I'm in the US once again. At a luncheon yesterday I neglected my "business networking" to have an extended conversation with 2 officials from the local Israeli consulate. I told them about weblogs (hello to you guys if you are reading this), and that there seems to be wide consensus that the Israeli PR effort is pathetic (particularly in Europe).
To begin working with the Israeli foreign service, you typically get a degree in International Relations or Economics. Then you enroll in a "cadet's course" where you learn a smattering of different practical topics. It sounds like how to hold a wine glass or go to the Opera gets about the same amount of treatment as how to address a large audience or speak on camera.
The consulate fellows who I spoke to are nice and dedicated, but I have to say that the heavily-accented marketing fellow who was pitching his company to some potential American partners had an infinitely better perception of how his audience was receiving his message.
I appreciate the email from American bloggers and hope that on a future trip I'll have a chance to get together with some of you.
30 minutes ago