/10) at NYU:
Full details are available on RHR-NA’s blog

The Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America and Natan.TV Present:
A Debate on Israel’s Image in New Media:
Perspectives from a Government Insider and from an Activist Outsider
Wednesday, November 10 at 7:30 PM
at NYU Meyer Hall, Room 122
5 Washington Place, between Broadway and Mercer Street in New York City
Open to the Public
Featuring David Saranga (Former Consul for Media & Public Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in NY)
and Noam Sheizaf (Journalist, Blogger and Co-Editor of +972 Magazine)
Moderated by Natan Edelsburg

Do you perceive Israel as a country of social liberalism, technological and scientific advancement and beaches full of sexy men and women or do you see Israel as a country of eroding democracy, militarism and human rights abuses? Hear from two people who play a pivotal role in shaping what we hear and see from Israel in the West. Find out how new media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs and more) are being used to amplify messages and images about Israel and cover controversial topics. Do these tools help or hurt Israel’s image? Do they make it more honest? Difficult and exciting questions will be asked of both panelists.

David Saranga: David Saranga is a career diplomat and a leading figure in the nascent diplomacy and social media arena. He recently ended a four year-term as The Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the Consulate of Israel in New York. In that capacity he was responsible for Israel’s image in the U.S. and was the main Israeli contact person for national American media outlets based in New York. David was the first diplomat to create an official blog of a country, a MySpace page, YouTube channel, Facebook page and press conference via Twitter. He was a key media spokesperson for Israel about International Court of Justice hearings in The Hague, the West Bank barrier, and the 2008 war with Hamas in Gaza. His initiatives to transform Central Park into a Tel Aviv Beach Party for Tel Aviv’s 100th Anniversary, to promote LGBTQ tourism to Israel and to invite Maxim magazine to Israel generated significant debate about the definition of public diplomacy. David is currently leading the Digital Diplomacy initiatives of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, he is a professor at the School of Communications at IDC Herzliya and an Instructor for “New Media, Social Networks and Public Diplomacy” at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Annenberg School, University of South California. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University.
Noam Sheizaf: Noam Sheizaf is an Independent journalist and editor who was born in Ramat-Gan and now lives and works in Tel Aviv. After serving in the IDF for four and a half years, he worked for the Ha-ir local paper in Tel Aviv, for and for the Maariv daily paper; his last post with Maariv was as a deputy editor of their weekend magazine. He currently serves as an editor of the new +972 Magazine, runs the Promised Land Blog, and writes for Haaretz, Yedioth Ahronoth and other Israeli papers and magazines.
Moderator – Natan Edelsburg: Natan Edelsburg is a senior in the Department of Media, Culture and Communications at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. He is the the Founder and CEO of Natan.TV. Natan has been an intern, student and entrepreneur in media, technology and entertainment while serving as a contributor to different news sites including Huffington Post, The New York Times’ Local East Village blog,, and NYU Local.

4 thoughts on “Event: Israel’s Image in New Media: Perspectives from a Government Insider and from an Activist Outsider

  1. Really? Because the copy above makes this event seem like the usual “Israel invented AIM” PR bullshit designed to distract from the occupation. Israel doesn’t have a PR problem, it has a justice and democracy problem. Any conversation about israel’s “image” is totally missing the point.

  2. Chorus of Apes,
    While David Saranga will be presenting an Israeli government perspective of its PR spin in new media, Noam Sheizaf will be providing a counter-perspective as a major new media voice from the activist Israeli left. He will be talking about the threats to Israeli democracy, human rights abuses and the occupation.
    Check out Noam’s work at +972 Magazine. Noam and his colleagues from +972 have brought together almost all of the leading Israeli English language bloggers from the left into one hub; their content is primarily aimed at a Western audience outside of Israel. He is working to amply new media voices of opposition from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
    Come to the debate and judge for yourself.
    Joshua Bloom
    Director of Online Communications
    Rabbis for Human Rights-North America

  3. Great! Sounds interesting. I just skimmed 972, and it looks like a great resource. The copy for this event doesn’t really make clear what will be discussed because it is framed as a debate over “image” rather than a conversation about substance. Wish I could be there.

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