MembersIsrael Shows Arab World a Different Side

The Foreign Ministry took the Purim holiday as an opportunity to show the Arab world a side of Israel it doesn’t typically get to see—joy, dancing, music and lots of costumes.

By Yossi Aloni |
INSTRUMENTS OF DIPLOMACY Purim street music Photo: Mandy Hechtman/Flash90

During the festive holiday celebrating the miraculous deliverance of the Jews in the biblical Book of Esther, the ministry broadcast live from parties in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. About one million people from around the Arab Middle East tuned in, commented, liked, and shared the videos.


“There are not too many opportunities to expose the real Israel to the Arab world, and the holidays are the best time to do it,” said Yonatan Gonen, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Arabic-language Digital Diplomacy Department. “This time we decided to hang out with mobile phones among the celebrants and broadcast live.”


The most watched broadcast was from the Purim party in the Nachlaot neighborhood of Jerusalem. Many celebrants danced for the cameras and shouted, “Eid Masher Sa’id!”—“Happy Purim!” in Arabic.

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