Responding to criticism over his failure to appoint a foreign minister since March, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Knesset State Control Committee on Monday that “Israel’s ties with the world are better than ever”.
A recent State Comptroller report criticized public diplomacy employed by Netanyahu’s government to combat the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Referring to the report, Chair of the Knesset Control Committee, Karin Elharrar, from Yesh Atid Party, criticized the government’s lack of coordination in public diplomacy.
The devil himself… https://t.co/pjXhCQNc1R
— The Hardcore News (@SzaboServices) July 26, 2016
“This harmed and harms Israel’s public diplomacy,” she said, according to Jerusalem Post.
In his defense Netanyahu said public diplomacy is not an end in itself but a means to an end. He added that success and failure are judged on the basis of international trade, foreign visitors and public opinion, and that “Changes are happening for the better.”
Netanyahu defended his PR performance and battle against boycotts, saying Israel was making new allies worldwide, but acknowledges the need for a full-time top diplomat, as reported by The Times of Israel.
Alharrar: Since new govt formed no full-time foreign minister. Points out Netanyahu holds 5 portfolios.
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) July 25, 2016
Regarding the BDS movement, the Israeli prime minister said that his policy had achieved many successes, citing the failed attempts to get FIFA and the Methodist Church to boycott Israel.
Netanyahu told the Knesset that his policy made the BDS busy with defending its right to boycott instead of being active in boycott activities. “The BDS movement is on the defensive,” he said, “Now, they are trying to defend their ‘right to boycott.’”