International media expert Peter Lerner: Ignoring BDS is an ineffective strategy for Israel
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Ben Caspit speaks this week with Lt. Col. (res.) Peter Lerner, the former director of international media at the IDF's spokesperson’s office. Commenting on Israel’s repeated failures in the field of public diplomacy, Lerner says that “In Israel, we are very good at improvising, we are fantastic with innovation, but public accountability, responsibility and transparency are limited. We do have a hard case to make, but we can also do better on public diplomacy.” Lerner cites as a negative example the case of Israel’s ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely, recently attacked by BDS activists when coming out of a university lecture. For Lerner, immediately after the incident, Hotovely failed to enter into a “media-crisis-mode,” and she also focused her reactions on Israeli media, instead of addressing primarily the British press.