Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon will visit Facebook offices in San Francisco this morning to meet with the social networking firm’s senior staff, FrumForum has learned.
The visit comes just two days after Facebook shut down a controversial group advocating for a Third Intifada and a march to “liberate” Palestine on May 15.
The Third Intifada group had become an issue of serious concern amongst pro-Israel activists over the last week. On March 23, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg requesting for the group to be taken down. Over at Commentary magazine’s ‘Contentions’ blog, Alana Goodman argued that the Facebook group could be “a dangerous organizing tool.”
Ayalon will be joined in San Francisco by Counsel General of Israel for the Pacific Northwest Akiva Tor for the meeting, which had been scheduled for at least several weeks. It is not clear whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will be meeting with the Israeli officials.
With what would have been the most contentious issue of concern dealt with before the meeting, it is expected that Ayalon will spend his time talking about the common values that Israel and Facebook hold and the ways that Israel is utilizing the social networking website.
“We believe in an open society, and Facebook is a great tool that allows the interaction of people… we see Facebook today as a major tool for our public diplomacy,” Noam Katz, Israel’s Minister of Public Diplomacy told FrumForum. “We feel that they [Facebook] created a positive environment in the culture of the world. It has great potential and opportunity.”
Add Tim on twitter: www.twitter.com/timkmak