Thursday, 4 November 2010


RAANAN GISSIN is a charismatic spokesperson for the State of Israel.

He was born in Kibbutz Hasolelim in 1949.

In 1996, Gissin was appointed Spokesperson for the newly formed Ministry of National Infrastructure headed by Minister Ariel Sharon. He also served as Mr. Sharon’s personal Adviser of Public and Media Affairs.

He currently serves as a strategic consultant, commentator and lecturer on a variety of topics related to the Middle East, Israel, the war against terror, and media and government relations. In 1998, he became Senior Public Affairs and Media Adviser to Minister of Foreign Affairs Ariel Sharon.

He participated in the conference and negotiations which led to the signing of the Wye Memorandum in October 1998 in Washington D.C.

In 1999, following the change of government, he continued to serve as a special consultant to Ariel Sharon.

In 2003, he received the prestigious Louis D. Brandeis Award of outstanding contribution to Zionism and for dedication to the cause of attaining peace and security for the State of Israel.

During the period 2001-2006, he has served as Foreign Press & Public Affairs Adviser and reported directly to the Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

Raanan Gissin is an Israeli analyst and consultant specializing in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He was senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a frequent spokesman for the Israeli government on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.

Raanan Gissin, PhD., has in recent years become one of Israel’s leading spokesmen to the international press on security and strategic issues, and the peace process. Until recently (2001–2006), he served as Foreign Press & Public Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel.

He is frequently seen on Israeli TV English News.

Raanan was the guest speaker at the Forgotten People Fund lunch at the King Solomon Hotel in Netanya.

I have met Raanan on several occasions and I always enjoy his pungent points and soundbites on various important issues.  Despite the seriousness of the subject matter he always seems to be able to inject humour.

Here are just a few of the comments I picked up during his recent talk.

Covering his education he said it takes ones and a half years to earn a Masters Degree abroad in Political Science or in Middle East Studies. Then, when you arrive in Israel, it takes you three days to forget everything you have learned.

Raanan loves Bob Dylan. He quoted from one of Dylan's songs"

"If you ever stop trying you'll sink like a stone. The times they are a'changing!"

This, he said, typifies Israel in today's world.

"We are", he said, " a problem-solving nation. We have to be. It is the way we have survived against every changing challenges.  This has made us the leading entrepreneurial nation. Israel is number one nation, pro rats, that invests in R&D.  Winston Churchil once said of Britain, 'Never have so few done so much for so many!' This applies to israel' contribtuion to the world as a result of our R&D and development".

On an official visit to South Africa he was confronted by one official to explain why Israel is perceived as a violent country. He explained,
"You have the Kruger National Park in South Africa. This is to preserve your natural animal life. Israel is not a state. It is the National Park of the Jewish People. We are an endangered species. Sometimes we are forced to make house calls on the hunters and poachers".

Referencing the perception of President Obama in Israel he said that if Obama is a good pesident for America he is, automatically, a good president for Israel. If he is seen as a weak president he will be a weak president for Israel. Israel cannot afford to have a weak American president.

"Israelis are good surfers. We learned to ride the huge waves that threaten to overpower and drown us. We survived even when tsunamis that would wash away lesser countries came to destroy us. Yes, Israelis make good surfers!"

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