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Article: Setting Up Shop for Israel Advocacy—Diaspora “Retailers” and the Israeli “Wholesalers” in the Early Years of Israeli Diplomacy

Author: Natan Aridan


This article focuses on the immediate repercussions of a reconstituted Jewish State after “2,000 years” on its relations with Diaspora Jewry and its diplomatic relations epitomized by American and Anglo Jewry. The Jewish Agency and Zionist organizations, once effective and indispensable former “retailers” were inexorably and painfully usurped by the new “wholesaler”, the Government of Israel and its diplomats who now appealed directly to all willing to contribute to strengthening Israel, irrespective of their past or present affiliations with the Zionist movement. Israeli diplomats viewed the Zionist organizations as the board of a company, which had been nationalized, had much goodwill, an immense pool of experience, some capital, but no clear idea about what to do with themselves. The path to reach a modus vivendi on delegating and authorizing responsibilities on public relations and Israel advocacy was acrimonious.

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Pp. 395–407