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Israel’s Embassy in Italy Opposes Book Deal

There appears to be a row taking place between Israeli diplomatic officials in Rome and the Foreign Minister in Yerushalayim.

Apparently, the Foreign Ministry has instructed the embassy to purchase 500 copies of the book “From Jerusalem to Rome” which was written by former Israeli Ambassador to Rome Ehud Gol. The cost of such a purchase would be 6,000 euro (approximately NIS 32,000).

Ministry officials explain the book should be distributed to the media and other appropriate institutions in a public relations move. Officials in the embassy reject the directive, denying the book has any public relations value, insisting it is nothing more than an attempt to promote the former ambassador’s agenda.

When embassy officials in Rome explained they do not have a budget for such a purchase, ministry officials in Israel stated they would fund 5,000 euro.  When the embassy explained they lack the funds for stamps and other costs in the project, the ministry allocated an additional 1,000 euro.

The story continues. When Ofer Mazar, an administrative official in the embassy turned to the ministry to explain the reason behind the project, his inquiry was met with a scathing response, “how dare he question a directive!”

According to Aviv Shiran, the ministry’s deputy public relations official, the book was indeed studied and it was deemed valuable as a public relations tool to forward Israel’s agenda abroad. He added that the purchase of the book was approved by Victor Harel, the ministry’s general auditor.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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