Israel’s image continues to take a beating. Just Wednesday, July 7, 2010, there was a report – widely repeated in the media and Twittersphere that Dustin Hoffman and Meg Ryan, two Hollywood A-list actors (well, maybe Meg is A- or B+ these days) had backed out of advanced negotiations designed to bring them to Israel for the upcoming Jerusalem Film Festival. The festival opens July 8, 2010. (Update: According to gojerusalem.com, French actor Jean Reno, star of the festival’s opening film, is planning to attend.)
The JTA offered a good analysis of the anti-Israel feeling and the delegitimization campaign(?) and cited a recent report by Tel Aviv’s Reut Institute that offered suggestions on how to combat it. The article also notes that the government hasn’t done anything like what the report calls for, and says other efforts, from “re-branding” Israel to quicker responses to breaking news, haven’t done much to combat the phenomenon, either.
That’s where the Hartman Institute’s Engaging Israel Project is looking to enter and change the debate. Engaging Israel is focused on bringing Jewish values to the dilemmas of nationhood. Panelists such as Donniel Hartman, Gil Troy, Yossi Klein Halevi, and others have already been writing about the project, even before it comes out with a final report or conclusions.
Hundreds have already signed up for emails updating the Panel’s progress. Sign up today and get on board and participate in the discussion.