Israel pays journalist $61,800 for good press during Pope’s visit

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Pope Francis. (Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis. (Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

When Pope Francis makes his historic visit to Israel this May as an invited guest of the Knesset the press coverage will surely be pearly, because the government is paying a journalist $61,800 to do just that. Portuguese-Israeli correspondent Henrique Cymerman will receive the sum for producing reports in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Israel’s Government Advertising Agency (the actual name of the state-owned department) commissioned Cymerman to cover the trip.

In a departure from procedure the state’s advertising arm sought out Cymerman to film 14 reports, rather than calling for bids on the contract, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. The agency’s website hosts copies of bids won, however Cymerman’s is not listed.

The Government Advertisement Agency spends millions each year on tourism plugs for Israel displayed all over the world, and public service announcement. If you’ve ever watched Israeli television, you’ve probably seen overly dramatic commercials on childbirth benefits, or drunk driving and look both ways before crossing. That’s their work, soon to add to their repertoire the Pope’s visit to the holy land.

Israel Government Advertising Agency commercial for the Ministry of Transportation, a warning against drunk driving.

The Pope’s visit will come just a few weeks after a row between evangelical Christians and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) over the Christ at the Checkpoint conference held in Bethlehem earlier this month. Speaking to Israel Hayom, an Israeli daily owned and bankrolled by Republican casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the MFA lamented the conference was “particularly problematic, because it is designed for the evangelical Christian leadership – an extremely important audience to us.”

Of course the Pope is not of the evangelical, but courting Christian leaders and communities has become a staple of Israeli tourism. Both Pope John-Paul and Benedict also visited Israel early on during their tenures as heads of the Catholic church. And there is even a Knesset Christian Allies Caucus designed to “build direct lines of communication cooperation and coordination between the Knesset and Christian leaders around the world.”


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This is pathetic. Their image and reputation are so bad, they are one of the most disliked nations in the world, and their military occupation is bringing them world condemnation, so they have to PAY a journalist to give them a good review!
They stoop so low just so they can get someone to write a fake review, in their attempt to deceive the world.

Once more, we see Israel as the freak with the supermodel girlfriend , paid for by his father in Wall St.
Nobody respects him. Why not?

What a shame. All that money spent and now the pope’s gonna be a no-show.

Pope Francis has been forced to cancel his planned visit to Israel, which was to take place over May 24-26, due to the ongoing labor dispute at the Foreign Ministry.
The Times of Israel

Lol Israel’s attempt to distance itself from their ugly reality is beginning to be comical. Their rebranding efforts has and will continue to fail miserably in the face of growing international awareness. I guarantee the pope will have some very critical statements about their policies towards the Palestinians and israel will try to suppress them

Sounds like graft/bribe.