Israel's outgoing Gov't Press Officer, Danny Seaman, reveals complexities of serving a biased, foreign press

Israel's Government Press Office is part of the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry and is responsible for being in contact and dealing with foreign journalists in the country, issuing official press cards to journalists and media employees in Israel, coordinating media coverage for state events and official visits by foreign leaders.

JPost editor-in-chief David Horovitz interviews Israel's outgoing Gov't Press Office director, Danny Seaman (who has has held the post since 2000) in the Jerusalem Post:
Is the departing Seaman a heroic advocate for Israel who is being shamefully and counter-productively treated by his foolish, short-sighted, lily-livered bosses? Or should someone so candid and opinionated never have been entrusted with the ultra-delicate task of liaising with the international media? 

Danny Seaman: This goes back to the whole issue of Israel’s hasbara failures since the Oslo Accords. We pulled the rug out from under our arguments. The moment in the Oslo process when we didn’t completely stand up for our narrative, we gave legitimacy to the Palestinian claims. [We gave up on] our positions, our claims, our rights!

David Horovitz: As regards the Old City, east Jerusalem...?

Seaman: Every place! My grandfather came here from Afghanistan, not because of Tel Aviv and not because of Haifa, but because of our ancestral right to the Land of Israel. And without our right to the Land of Israel we have no right to the State of Israel; we are no more than the colonialist occupiers which they claim we are. For many years, we used this claim of our right to Eretz Yisrael, not as a political statement, but as a case of genuine historical reasoning. You can’t say that it’s a right-wing argument. It has nothing to do with my positions or my being a right-winger. It’s a fact."
This revealing interview is worth reading in its entirety.

 DemoCast filmed this talk by Danny Seaman about the complexities of democratic Israel having to administer a biased, damaging foreign press - at the Jerusalem Conference following the Operation Castlead into Gaza in January, 2009.

Mr. Seaman will be succeeded by Netanyahu consultant Oren Helman. Mr. Helman has a master's degree in public administration and has served - inter alia - as Israel Broadcast Authority Spokesman and an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he served as Finance Minister.

On a related note, Tovah Lazaroff writes in the Jerusalem Post:

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu responds to int'l (Pres. Obama in Indonesia's) criticism about Israeli plans to advance 1,345 homes in Jewish areas of east J'lem by saying gov't never agreed to place any restrictions on construction in capital, which has 800,000 residents.

"Jerusalem is not a settlement, it is the capitol of Israel," the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday in a sharp retort to international criticism about plans for 1,345 homes in Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.

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