JERUSALEM--Israel is embarking on a major European PR campaign to shift perceptions of the country away from its long-running conflict with the Arab world.

The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has selected a raft of agencies to handle the seven-figure programme in local European markets, following pitches in each country.

The Holmes Report understands that Euro RSCG PR has been tapped for the UK and France. Other firms thought to be involved are Kreab Gavin Anderson, Burson-Marsteller and CNC, in Belgium, Italy and Germany, respectively. In addition, firms have also been hired in the Nordics, Spain, Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

According to sources involved in the process, the MFA is hoping to change the way Israel is perceived by Europeans. In particular, the campaign will attempt to showcase national industries and characteristics that are often obscured by the focus on war and conflict. These include the country’s booming high-tech sector, along with Israel’s culture, economy, food and music.

The programme will complement Israel’s existing tourism programme. “This looks at daily life and all the good that’s coming out of the country,” said a source. “It’s telling the whole story for once.”

The move comes amid continued boycotts of Israeli products in Europe, and a well-marshalled Palestinian campaign for UN recognition of statehood.

Representatives from Euro RSCG PR London, Burson-Marsteller and Kreab Gavin Anderson declined to comment, while the MFA did not respond to request for comment.