Writing in the Ottawa Citizen, Ofir Gendelman, a diplomat at the Embassy of Israel in Ottawa, endorses Al Jazeera as a "potential friend" where "Israeli spokespeople are able to speak directly to the Arab street, in its own language and over the heads of its illiberal governments."
According to Gendelman:
"Al-Jazeera was the first Arab channel to host Israelis, officials and pundits alike, a daring novelty that would normally be viewed as treason to the Arab Cause against the Jewish state."
"Since 2001, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has used a special team to serve as Israel’s face on the Arab TV screens"
"Everyone likes to talk about winning the "hearts and minds" of Arabs, but that’s impossible to do if you don’t know their culture and background, and if you don’t start talking to them in their own language."
Mr. Gendelman returns to Israel this summer to take up duties as deputy director of the Israeli foreign ministry’s Arab media division.