Jerusalem — Israel announced today that it has created a new cabinet level post, Minister of Hasbara, and that the new ministry will launch a major effort to capitalize on the worldwide publicity it received during the Turkish flotilla incident of May 2010.
Letz Sellit, former Israeli Trade Minister, announced that his new office had hired a Tel Aviv marketing firm to produce T-shirts, mugs, and other gift items with catchy slogans about the raid.
“One T-shirt that reads ‘I Was a Flotilla Guerrilla’ is already a hit,” Sellit stated. “We’ve got 10,000 advance orders for that one.”
Other phrases to appear on products include “Get Your Facts Straight About the Flotilla Megillah,” and “Ask Me How I Got My Hernia — It’s a Flotilla Kileh.” (Kileh is the Yiddish term for hernia.)
And Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company announced that they were coming out with a new flavor for Israelis — Flotilla Vanilla.
“We are tired of hearing that we have a tin ear, and worse, when it comes hasbara,” said Sellit, referring to the Israeli word for diplomacy and public relations.
“We will show the world that we understand the situation and can make it work for us.”
He plans to announce a major deal with the Lego toys company, which will manufacture a new series of toys that can be constructed quickly and easily. One is called “East Jerusalem apartments” and another is “West Bank outposts,” which Sellit said take only a few moments to build and are “so sturdy they can never be taken apart.”