Oct 27, 2023
#65 – Swords of Iron, Day 19: The PR Battle
Play • 1 hr 48 min

In this special ‘War Edition’ of the show, Dan and Benny cover updates on the war as well as discuss Israel’s PR battle with special guests Joanna Landau, founder and president of Vibe Israel, and Haisam Hassanein, a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies specializing in Israel’s relations with Arab states and Muslim countries.

About Joanna Landau:

Best-selling author of “Ethical Tribing: Connecting the Next Generation to Israel in the Digital Era,” Joanna is an expert on country branding, Israel’s soft power, and the unique challenges Israel faces when building its global reputation. Recognized by Forbes Israel as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Israel, Joanna worked as a lawyer in Israel’s high-tech industry, established two Tel Aviv-based start-ups, and is the Founder and President of Vibe Israel, a nonprofit that has generated over a billion positive mentions about Israel online. She is a director of Tel Aviv Global & Tourism, a governor of Tel Aviv University, and a member of the International Education Committee of Taglit-Birthright. Born in London and raised in Israel, Joanna lives in Tel Aviv with her husband, 3 children and 2 dogs.

About Haisam Hassanein:

Haisam Hassanein is an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, where he is analyzing Israel’s relations with Arab states and Muslim countries. He has published in The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, the Hill magazine, the New York Daily News, and The Jerusalem Post. He was the first Egyptian to be named a graduate school valedictorian by an Israeli academic institution.  Hassanein also sits on the advisory board of Sharaka, a leading organization working to shape a new Middle East, built on dialogue, understanding, cooperation, and friendship.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the thousands of victims - murdered, kidnapped, and injured - of the deadly Hamas attack on southern Israel on the morning of October 7th, and is dedicated to the brave men and women of the IDF and Israel's security forces as they valiantly serve to eliminate the destructive threats faced by Israel and the Jewish People both near and far - and to the People of Israel who are struggling at this unprecedented time.

For those interested in donating to help the Israeli people in this time of need, please check out the following resources. Your help is highly appreciated at this urgent time:

  • The Jewish Agency for Israel's Fund for Victims of Terror - CLICK HERE
  • Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Emergency Campaign 2023 - CLICK HERE
  • Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) - CLICK HERE
  • JNF-USA Israel Resilience Campaign - CLICK HERE

עם ישראל חי!  Am Yisrael Chai!

Additional Links:

  • Learn more about Vibe Israel – HERE
  • To buy Joanna Landau’s book, ‘Ethical Tribing: Connecting the Next Generation to Israel in the Digital Era’ click HERE.
  • Learn more about The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies – HERE
  • Learn more about Sharaka – HERE

A special word about Israel travel from Kenes Tours: 

Saturday, October 7th will go down in infamy. Israel was brutally and horrifically attacked by Hamas terrorists who violently infiltrated the country and penetrated southern Israeli communities. Thousands of Israelis were murdered, terrorized, and kidnapped.   Deadly rockets are being fired upon southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip and upon communities in the northern Galilee from Lebanon. The Israel Defense Forces are working valiantly and strategically to secure the country’s borders and to eliminate the terrorist threat.

The entire global Jewish community is affected by this war. It has heeded the call and is expressing solidarity, unity, and support with Israel in unprecedented numbers. Massive amounts of time, energy, financial and other resources are being donated to the effort. Many of our Jewish organizational partners across North America – both from the Jewish Federation system and from synagogues of all denominations – have reached out to us to ask what they can do to actively contribute.  

In a bold demonstration of support, Kenes Tours is facilitating solidarity missions to Israel throughout this challenging time.  With worldwide escalating antisemitism, antizionism, and protests, Israelis feel afraid and alone. Simply “showing up” sends a strong message that this is not the case. Our missions will boost morale, help build resilience, increase understanding of what has and is taking place in Israel, and will further strengthen the ties that bind us together.

Kenes Tours has the on-the-ground partners necessary to create your customized solidarity mission to Israel. These trips are designed to be short (from 36 to 72 hours), powerful, and impactful for both participants and Israelis affected by the war.  Experiences might include the following: 

  • Exclusive geo-strategic briefings with top military experts.
  • Visits to hospitals treating the wounded. 
  • Meetings with evacuees and others displaced by the war.
  • Encounters with IDF soldiers, security forces, and reserve units.
  • Visits to affected areas (subject to security and safety guidelines).
  • Engagements with local communities and visits to Partnership communities (if applicable).
  • Opportunities to witness how the home front is protecting itself from threats.
  • Hands-on volunteer opportunities, coordinated with local partners.

Our Tel Aviv- and U.S.-based teams will work on your behalf to secure flights, transfers, security, and hotel accommodations, as well as plan community-optimized itineraries. We want to be your partner and help achieve your objectives for this mission. 

Kenes Tours commits to fair, transparent, and affordable prices for interested groups, individuals, and organizations.  We do not believe in price-gouging or profiting from our national tragedy. We stand ready to join you in expressions of support for those in need.  

For more information and to plan your solidarity mission, contact Benny Scholder, Director of Sales – North America, at or call 612-412-6180.


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