TEL AVIV – The Guardian newspaper cited Breitbart Jerusalem’s bureau chief and senior investigative reporter Aaron Klein in an article on a $55,000 trip to Israel offered to Academy Award nominees.
The Guardian quoted Klein as follows:
Aaron Klein, Jerusalem correspondent of rightwing website Breitbart, wrote: “Despite attempts by the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement to target Israel, especially in the entertainment world, the Academy Awards seems to be taking a stand in solidarity with the Jewish state.”
The 10-day trip is part of an Oscars swag bag awarded to directors and actors shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Awards. The Guardian reported the trip is part of an attempt on the part of the Israeli government to counter bad press that the country has received.
The all-expenses-paid trip, valid for one year, is the most expensive giveaway in this year’s Oscars gift bag. Comprising more than a quarter of the gift bag’s total value of $200,000, it includes first class flights for two and five-star accommodation in the Holy Land.
Its $55,000 price tag is double the average salary in Israel. If all recipients of the gift choose to cash in their vouchers, the total sum would amount to $1.5 million.
Israel’s Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin, said that the purpose of the initiative was to allow big Hollywood players to “experience the country first hand and not through the media.”
“These are the most senior people in the film industry in Hollywood and leading opinion-formers who we are interested in hosting. Their visit will have enormous resonance among millions of fans and followers, including social media,” said Levin.
The Oscars swag bag includes other giveaways such as a walking tour of Japan, a “vampire” breast lift that uses the patient’s own blood to achieve “rounder cleavage without implants,” and a year’s worth of Audi rentals.