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Israel Recruiting Gays, Lesbians As Unofficial Envoys To Boost Image

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GAY ISRAELIS
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JERUSALEM -- When it comes to stating its case internationally, Israel is tired of playing it straight: It is recruiting gays and lesbians as unofficial envoys.

In a bid to boost its international image, the country's ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs has established a cadre of diverse volunteers who speak about Israel around the world.

In a recent post on its website, the ministry encouraged minorities and members of the gay community to step forward.

Ministry spokesman Gal Ilan said Thursday that the goal was to highlight Israel's diversity. He said when people think about Israel, the gay community is often overlooked.

There are no details yet on how many people have volunteered.

Israel has recently been promoting itself as a gay friendly oasis in an intolerant Middle East.

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