By Stephen E. Lipken
Almog Elijis, Spokesperson and Consul for Media Affairs New York gave the Keynote Presentation, “Israel in the NY Media: A View from the Front Lines of Israel’s PR Battle” at the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Westchester Fairfield Annual General Meeting on Monday, June 25 at Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, followed by a discussion moderated by AJC Westchester/Fairfield Regional Director Scott Richman.
An estimated 75 citizens attended. Elijis sent a strong message for people to use Social Media to talk up Israel and to read both sides of an issue, to get out of their “bubble,” “not just Fox—listen to the other side. Don’t just read what you believe in—follow the opposition.”
Elijis also stressed that a good illustration is worth 1,000 words; e.g., showing skeptical Millennials a Hamas Mickey Mouse video giving instructions how to kill Jews. A psychoanalyst in the audience asked how he could help counter some Jews demonizing Israel. “Let them speak,” Almog replied. “Just say, ‘Let me share my opinion.’ Israel is not perfect—we have issues. Come from a relaxed approach.”
Richman mentioned AJC’s Project Interchange, bringing over 6,000 influential leaders to visit Israel since 1982. Elijis noted the fact that the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes delegations who do not have diplomatic relations with the country.
Born and raised in Vienna, Elijis served in the Social Media-Economic Department for the Organization for Economic Development in Paris and worked at the Australian Institute for International Affairs in Canberra.
Shortly before Elijis spoke, Sheryl Sachs, Nominating Committee chair presented the Slate of Officers, Executive Committee Members and AJC Westchester Board of Directors: President, Richard W. Cohen (re-elected); Vice Presidents: Mona Abramson; Liz Schonfeld; Ann Tourk; Clifford Wolf. Treasurer: Bruce Rubin. Secretary: Susan Rose.