A committee's work is never done

An innocuous-looking item in the Jerusalem Post caught my eye the other day and gave me the shivers: "Public diplomacy Web site finally appears in English", said the heading.
No sooner had I come to grips with that bit of news, than another bit of similar information landed on my desk: the leaflet Masbirim Israel, called in its English incarnation Presenting Israel, is nearly ready for print.

Theoretically this is Good News. So why the shivers?
Because I know that both the website and the brochure are the result of the work of a committee of experts…  Much has been said about the painful work of a committee. For example:

To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three men, two of whom are absent.
  - Robert Copeland
(There are some nastier barbs aimed at committees, but if you're in the mood you can go browse any number of quotation sites.)

The subject of hasbara, or public diplomacy, is very close not only to my heart but also to my keyboard and my hard disk.  I have been involved, to one extent or another, with both projects, and beg that you do not put them under a microscope and do not put me through the wringer. Or rather, if you're in the mood to criticize, go ahead, but send your feedback directly to the Ministry.  Minister Edelstein's   efforts are commendable, and I support him whole-heartedly. But the committee, the committee…

How can you expect to get any sensible decisions made, when arguments become heated, experts clash, tempers flare? Inevitably, compromises and concessions are made, and high horses have to be gotten off of.

In conclusion: any faults you may find in either website or brochure are not the fault of any one person…  they're the outcome of joint efforts by the committee. Have fun!


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