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Ministers OK Netanyahu’s choice for public diplomacy chief

Moshe Aviv will fill a post that had remained vacant since the formation of the government.

Moshe "Moshik" Aviv. Credit: Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport.
Moshe "Moshik" Aviv. Credit: Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport.

The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved the appointment of Moshe “Moshik” Aviv as the head of the National Public Diplomacy Directorate, filling a position that had remained vacant since the formation of the government some eight months ago.

Aviv, whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nominated for the post, will be responsible for maintaining Jerusalem’s relations with the foreign media, including explaining government policies and coordinating press events.

Situated in the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Public Diplomacy Directorate is a separate entity from Israel’s Public Diplomacy Ministry, which is tasked with fighting delegitimization of the Jewish state.

In a press release announcing the nomination, Netanyahu touted Aviv’s extensive experience in the civil service. Among other positions, he headed the public diplomacy and state ceremonies department of the Ministry of Culture and Sport for the past eight years.

Aviv also held several educational and cultural posts in the Israel Defense Forces

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat most recently headed the National Public Diplomacy Directorate under then-Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Netanyahu did not appoint a public diplomacy chief during his previous stint as prime minister following the Civil Service Commission’s rejection in 2015 of his nominee, Dr. Ran Baratz.

Instead, Baratz was hired as a “senior consultant” in the Prime Minister’s Office, essentially carrying out the same duties as the head of the National Public Diplomacy Directorate.

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