Israel trips add hasbara to Oscar swag bags

Jewish Journal, February 19, 2016

Israel is in the headlines again, but this time for glitz and glamour rather than politics.

For the first time, the Jewish state is offering free 10-day VIP trips to Israel as one of the gifts in the Oscar “swag bags” given to all Academy Award nominees in the acting and directing categories (as well as to this year’s host, Chris Rock). The trip is one of many luxury items offered to the nominees, at an estimated total value of more than $200,000. Critics are crying foul at the indulgence afforded these already-wealthy, albeit high-profile, recipients.