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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Relationships Yossi Vardi Credits Pushy Jewish Mother for His Startup Success

    Yossi Vardi Credits Pushy Jewish Mother for His Startup Success

    Millionaire entrepreneur Yossi Vardi credited his success in start-ups to his Jewish mother continuously pushing him to do better, Daily Mail reported on Thursday. “Jewish mothers are never satisfied and nothing is ever good enough,” he said, adding that his mother, who died 15 years ago, used to compare him with his cousins and say he was “an idiot.” “For most of my life I have been trying to show her I’m not,” he continued. “I keep on trying even now.” Vardi, […]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Famed actor Seth Rogen on Tuesday unveiled with typical comic fanfare the trailer for his new Christmas film. The movie “was made by Jews… and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen pointed out on Twitter. The Night Before tells the tale of three “ride or die homies” celebrating one last debauchery-filled Christmas Eve reunion before they become too busy to keep up their annual tradition. In an effort to make the night as memorable as possible, they set out to find the “Nutcracka Ball – the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →