Fri, 30 Sep 2022

Tel Aviv [Israel], August 20 (ANI): Israel's foreign policy is known for its strong emphasis on protecting its national security in a regional and international environment due to the geopolitical landscape in which the west Asian country exists.

However, Dr Claudia Baumgart-Ochse, senior researcher and editorial director of the Peace Report at Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, contends that in the context of certain civil society groups in the US, Tel Aviv looks to influence communities' opinions and actions through the use of religious soft power.

Writing for The Times of Israel (TOI), Italian political advisor and geopolitical expert Sergio Restelli argued that Israel is making use of audio-visual culture for soft power diplomacy.

Restelli referred to an article published in a US-based platform, which states that direct diplomacy and military action have not helped Israel's image abroad. Several popular TV shows like Fauda, Tehran and Shtisel, have now become the primary communication channels to understand Israel and its people overseas, according to the Israeli newspaper.

Some of these show with a global cult the following help demystify religious orthodoxy and some help generate many debates over the internet about fundamentalism - not only Jewish, but also Christian and Islamic.

According to Restelli, the collateral damage to soft power is competition and especially from countries that have been in conflict.

"Global powers have traditionally used soft power for increasing their influence over smaller or more distant countries. Various cultural mediums employed by western states most notably the USA and France, yielded rich dividends across the globe during the second half of the 20th century," the Italian political advisor said.

He said the main carriers of their cultural export included art, movies, language and academic institutions. "These channels of wide publicity ensured a great deal of endorsement for the western powers and eventually enhanced their strategic influence over their weaker counterparts."Citing the example of China, Restelli explained the re-emergence of a historically great nation in the soft power game, to reclaim its place in the modern world order, has been aided by its policy of rapid industrialisation and hard-nosed diplomacy, and unfavourable trade patterns.

"An examination of the role played by Chinese soft power in these countries reveals a lot about the template that can be expected to be used more widely in the coming years," he argued.

Along the lines of Beijing's counter to Western influence, Israel would attempt at countering anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli propaganda.

Restelli argued that Israel must make full use of this proven power, which should be the cornerstone of its digital diplomacy. "New wars are now mainly fought in the information sphere," he concluded. (ANI)

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