Friday, July 5, 2013

July 3-5 Public Diplomacy Review


"Happy birthday, America!"; Via on NS Facebook


What if Snowden wants to attend the U.S. Embassy Moscow Fourth of July celebration with ex-Russian spy Anna Chapman? - John Brown, Notes and Essays. Chapman image from- John Brown, Notes and Essays. Chapman image from entry


2013 Fourth of July Embassy Events: Sights and Sounds Around the World - Domani Spero,


India Is -- "An initiative by Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External affairs, Government of India"


Opening the Shutters: Photojournalism and Public Diplomacy: "Join communication school director Larry Gross for a presentation by public diplomacy professor Nicholas Cull."


The July issue of the Foreign Service Journal, focusing on “Ethics for the Professional Diplomat,” contains an article on dissent by your PDPBR compiler. On an erratum in the piece, see.


Egypt crisis is ‘tricky diplomatic geometry’ for Obama administration - “'With Egypt and its democratic experiment at a tipping point, U.S. President Barack Obama finds himself trying to nudge the most populous Arab country’s bitterly divided antagonists toward compromise but finds his influence limited,” Reuters reports . ... The crisis is providing a critical test for U.S. public diplomacy and puts the administration in a no-win position, say observers."

Europe Reacts to US Surveillance Allegations - Michael Scaturro, Voice of America: "U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed to a meeting of U.S. and German security officials in the coming days to discuss allegations that the National Security Agency eavesdropped on 500 million phone calls, emails, and other data passing through Germany.

This comes as the Council of Europe, a 47-member human rights body based in Strasbourg, suggested that European governments wait for the U.S. to tell its side of the story before 'overreacting' to leaks. ... Foreign policy expert Sergey Lagodinsky, with the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, suggests that, in the wake of the allegations, the Obama administration should consider public diplomacy. 'I think the administration will have to do serious thinking regarding public diplomacy. I think what's been broken here through these leaks is the trust of Europe’s remaining Trans-Atlanticists,' said Lagodinsky." See also; image from, with caption: A member of German Piraten Partei (Pirates party) wears a mask with the portrait of Obama sporting Google Glass during a protest in Berlin's Tiergarten district on June 19, 2013.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too - Nathalie Vogel, "It is of common knowledge to anyone in the security community that the US entertains a very close and very efficient relation with its Western allies and especially Germany. Even though Germany is not among the five eyes nations, which Spiegel either conveniently or deliberately mistranslated into being a 'third class ally' instead of a 'third party state,' it is still a preferred partner when it comes to discussing issues such as homegrown terrorism, Muslim radicalism and cyber security.

Experts regard the transatlantic partnership at this level as flawless and 100% reliable. According to the same experts on both sides on the Atlantic, discord in this area in fact rarely occurs because problems are immediately addressed and solved at an early stage. Understanding the psychology of each other is key to this flawless cooperation. Both the US and Germany understand this. In this regard, the fact that Hamburg was the home base of the terrorists of the 9/11 attack is an important aspect of the equation of course, but communicating and understanding the specificity of German Angst should be a main task of US public diplomacy, too. In this context (and it is actually the biggest surprise), everyone unanimously underlines that even after the end of the cold war, Germany remains on the top priority list of US security (and not as Spiegel deliberately mistranslated it again: with 'Angriffsziel'). Together with their German ally, the US is defending security not only along the Hindukush but also in Germany. For this, the American ally deploys enormous resources and Germany is the number one beneficiary. Like it or not." Image from

A Farewell Note from Under Secretary Sonenshine Wednesday, 3 July 2013, 4:18 pm - posted at "Public diplomacy can no longer be an afterthought or a 'nice to have' element of diplomacy. Nor can it be relegated to the message of the day or the official statement or a simple tweet. There must be a concerted effort to add a layer of public engagement that builds out the circle of government-to-government ties and ensures that while the President or Secretary of State is doing the official work of international policy, that a representative of the government is doing the work of building public support for the same policy. In an ideal world, public diplomacy both 'sets the table' for policy and amplifies the policy through the connective tissue of real people. Without that, public diplomacy remains a long-term ideal without immediate impact in a world of instantaneous reaction and its marginalization will undermine its truest value. The response to State Department's public diplomacy work has been enormously positive."

State Dept Global PR Official Steps Down [subscription]- Greg Hazley, "Tara Sonenshine, the State Department's top public diplomacy and public affairs official, has stepped down after a 15-month tenure."

Sonenshine image from entry

Winning Against Terrorism: A Look at a Coordinated City, State, and National Government Strategy - "Category of Funding Activity: Education ... Estimated Total Program Funding: $50,000 Award Ceiling: $50,000 ... Winning Against Terrorism: A Look at a Coordinated City, State, and National Government Strategy India and the United States are strong partners in combating terrorism. The 26/11 2008 attack in Mumbai attracts intense debate over an Indian National Counterterrorism Center. We propose sending a team of five Indian journalists specializing in national security/foreign policy to the United States to witness firsthand counterterrorism coordination at the city, state, and national levels. The journalists will hail from media organizations with nationwide audiences and will represent a diversity of languages (Hindi, and Urdu in addition to English) and a diversity of media (print as well as television). Counterterrorism at the City, State, and National Government Level: The team may meet with the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, which provides almost all operational support to LEGATT offices in Asia including Embassy New Delhi. If there is a serious incident in Asia that impacts U.S. citizens, the field office provides investigative and forensic response. The L.A. Field Office, LAPD, and L.A. Sheriff’s Office routinely provide overviews for officials from India and other Asian countries and have been supportive in past. These federal, state, and local agencies are very accustomed to working together in unified command post situations because of the numerous high-profile special events that take place in L.A. and deal with a broad range of counterterrorism issues facing a mega-city with a port and a neighboring land border. Areas for the team to report on and to visit: •Jurisdictional overview (who has the authority to do what) • Integrating federal, state, and local authorities, personnel, and equipment •Federal/FBI field office operations • L.A.P.D. and L.A. Sheriff operations • Unified command post operations and command and control of incidents •Special event management (such as the Olympic Games) •Federal, state, and local tactical operations •Federal, state, and local crime scene management and capabilities •Federal task forces: embedded agents/officers •Utilization of technology and databases to prevent and manage incidents • L.A.P.D. and L.A. Sheriff air support • L.A.P.D. and L.A. Sheriff tactical operations • L.A. fusion center •Media from a law enforcement perspective Counterterrorism at the National Government Level: The team may meet with program facilitators of the Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series (JCTAWS). See JCTAWS was designed in collaboration with the DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a means for U.S. state, local, and city officials and private sector entities to develop their response capabilities to a complex, multi-incident, domestic terrorist attack within their jurisdictions. The program was specifically based on the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Additionally, the team may meet with representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF), the call center to the White House Situation Room, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. State Department’s Operations Center. We hope to promote an understanding of how distinct and autonomous agencies at the city, state, and national levels collaborate cooperatively and effectively to spot, assess, and respond to threats of terrorism. Link to Additional Information [:] U.S.Embassy New Delhi [.] If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact: New Delhi Grants Team Phone 91-11-2347-2302 New Delhi Grants Team Synopsis Modification History [.] There are currently no modifications for this opportunity."

Moscow joins celebration of US Independence Day - Pavel Koshkin, Russia Beyond The Headlines: “As the U.S. marks its 237th Independence Day, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul brings together Russians and Americans at his official residence, Spaso House, to foster some public diplomacy. ... Attendees discussed how the United States and Russia might use such events to improve dialogue and bilateral relations.  One guest, Vladimir I. Lebedev, assistant to the ambassador-at-large of the Russian-American Presidential Commission, said he believes the celebration of U.S. Independence Day in Moscow and celebrations of Russia’s Independence Day in America are tools to strengthen ties between Russian and American diplomats and officials.

‘With Bilateral Presidential commission and its 21 working groups we are having a good chance for developing constant dialogue between our countries,’ he said. Lebedev said that thanks to the U.S. Independence Day Russia could learn more of how to respect its own history and commemorate such events as much as possible. The president of American University in Moscow Edward Lozansky argued that July 4th events in Russia are a good example of public diplomacy and encourages people-to-people contact. ‘Communicating in a spontaneous atmosphere allows you to find new ideas, new contacts, get in touch with new people and resolve common problems,’ he said. ‘Bringing together people, organizing different concerts and creating an enjoyable atmosphere for people– that is what public diplomacy means.’” Uncaptioned image from article

How Many “Friends” Does the State Department Really Have? - Helle Dale, "A new State Department inspector general’s report accuses State of buying friends—or, more precisely, boosting its 'likes' on Facebook to up to 2 million—by spending taxpayer dollars on Internet advertising to the tune of $630,000. This is definitely not your father’s State Department at work. Apparently having trouble driving traffic to its websites, in 2011, State undertook a major campaign to boost its numbers, including buying sponsored ads to increase its English-language Facebook page 'likes' from 100,000 to more than 2 million and to 450,000 on Facebook’s foreign-language pages.

Yet the report states that all this digital public diplomacy fails to reach the desired audience of older decision makers and influencers: As few as 2 percent of fans actually interact with State’s pages. Since then-Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy James Glassman in 2007 coined the term 'Public Diplomacy 2.0,' the practice has caught on with a vengeance. The number of employees of State devoting their time to digital outreach—dealing with blogs, tweets, Facebook pages, and counterterrorism communication—has grown by leaps and bounds. Social media’s appeal is easy to see: low overhead, impressive numbers (if you can get them), and appeal to younger audiences. How to make this communication effective and quantify its public diplomacy success has always been the problem. The basic problem with State’s growing reliance on social media is that social media are, well, social. They are geared toward communication with friends and those with whom one might share a cause or interest. How many people can really say they 'like' the State Department or look forward to seeing a post from a U.S. embassy? Informational postings from the U.S. government are one thing; social interaction is very much another. The State Department on July 1 lost yet another Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, Tara Sonenshine, who is returning to private life. No word on a successor, but one of his or her first tasks should be to review State’s digital media outreach." Image from

State Dept. Spent $630,000 Buying Likes, But That Was Actually The Least Of Its Engagement Problem: from the and-honestly,-no-one-truly-'likes'-the-government-except-the-government dept - "Government entities face a much more uphill battle for hearts and minds than commercial entities, considering there's usually no end product to admire and no day-to-day presence in their lives. These entities also tend to view social media as a top-down structure from which they can dump press releases and photo ops onto the masses. This is not unlike government in general which, with the notable exception of campaign season, tends to operate in the same fashion. If these departments are unwilling to engage on a level that actually feels like engagement to the public, chances are achieving 'public diplomacy' goals via social media will be next to impossible.

'Managing' this with a bureaucractic layers of redundancy only makes things worse. 'Social media' isn't 'regular media.' It has little interest in regurgitating press releases and waiting around until government officials decide it's convenient to 'address the media.' The 'macro' effort might benefit from committees and 68-point 'Recommendations' directive, but the 'micro' moves too quickly for that. What the Inspector General found concerning the State Department and its use of social media is exactly what anyone should have expected to be discovered. The government is bureaucratic, something that meshes not at all with social media. Paying for 'Likes' is the least of the State Department's social media problems. The largest problem is that what's detailed in this report is the natural state of many government entities and it's unlikely to be solved by rearranging the desks and issuing 'clarifying' memos." Image from

US State Department spent $630,000 getting you to Like its Pages - "The US State Department has spent around $630,000 on two marketing campaigns to increase fans of its four English Facebook pages. It increased Facebook fans from about 100,000 to over 2 million for each of its English language pages. The campaigns also helped to increase interest in its foreign language pages which ranged from 68,000 to over 450,000 likes. That works out at around 12.06 cents per ‘Like’. The Department justified its advertising spend pointing to the ‘difficulty of finding a page on Facebook with a general search and the need to use ads to increase visibility’. The four English language Facebook pages had over 2.5 million fans by March 2013, however interaction was low. Only two per cent engaged with each page on Facebook.

Posts had fewer than 100 comments or shares and most of the interaction was in the form of likes on a page. The report noted that the bureau uses Facebook to advertise in 25 countries with the largest number of young users and the highest engagement rate. The International Information Programs (IIP) justified its continued spending and blamed Facebook for it needing to do this. When fans do not interact with a page, then over time, posts from the page no longer appear in the users news feed – unless the page buys sponsored story ads to ensure that the post appears on the users feeds. The Department said that the change ‘sharply reduced the value of having large numbers of marginally interested fans and means that IIP must continually spend money on sponsored story ads or else its 'reach' statistics will plummet.’" Image from entry

How much are Facebook 'likes' worth? US State Department spends $630,000 for popularity online - "The United States State Department spent $630,000 to increase the popularity of its Facebook page over the course of two years, according to a recent report released by the department's Inspector General.

Although the page gained nearly two million likes, State Department employees criticised the campaign for its failure to promote sustained engagement between the bureau and its target audience. ... Some sympathised with the Department's efforts, citing the importance of social media in diplomacy."  [Article contains comments.] Image from

OMG! State Department Dropped $630,000 on Facebook “Likes” - John Hudson, “The IG report stings -- especially because the Bureau of International Information and Programs is supposed to be Foggy Bottom's epicenter of online savvy. The bureau includes groovy-sounding divisions such as the Office of Innovative Engagement, which evangelizes on the 'importance of using online engagement to drive offline, person-to-person activities and events.' The bureau's stated mission is to be Foggy Bottom's ‘foreign-facing public diplomacy communications bureau' and supports its 'growing social media community that numbers over 22 million followers.’

Easier said than done. According to the report, first flagged by the Diplopundit, overlap and coordination issues trouble the various bureau's 150 social media accounts. The report also mentions a ‘pervasive perception of cronyism’ exacerbating its already ‘serious morale problem.’ ... Total IIP funding since fiscal year 2011 is more than $71 million with almost $55 million spent on contracting. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment. Perhaps we'll post one to their Facebook page.” See also (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24). Image from

At House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing: dismantling BBG, moving VOA to State, and other ideas - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "House Foreign Affairs Committee, 26 June 2013, hearing 'Broadcasting Board of Governors: An Agency 'Defunct' ': With video of the hearing, opening statement by chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and prepared statements by the three witnesses, former BBG chairman James K. Glassman and former BBG members Enders Wimbush and Jeffrey Hirschberg. See Kim's comments, 'The Battle for the Soul of U.S. International Broadcasting,' about the hearing and the future of US international broadcasting. USC Center on Public Diplomacy, 26 June 2013, Emily T. Metzgar: 'Today’s event on Capitol Hill broke no new ground in the debate about how to address well-recognized difficulties in the operation of U.S. international broadcasting. But the hearing carried tremendous symbolic importance: First, the subject of USIB was the focus of a nearly two-hour hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Second, discussion took as a given the litany of problems increasingly associated with the BBG, evidenced in everything from the reports of outside consultants, to consistently low employee morale, to damning GAO and OIG accounts of the status quo. Finally, both members and witnesses spoke directly about the role of USIB as part of America’s public diplomacy efforts, thus successfully framing any future hearings, debates and legislative action as more than just requisite Congressional oversight but as real foreign policy imperatives. And that is a step in the right direction.' Heritage Foundation, 1 July 2013, Helle Dale: 'A potential solution akin to the vision presented by James Glassman is to dismantle the BBG entirely and place Voice of America within the State Department, thus tying its mission closely to support of U.S. foreign policy. The surrogate broadcasters—Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting—whose journalistic mission is more closely allied to democracy-building, might find a home with the semi-independent National Endowment for Democracy. Most encouragingly, Congress has finally shown a willingness to engage in oversight of this important, struggling tool of U.S. public diplomacy. Such congressional engagement is critically important for a more effective use of U.S. taxpayer dollars—and more effective broadcasting of news and American values to people around the world.' Ibid, S. Enders Wimbush responding: 'Not surprisingly, I was both startled and amused to read Ms. Dale advocating for putting the Voice of America under its jurisdiction. Surely this is a strange position for someone from the Heritage Foundation. Apart from its statist overtones, locating the VOA in State is by definition putting it under the direction of the Secretary of State. Would Ms. Dale and Heritage be comfortable with Secretary Clinton or Secretary Kerry mobilizing the VOA to support their understanding of the failures in Benghazi, inaction in Syria, or the Russia 'reset' to a global audience?' Radio World, 26 June 2013, Leslie Stimson: 'To save federal dollars and efficiently target its resources, the witnesses and lawmakers discussed possibly eliminating some duplicative languages between all the broadcast services and/or cutting duplicative back office functions for each of the broadcasters. The hearing adjourned with no discussion of the next step.' VOA News, 26 June 2013, Cindy Saine: "After the hearing, the BBG gave VOA a statement saying the current BBG board has been working on ways to address the structural issue, reduce overlap and promote innovation, with the aim of providing the best support possible for its award-winning journalists' work around the globe, under increasingly tight budget constraints. With video report."

Kafka, the BBG, and U.S. Public Diplomacy – John Brown, Notes and Essays: “Not long after the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, declared that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy) was 'practically defunct' (a view shared by others in and out of government), A BBG  press release dated July 1 proclaims that 'For the First Time in 65 Years, BBG Content Will Be 'Legally' Available in the U.S.' -- thanks to a modification of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 that permits the stateside distribution of BBG content upon request.

So, it turns out (and I am not blaming anyone for this development, doubtless a mere coincidence), now that the BBG is supposedly ‘defunct,’ Americans can, at last, enjoy its services ... Or, cynics would say, a typical USA taxpayer will, finally, without fear of a jail sentence (I'm exaggerating), be able to witness the BBG's programs. One cannot help but be tempted to ask: Isn't a naive charm of U.S. international broadcasting -- some consider it a part of American public diplomacy -- that its status, sometimes bordering on the absurd, can appear to be straight out of a Kafka short story? ... [Comment by] Nick Cull said... Ironic indeed. Time for a serious conversation about the mission of US IB and creating a management structure suited to that end.” Kafka image from

Meet the Only 2 Americans Who Want Shadowy, Cold War Foreign Policy Back - Benjamin Cosman, "A June 28 article published on Foreign Policy’s website titled ‘Department of Dirty Tricks’ posits that ‘the United States needs to sabotage, undermine, and expose its enemies in the Middle East.’ In it, the article’s authors wax nostalgic for the Cold War and the resulting U.S. foreign policy, which saw the advent and heyday of the Central Intelligence Agency.

They argue that only through these sort of covert operations will the U.S. be able to find success in its meddling in Middle Eastern affairs. In reality, however, what Max Boot and Michael Doran suggest will only increase the rat’s nest that is U.S. policy in the Mideast and bring back antiquated strategies from a bygone era. ... That Boot and Doran argue that restored political warfare operations 'can be paid for by redirecting parts of the foreign aid, public diplomacy, and military budgets' only makes matters worse. Diverting funds from these legitimate channels in order to pursue covert operations is asinine. And while public diplomacy often leaves something to be desired – I question how earnest Secretary of State John Kerry is being when he says that the U.S. and Russia are both 'committed to the Geneva Process' – abandoning it for secret operations led by executive branch agencies would be foolish. The U.S. does not need a return to Cold War 'tradition'.” Image from article 

Ambassador to Laos: Who Is Dan Clune? - AllGov: "The landlocked, isolated Southeast-Asian nation of Laos will soon have a new ambassador who may value the relative quiet after the last two years of public controversy.

Since 2010, Dan Clune, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has served as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. ... Clune ... worked economic issues for ... five years, serving as director of the Office of Economic Policy and Public Diplomacy from 2002 to 2005." Clune image from entry

Cultural Engagement Key to Improving US-Iran Relations -- Report - Jasmin Ramsey, "Increasing U.S.-Iran cultural exchanges could lay the groundwork for better relations between the two countries, believes a prominent think tank here, despite the prevalence of stereotypical memes of the United States as the “Great Satan” and Iran as part of the ‘Axis of Evil’. According to an issue brief released on June 27 by the Washington-based Atlantic Council, the United States should reach out to Iran’s people through a variety of cultural exchanges, even as the Jun. 14 election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s next president may present an opportunity for the United States and Iran to mend their decades-long cold war. ‘Cultural and academic exchanges between the U.S. and Iran are a low-cost, high-yield investment in a future normal relationship between the two countries,’ said the brief, authored by the council’s bipartisan Iran Task Force. recommendations from the task force, comprised of an array of U.S. national security experts, included creating a non- or quasi-official working group ‘comprised of bilateral representatives from academia, the arts, athletics, the professions, and science and technology’ and an U.S. Interests Section in Tehran. ‘When it comes to countries that have no diplomatic channels like the U.S. and Iran, people-to-people diplomacy is the only route available to us,’ Reza Aslan, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told IPS.

A Fresh Perspective: Israel's public diplomacy window of opportunity - Dan Illouz, Jerusalem Post - "The recent restructuring of the government’s hasbara (public diplomacy) body opens a window of opportunity that can revolutionize Israel’s PR strategy Public diplomacy has become an essential aspect of Israel’s strategy in its battle against delegitimization. As Israel’s enemies focus their energies and resources out of the battlefield and inside various initiatives such as the BDS movement or the flotilla incident, it might seem odd that Israel’s latest coalition agreement closed down the Public Diplomacy Ministry and transferred its authority to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Does the growing importance of hasbara not warrant an expansion of the ministry’s activities rather than its closing down? In fact, closing the Public Diplomacy Ministry is a courageous move by Israel’s decision-makers, putting the state’s long-term interests before personal, short-term political gains. The ministry did not function properly; it was a bureaucratic body that employed talented people but did not seem to get anything done. ... In its new structure, the previous ministry is now a department in the Prime Minister’s Office. The prime minister has enough responsibilities and thus does not need to worry about getting credit from that specific department.

Those talented people working in that office can now focus on helping activists accomplish their goals rather than seeking political gains for the minister. Public diplomacy must come from the public The paradigm shift required in Israel’s public diplomacy management can be summarized in one simple sentence: Public diplomacy must come from the public. The individual activists are talented and passionate and the government should support these activists and incentivize innovation. The government should move away from only managing projects and dedicate some of its resources to funding and supporting activists’ projects. The recent restructuring of Israel’s hasbara bodies gives the government a unique window of opportunity to reshape its public diplomacy strategy and tip the scale in Israel’s favor in the war against delegitimization, which is becoming more important every day." Uncaptioned image from article

Grapevine: Waiting in the wings - Greeer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post: "Many [Foreign Ministry] veteran employees of the ministry earn just a little more than the basic wage, and most of them work much more than an eight-hour day and have very heavy responsibilities, in helping to maintain and enhance Israel’s political, diplomatic, economic, scientific, academic and cultural relations with 159 countries. This includes practicing public diplomacy long before the terminology entered the Israeli lexicon. Israeli delegations traveling abroad are often coached by Foreign Ministry personnel on how to behave and what they should and should not say. The same goes for Israeli cultural and entertainment icons, whose engagements abroad are often coordinated with and by the Foreign Ministry."

Israelis think apology to Turkey ‘a mistake’ - "A large majority in Israel, 71 percent, believe it was a mistake to apologize to Turkey for the killing of nine Turkish nationals by Israeli soldiers when they boarded Mavi Marmara, a humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza in May 2010, according to a recently conducted poll. Professor Efraim Inbar, the director of the Begin-Sedat Center for Strategic Studies that commissioned the poll, said 55 percent of Israelis believe Turkey’s global and regional ambitions are behind the deterioration in relations.

‘Israel-bashing brings Turkey popularity in Iran and the Islamic world,’ he said yesterday at a panel organized by Turkish Policy Quarterly and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. ... The panel saw a heated debate when the Kurdish issue came to the agenda, as Inbar said the Israeli stance on that issue depended on Turkey. ‘We may decide to do things we have refrained from so far.’ When he was asked to clarify, he said preferred not to. He was compelled to elaborate, however, when he was criticized by a member of the audience who said his statement would be perceived by the Turkish public as support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and as such it was “idiotic” rhetoric and bad public diplomacy.” Image from article, with caption: Nine Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara vessel in May 2010.

Israel Should Not Abandon Old City - Chip Bronson and Stephanie London, Beverly Hills, "David Myers does not believe that Israel’s public diplomacy, or hasbara, is inadequate. But Myers could have provided no greater proof of that inadequacy than his op-ed (The Re-’birth’ of Hope,' June 21). Myers has, somehow, come to believe that Israel’s occupation of Judea and Samaria is the cause of the obloquy and hatred that one finds in the media, on campus, and in BDS and related activism."

Americans give $274 million to aid IsraHell settlements – new report - Adri Nieuwhof, "Right-wing organizations have become an important part of the Israeli government’s propaganda ‘machine,’ a new report has found. The ruling coalition formed in Israel earlier this year has established a ministry for ‘public diplomacy,’ with the aim of stepping up cooperation between the state and nominally independent groups supporting Zionism.  A report published today by the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem documents how the ministry’s establishment follows a decade-long trend whereby the government has increasingly assigned tasks to certain organizations."

Zombies Solved the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Naomi Leight, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "While a zombie apocalypse does not quite fit the traditional model of a hegemonic power, it is an external inducement, a great power that forced governments and publics to act and change their normative beliefs. Does this mean that unless a zombie virus

breaks out and Israel becomes a safe haven, we won’t have peace between Israelis and Arabs? I’m not such a skeptic. This is where public diplomacy remains a key factor in shifting behavior over time--normative persuasion, and laying the foundation for a slow and steady migration towards a true peace, instead of needing an external crisis to force the behavior shift overnight. Peace activists, public diplomats, and ordinary citizens of both Israel and the future Palestinian state must continue to listen and learn from each other, find the commonalities and overcome fears....or pray for Ebola, the bubonic plague, flesh eating bacteria...or, clearly, a zombie apocalypse. See also Louis Proyect. "Hasbara-Lite Films: Israeli Propaganda, With Warts," CounterPunch.  Light image from entry

Increased Europe-China Cooperation Expected Following Chinese Entrepreneur Delegation to France, Belgium - "A delegation consisting of nearly 40 well-known Chinese entrepreneurs, economists and diplomats visited Belgium and France consecutively in the past week. By talks with political leaders, business leaders and well-known academic institutions in the two countries, they promoted mutual understanding and reached some preliminary intention on cooperation. ... The delegation met with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia, French President Francois Hollande and other dignitaries throughout the week. They exchanged views on bilateral trade, economic cooperation, trade friction, non-governmental exchanges, foreign investment and other topics, and the delegation presented the development of private enterprises in China. 'Indeed, today's Europe holds some emotion of anxiety about China, and it does not know much about Chinese private enterprises. It is a positive move of public diplomacy for entrepreneurs to directly communicate in Europe with politicians and actively seek cooperation with the business community to achieve mutual benefit,' said Wu Jianmin, former Chinese ambassador to France. ... CEC is an exclusive platform for communication and exchange among Chinese entrepreneurs. CEC organizes international visits in the form of public diplomacy to show the real image of Chinese businesses, strengthening communication and cooperation between Chinese business leaders and their foreign counterparts; other CEC initiatives such as the China Green Companies Alliance and the Annual Summit of Green Companies aim to explore effective paths of business sustainability. Moreover, the Green Companies magazine and Daonong Book Series are published in order to promote entrepreneurship."

Human Rights Watch submission to the UK Foreign Affairs Select Committee on the role of human rights in UK/FCO policy towards China - 'The FCO and the UK government assert that 'they consistently raise human rights concerns with the Chinese leadership, both publicly and privately,' and that rights concerns are an important element in the UK bilateral relationship with China. Human Rights Watch believes that these claims, particularly with respect to public diplomacy, are an overstatement."

Farewell Call of UK Ambassador Stephen Lillie [includes video] - "President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Datu (Katangiang Ginto) to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ambassador Stephen Lillie in a farewell call held in Malacañang. His Excellency Ambassador Lillie received the Grand Cross (Gold Distinction) in appreciation of his steadfast endeavours to strengthen the foundation and strategic relations between the two countries. He also contributed in the promotion of trade and investment and innovative approaches for public diplomacy through the use of print media, which enhanced the appreciation and understanding of the two countries’ cultural differences."

Celebrating Rwanda: On Development And Holidays In East Africa - Sarah Geisler, "Interning in the Public Diplomacy Office

at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, I have had the chance to celebrate many milestones with Rwanda: April 7th was the 19th anniversary of the beginning of the 100 day genocide. July 1st was Rwanda’s 51st Independence Day, commemorating their independence from Belgium in 1962." Image from entry, with caption: In Rwanda

Call for applications: The Young Diplomats Forum (YDF), Ankara, Turkey - "The Young Diplomats Forum (YDF) is set up to recognise, enhance and develop the next generation of diplomats. This community of exceptionally bright and accomplished future leaders will gain further insight, tools and opportunities to engage with key stakeholders at a crucial time in their careers and broaden their connections to influence global leaders.

The YDF will play host to an exceptional elite of young diplomats from across the world in a weeklong event that develops their skills and knowledge in areas around international affairs. The forum includes exciting field trips, interactive workshops, simulations, case studies, presentations and speeches from leaders from the diplomatic world. The event will excel in facilitating exchange of ideas and fostering international relationships. ... Our 2013 programme is varied from foreign policy, to sport and public diplomacy, to energy security and other topics." Image from blog heading.


Note: Due to lack of time, international news in the mainstream media opinion as it pertains to U.S. public diplomacy is not covered item by item in this section of todays' PDPBR, usually devoted to a very broad overview of mainstream media; but it can be said that  MSM mainstream media opinion on how the U.S should react to to Egyptian crisis, covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, is not unanimous: Pundits in the WJS and BYT favor the military coup; those in the WP do not).

Syrian aircraft dropping propaganda leaflets on north - Syrian government aircraft have been scattering leaflets over a northern city (Idlib) today, demanding that rebels surrender. The move comes as the two sides fight for control of a highway used by the government to bring weapons from a coastal stronghold to its troops fighting in areas held by the opposition in northern Syria. The battle for the highway is crucial to rebel efforts to retain control of the villages and towns they hold. One activist reports that the rebels dynamited a highway bridge and demolished other parts of the roads. Activists also report that Syrian troops have fired mortar shells and conducted airstrikes to try to dislodge the rebels.

‘Branding Terror’ and the Art of Propaganda - Dawn Perlmutter Branding Terror, The Logotypes and Iconography of Insurgent Groups and Terrorist Organizations is a new book that claims to present an objective analysis of terrorist symbols.

The authors, Odessa-born, German Artur Beifuss, a former United Nations counter-terrorism analyst, and Italian professional graphic designer Francesco Trivini Bellini, produced a beautiful but biased reference guide for members of the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Merrell, the book’s publishing company, specializes in art, fashion and gardening books, which should be the first clue that the information in this counter terrorism reference guide is problematic. The book’s 60 beautifully illustrated emblems, accompanied by a symbolic analysis and description of each group’s ideology, have a decidedly anti-American, anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian liberal bias that only serves to perpetuate the propaganda issued by the very terrorist organizations that are included in the book.

Soviet-Era Photography Mashups Make Propaganda Illicit - David Rosenberg, Salon: From 1926 through 1992, the only photography magazine available for both amateur and professional photographers in the Soviet Union was Soviet Photo. Because it was state-run, the images shown in the magazine were printed with the sole purpose of furthering Communist propaganda.

The artist Roman Pyatkovka worked as an underground photographer during part of that era, risking imprisonment for many of the images he took back in the 1970s and ’80s. Pyatkovka, along with a handful of other artists, wanted only to work without censorship creating work that was 'dangerous, but at the same time exciting.' Using both the propaganda imagery from Soviet Photo along with his own illicit imagery taken during the Soviet period, Pyatkovka has created a series of imagery titled “Soviet Photo,” which, he wrote, enables the viewer “to reflect on the ideals and disappointments, censorship and creativity of that time.” Image (one of several) from entry


The U.S. ranks 24th in freedom from corruption - According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States has a “freedom from corruption” score of 71,

which makes the United States rank twenty-fourth out of one hundred seventy-seven countries ranked in that category. New Zealand ranks first, with a score of 95. Image from entry


From: Once dubbed America's 'dictator' of Iraq, Paul Bremer now finds 'stress relief' in art - Ian Johnston and Alex Stambaugh,



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