Israel is the victim of fake news.
So says Israel’s Ambassador to Samoa, Dr. Itzhak Gerberg, who claims the media outlets all over the world paint a “picture that Israel is a dangerous place to visit when in actuality that is inaccurate.”
This one of the reasons the Israeli Government invested in taking 13 journalists as part of a Pacific tour, including two from Samoa to Tel Aviv, Israel.
Other Pacific Islands representatives include Fiji, Niue, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.
Dr. Gerberg, during a meeting with the Samoa Observer over the weekend, expressed disappointment about how the media is not presenting Israeli Government in a proper light.
“There is a lot of misinformation about Israel, and we are of the mindset, seeing is believing hence the Israeli Government is investing in taking the Pacific journalists to the promise land.”
“This way you will see what Israel is all about, you see the truth and what we can offer for Samoa and the Pacific Islands; as you have witnessed it first hand,” he said.
Dr. Gerberg, who also serves as the Ambassador for Tonga, said there are many untrue stories told about Israel.
“For example in New Zealand, they take stories out of context from what was reported by international media and they use a photo for an article which has nothing to do with the article.”
“Sometimes it is just crazy.”
“Israel is the victim of fake news, I mean it is misinformation, but now it is more popular to just call it what it is, fake news,” said Dr. Gerberg.
Israeli Government Pacific Islands Advisor, Yaron Sultan Dadon, told the Samoa Observer the importance of the tour.
“This tour is vital, given the strong ties between the Pacific and the State of Israel,” he said.
“It’s important to keep the connection and relationships not only at the Government level, but also we should ensure our stories from both sides get to the people in a manner indicating the strong and healthy relationship the Pacific and Israel have.”
The journalists visited to the General Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yuval Rotem and Gilad Cohan, Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Region; Ariel Shafransky, Center for Policy Research – The Geopolitical Situation in Syria and the Israel International Cooperation Center - Mashav.
They also visited the Israeli Parliament – The Knesset and the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Yad Vashem; the Old City in Jerusalem; Mount Herz’l, Mount Bental, Yardenit and Tiberia, the Shuk Hacarmel (The Carmel Market), the Beit Hatfutsot, Masada, the Dead Sea and many other places.