The Public Diplomacy Ministry plans to send 100 Israelis from different sectors in society abroad to represent and defend the state during Israel Apartheid Week.
The “Faces of Israel” mission, which leaves next weekend, includes settlers, Arabs, artists, experts in national security, gay people, and immigrants from Ethiopia. Actor Aki Avni will also join the group.
The participants in the project have undergone several weeks of training in the Public Diplomacy Ministry, and will visit dozens of college campuses to battle the “apartheid” label in New York, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, Montreal, Dublin, London, Madrid, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The mission will be split into 20 groups that will participate in conferences and panels, as well as speak directly to college students.
“Most of those who hate Israel have the same disease: ignorance,” Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said. “We are sure that the answer to the attempts to de-legitimize Israel is not just to give facts and data, but to bring Israel to them.”
According to Edelstein, the groups plan to explain to students that they are all Israelis who come from different walks of life, yet choose to remain in Israel. The mission’s participants were chosen to show that Israel has a diverse society that values equality and human rights, he explained.
The minister said he hopes that students abroad who are meeting real Israelis for the first time will stop the “messages of incitement and hatred that, at the end of the day, could reach students that are the leaders of tomorrow.”