Stating the Obvious

Source: Israel backed by army of cyber-soldiers
From Yonit Farago in Jerusalem.

While Israel fights Hezbollah with tanks and aircraft, its supporters are campaigning on the internet.

Israel’s Government has thrown its weight behind efforts by supporters to counter what it believes to be negative bias and a tide of pro-Arab propaganda. The Foreign Ministry has ordered trainee diplomats to track websites and chatrooms so that networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages.

In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special “megaphone” software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in Jerusalem combs the web in a host of different languages to flag the sites so that those who have signed up can influence an opinion survey or the course of a debate.

Jonny Cline, of the international student group, said that Jewish students and youth groups with their understanding of the web environment were ideally placed to present another side to the debate.

“We’re saying to these people that if Israel is being bashed, don’t ignore it, change it,” Mr Cline said. “A poll like CNN’s takes just a few seconds to vote in, but if thousands take part the outcome will be changed. What’s vital is that the international face of the conflict is balanced.”

Doron Barkat, 29, in Jerusalem, spends long nights trawling the web to try to swing the debate Israel’s way. “When I see internet polls for or against Israel I send out a mailing list to vote for Israel,” he said. “It can be that after 15 minutes there will be 400 votes for Israel.

“It’s very satisfying. There are also forums where Lebanese and Israelis talk.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry must avoid direct involvement with the campaign but is in contact with international Jewish and evangelical Christian groups, distributing internet information packs.

Amir Gissin, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s public relations director, said: “The internet’s become a leading tool for news, shaping the world view of millions. Our problem is the foreign media shows Lebanese suffering, but not Israeli. We’re bypassing that filter by distributing pictures showing how northern Israelis suffer from Katyusha rocket attacks.”


At Friday, August 04, 2006 2:32:00 PM, Blogger linalone said...

No doubt of this. where are those anonymous bloggers or blogs coming from?

At Friday, August 04, 2006 2:39:00 PM, Blogger Exadios said...

From the Israeli point of view the problem with this initiative is that while Arab commenters come across as moderate Israelis come across as rabid, right wing extremists. My guess that this effort will be counter productive.

At Friday, August 04, 2006 3:22:00 PM, Blogger hashem said...

It seems they are good in everything except fighting in ground....there, they're a bunch of idiots.
An incentive to us to keep our cause here...

At Friday, August 04, 2006 3:39:00 PM, Blogger pault said...

I wondered at the volume of messages supporting the Israeli aggression, at least on the Lebanon blogs I have visited. Many of these seemed hateful compared to posts which did not support Israel.

The posts against the Israeli response seemed to be more in line with "why"? and "what the heck are they doing"?, and "dont they realize Hezbollah and Iran and Syria and all Islamic extremists will become stronger as a result of this over the top attack?"

I dont have a problem with it, free speech is good. However, at times recently some of these sites were down for a time and I suspected it was an attack on the servers by Israel or USA groups to prevent pro Lebanese or Hezbollah opinion. This I can not condone, but I dont know if they did this or if it was the servers could not handle the heavy but legitimate volume.

What concerns me most is the possibility that events are being recorded improperly for the historical record. For example, shortly after the July 12th kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, I saw no mention that Hezbollah fired rockets at Israeli civilians before Israel responded, at least in the media reports I read. But now, after people complained the attack on civilians by Israel to the degree we have seen is not justified by a Hezbollah attack on a military outpost which I believe was on Shebba farms and not Israel territory, timelines on wikipedia and BBC are stating that justification was also due to rocket attacks on civilian towns in northern Israel at the same time or even before the kidnappings. I even went to the Jeruseleum Post online and did a search july 12-13 for rocket and missile attacks and came up with no hits, just some articles on the kidnappings. I certainly feel that if civilians were hit by Hezbollah rockets on July 12th, that this would have had at least equal billing with the kidnappings, and in fact would have been the main reason Israel would have used to justify the attacks, and that this would have been reported at that time.

So I would like some confirmation that Hezbollah fired rockets at civilian towns in Northern Israel on July 12 (before Israel attacked civilians in Lebanon). If they were so foolish, a strong response from Israel was certainly appropriate, but still not to the extent we have seen.

At Friday, August 04, 2006 3:45:00 PM, Blogger Assaad said...

Yep, they are very good in killing innocents also and destroying buildings and bridges.
On the ground, they are more than idiots... COWARDS!

Let us keep our work up everywhere on the net because they are not better than us...

At Friday, August 04, 2006 6:05:00 PM, Blogger EdoRiver said...

bloggers unite. The truth will be found.

At Friday, August 04, 2006 6:46:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

"justification was also due to rocket attacks on civilian towns in northern Israel at the same time or even before the kidnappings. I even went to the Jeruseleum Post online and did a search july 12-13 for rocket and missile attacks and came up with no hits, just some articles on the kidnappings."

thnx paul for ur concern.
Hizballah started firing rockets when israeli airforces began to destroy the infrastructure of lebanon and not before that.
In addition they began to fire rockets on "israeli settlements" and not israeli cities and there is difference between the two (refer to the illegal situation of israeli settlements in the peace agreement between israe and palestinian authority).
When the situation evolved hizballah moved on and in a reaction to israeli "attacks" in lebanon, they fired rockets on israeli cities.
this is the right chronological order.
ofcourse sometimes, u will be told that rockets are actions and not reactions, it is a part of the media game.

At Friday, August 04, 2006 6:49:00 PM, Blogger SC said...

Yah, we're paid for by the Israeli government. I live in Canada, not Israel. I'm not even a Jew.

At Saturday, August 05, 2006 2:56:00 AM, Blogger Andrey said...

to Hilal chouman:
the kidnaping and killing of the soldiers was done together with havy shelling along all of the border. This was done, so that the Israelis wouldn't pay attention to that specific patrol, and indeed succided, cause Israel haven't noticed the kidnapping for 1 hour.
As for "settelments" - this is how nasrallah calls Israely cities, because he dosen't belive that ANY city in Israel is legitimate. Just look at the map of palestine and israel to see where the setelments are, before saing what you did


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