Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

A Ceasefire Has Not Been Enacted on Israel’s Other Battlefield

November 22, 2012 7:46 pm 3 comments

An image of children running for shelter in Israel falsely implied to be from Gaza by Yahoo news.

Tragic images of dead, mutilated and maimed Syrian children have sadly never captivated Western attention as they did this week when Hamas, and allied purveyors of the terror group’s narrative, flooded social media networks with them, falsely labeling them as victims of Israeli strikes in Gaza.

Their propaganda strategy is in many ways similar to their rocket strategy: Fire indiscriminately and repeatedly and hope that a target is found. As goes the famous Mark Twain quote, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

This is what information age terrorism looks like, and it is every bit as ugly and damaging as its Qassam firing counterpart. What Israel’s enemies hope to achieve is simple; paralysis. By spinning enough false tales of “Israeli crimes,” Hamas builds negative public sentiment, and thus steers diplomatic efforts towards halting Israel’s efforts to root out the terror threat that faces its citizens daily.

The Jewish state’s hands are held behind its back by the U.S., E.U., U.N., and others, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad are set loose on the soft underbelly of Israel’s southern communities.

On this front, which is as important, if not more so than what takes place in Gaza, Israel has no qualitative edge, no advanced weaponry, no Mossad, Shin Bet or American aid. In fact, Israel stands at a distinct disadvantage, as the sovereign state cannot, and will not, spread false information. Israel doesn’t publish exposed images of the dead bearing mortal wounds, and most in the media are predisposed to accepting and propagating Hamas’ narrative for any number of reasons.

This round however, for the first time since I began noticing, I have seen reason for a small measure of optimism in the way this war has been waged by Israel and her allies.

Never in the history of warfare has a social media account been the central and primary source of information conveyed by one side, but the IDF announced the launch of Operation Pillar of Defense and the targeting of terror chief Ahmed al-Jabari on Twitter, as well as many subsequent breaking news updates. In my estimation, the number of followers of the IDF account more than doubled over the past 10 days to reach 204,469 at the time of publication.

The indication is that the IDF is finally beginning to fully grasp the impact that the global democratization of information can have on their efforts to convey Israel’s narrative. Now Israel’s army can speak directly to the people, without the spin doctoring of agenda driven newsroom editors around the world. Old media is falling, CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian and others, are simply becoming less influential in an interconnected world where everyone has social media access to anyone.  Why would I filter my news through a TV editor when I can connect directly to the source? For more and more young people, the first port of call for daily updates is Facebook or Twitter, no longer the morning news, the daily paper of even an online news source of choice.

This doesn’t by any means mean that Israel’s media problem is over, only that we are heading in a direction whereby the playing field may become more level. Of course Israel’s cyber enemies are afforded the same advantages that the new information age brings, but as mainstream media outlets continue to recede in relevance, Israel may find itself on substantially more even footing than it does today.

Another cause for optimism is the meteoric rise of a new cadre of pro-Israel cyber warriors that have scored some monumental victories in this round of the ongoing information war.

Anonymous bloggers like Elder of Ziyon, who from behind a computer screen, armed with nothing more than a sharp eye for falsehood and an abundance of common sense, forced retractions and corrections (albeit some half-heartedly) from such media giants as London’s Telegraph newspaper and CNN. The outlets had falsely reported as fact, Hamas’ claims that four year old Mahmoud Sadallah, who was famously pictured cradled in the hands of Egypt’s Prime Minister, was killed in an Israeli airstrike. In truth, as Elder proved, he was killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short, landing in Gaza.

Others include Challah Hu Akbar, who meticulously surveys reports of civilian casualties in Gaza for discrepancies and falsehoods, BBC watch, who embarrassed the British network’s Gaza correspondent, Jon Donnison, after he posted one of the false Syria images on Twitter. Other such troopers go by the names of Brian of London, Missing Peace, Emet, Carl in Jerusalem, Aussie Dave, Huff Watcher and Daled Amos. There are a number of increasingly tech savvy larger Jewish groups that are becoming more digitally active as well.

Their continued success in showing up major media outlets further diminishes the trust that old media commands, driving consumers to seek more direct sources for information.

As thousands of IDF reservists are still massed on Gaza’s borders, drafted to do battle in the flesh on behalf of the Jewish state and the Jewish people, the call up goes out to all guardians of morality around the world. If you own a computer or an iPhone, you are already standing on Israel’s other battlefield, on which a ceasefire has not been called. Now, grab your mouse and fight like the Jewish future depends on it.

The author is the editor of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed atdefune@gjcf.com.

3 Comments

  • Please add israelstreet.org to the list of anonymous, yet humble, pro Israel bloggers. This news blog highlights southern Israel.

  • It is ILLEGAL for Terrorists to have access to Twitter, Facebook and any other internet COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA…

    IT is also ILLEGAL in the Twitter and Facebook requirements for posting…

    WHY ARE THEY ALLOWING ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES AND FALSE REPORTING?

    DOESN’T THE WORLD AT LARGE RECOGNIZE THAT THE ATTACKS, BOTH PHYSICAL AND THROUGH THE MEDIA ON ISRAEL WILL WHEN ALLOWED TO CONTINUE AND ESCALATE TO THE FREE WORLD. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINING.

    THE WORLD CLOSED ITS EYES TO HITLER WHEN HE BEGAN HIS CAMPAIGNS….
    WE CLOSED OUR EYES WHEN THE TUTSI’S WERE BEING CHOPPED AND SLAUGHTER BY THE IN RWANDA.
    HOW MANY YOUNG AMERICAN SOLDIERS LIKE ANDY LONG WHO WAS MURDERED IN LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS WHILE ON LEAVE FROM ACTIVE DUTY…AND SERVED HIS COUNTRY IN THE SAFETY (?)OF A RECRUITING CENTER!?

    HOW LONG AND WHAT MORE TRAGEDIES HAVE TO HIT THE FREE WORLD BEFORE WE TAKE ACTION TO PUT A STOP

    WE HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES WHY THE IMPORTANT NEWS SERVICES FOR EXAMPLE THE TIMES, CNN ARE ALLOWING FALSE HOODS.

    WHO IS REALY CONTROLING AND OR OWNING THEM?

  • IT WOULD HELP IF FAKE REPORTING ON PURPOSE IS MADE A CRIME.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scotland’s Celtic soccer club will fly to Israel with the same private jet Madonna used while on tour, The Scotsman reported on Monday. According to the report, the team is heading for the Jewish state to compete against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night, and will be transported in the customized, luxurious Boeing 757-200 that the pop icon used in New Zealand for her six-month Rebel Heart tour, which wrapped up in March. The plane is on loan from Greece-based GainJet Aviation and can accommodate 62 passengers. The […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Jewish actor Jonah Hill revealed on Wednesday morning that he had officiated the wedding of good friend and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The “War Dogs” actor, 32, was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show when the conversation turned to Levine’s July 2014 wedding to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Hill said that after he was asked to officiate the nuptials, he started getting worried about the type of speech he was going to deliver. “I’m writing all these things, and then I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish indie singer Ezra Furman released a song on Wednesday that he said was dedicated to his grandfather, who escaped Nazi persecution. Furman told the website Consequence of Sound that the new track, called “The Refugee,” is his “first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis, as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.” He added, “May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Uncanny Toy Replica of Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot Auctioning on eBay for Over $1,600

    Uncanny Toy Replica of Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot Auctioning on eBay for Over $1,600

    An artist is auctioning on eBay a Wonder Woman doll he purchased and repainted to create an uncanny replica of Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who will play the superhero in an upcoming 2017 spin-off film. Noel Cruz purchased a 19-inch action figure of the Batman v Superman star and replaced its plastic hair with a new wig, and added a material belt and Princess Diana’s lasso, according to the blog Io9, which first reported on Cruz’s work. He then painted the doll to make it look like the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture British Jewish Star Daniel Radcliffe Hopes New Movie About Neo-Nazis Will Spark Dialogue to Defeat Antisemitic Rhetoric

    British Jewish Star Daniel Radcliffe Hopes New Movie About Neo-Nazis Will Spark Dialogue to Defeat Antisemitic Rhetoric

    Racist and antisemitic rhetoric supported by white supremacists can be defeated by opening channels for meaningful dialogue, British-Jewish actor Daniel Radcliffe said, ahead of the release of his new film, in which he plays an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a neo-Nazi group. “[White supremacist ideologies] have more power the less we talk about them. So hopefully this does start a kind of conversation, which would be a tiny part of a much larger conversation that needs to happen,” the actor, 27, told The […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Reveals She Can Read, Speak Hebrew

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Reveals She Can Read, Speak Hebrew

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas knows how to read and speak “a little” Hebrew, she revealed in the Aug. 15 issue of Us Weekly. The 20-year-old gymnast, who told the magazine that her favorite book is the Bible, was featured in a spread about the USA gymnastics team — which was awarded the gold medal in the women’s all-around finals at the Olympics in Rio on Aug. 9. In her 2012 memoir, In Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith, Douglas wrote that her […]

    Read more →
  • Features Ben-Gurion University Institute Tackles Water Shortages, Hygiene in Developing Countries

    Ben-Gurion University Institute Tackles Water Shortages, Hygiene in Developing Countries

    JNS.org – Israeli water experts believe that by 2050, almost half of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. What’s causing the shortfall is population growth, which leads to a greater demand for food, increased pollution and climate instability, according to Prof. Noam Weisbrod, director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR) in the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In Israel’s Negev Desert, which has long been plagued […]

    Read more →