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December 22, 2015 12:22 pm

New Israeli Foreign Ministry Clip Conveying Democracy Message to Arab World Goes Viral (VIDEO)

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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One of the two Arabic-speaking participants in the Israeli Foreign Ministry's new video clip, which is going viral in the Arab world. Photo: Screenshot.

One of the two Arabic-speaking participants in the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s new video clip, which is going viral in the Arab world. Photo: Screenshot.

An Arabic-language video produced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry has gone viral, Israeli news site nrg reported on Monday.

The video — called “Whose Side Are You On?” — was created as part of a campaign to combat incitement on social media. So far, it has generated more than 1.2 million views in Arab countries, Foreign Ministry spokespeople told nrg.

The 1:16-minute clip, which was uploaded to the Foreign Ministry’s Arabic-language Facebook page, features a young woman and an older man alternately asking the viewer to choose “the side of democracy or the side of those who stifle political opposition; the side of those who respect both sexes, or the side of those who oppress and hurt women in the name of family honor; the side of those who worship life or the side of those who worship death.”

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According to nrg, the greatest number of views are in Egypt, with the Palestinian Authority second, followed by Iraq, Tunis, Jordan and Algeria.

Responses to the video have been varied and at times blatantly hostile. One Jordanian viewer, for instance, commented: “I am on the side of those who worship death – the death of Israel, the death of the criminal occupation – and on the side of those who worship the life of the Palestinian people and the life of the armed resistance.”

Another Arabic-speaker, whose country of origin was not specified, wrote: “The terrorist state talks about freedom. The terrorist state that committed [the 1982] Sabra and Shatila [massacre of Palestinians at the hands of Christian militias in Lebanon], and the state that imposes terror on the Gazans and against worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Palestine is not your country or your ‘promised land.’ If you oppose terrorism, get out of Jerusalem and Palestine.”

Amir Gissin, director of public affairs at the Foreign Ministry, told nrg that for years the ministry has been active on social media in the Arab world, “in an effort to enable open dialogue with users in a space characterized by its limited and often distorted knowledge of Israel.”

Gissin said, “We are delighted to see the film’s ability to generate dialogue, sometimes critical, but lively for the Arab world, which has resulted in a maximizing of potential exposure to the video and the thought-provoking message it seeks to convey.”

Watch the video below:

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  • Sherlock Holmes

    Dialogue has an instrinsic value and should be part of the Arab Spring. The Israeli High Court criticised Ariel Sharon for allowing the Christian militias to get close enough to murder Muslims in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Israel’s independent judiciary is part of the democratic checks and balances, which is far from universal in Arab states.

    • Paul

      The ultimate doublethink and double standard is exposed here: believing naively that Arab Christians were like other. Western Christians, Sharon did not prevent Arab Christians (the Phalangists) from entering the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps where to Israel’s amazement and horror, they massacred helpless Palestinians there.
      (I spoke to a young (Christian) Phalanginst soldier in Lebanon – he was PROUD to have participated in many such massacres saying that that was the norm – every ethnic group there massacred any other group when they could).
      But NOBODY has anything bad to say against those who actually massacred the innocents – only Sharon is held responsible for the massacre, when in fact Israel was onlu guilty of naivety.

  • Robert Davis

    I am not sure “generate dialogue” is of any help with such people in particular jordanians who “worship palestinians” who in fact are jordanians! If they worship them why don’t they let them return to jordan? This matter can be settled only thru violence and IDF must take a strip along eastern part of the river and force jordanians to leave Israel and enter jordan Under fire.Otherwise they will never leave! By force this conflict can find a solution in 4 days whereas thru diaglog it could NOT be settled in a century and time increases antisemitism. There must be some reason why all nations of the world settle those conflicts by force and bring an end to these situations which otherwise can last for efer!

  • NuritG

    Translate it to English so those blaming the non Moslems being Islamophobes understand the message

  • Mohammad Firoze

    I am not Arab and a nominal Muslim in Bangladesh. I wish Israel would practice what this video preaches, on the Arabs who live under its occupation.

    As long as settlements grow and Palestinians are uprooted from their homes Arab hostility will only grow.

    I am not blaming Israel for all the violence but has Israel really reached out to its Arabs?

    • orange

      you sound like a reasonable individual… all parties could and should do more to promote tolerance and a better way to live together.

  • ed

    Would love to have seen subtitles. The just is a great idea, fight ignorance with truth.

  • Susan

    It’s to be expected that people who have lived for DECADES with propaganda born of hatred are going to be slow to grasp the truth of this video. And it may even be that Israel has left it too late to do this. But, it is ALWAYS better late than never, and I applaud this video and call for MORE. More of this is what Israel and the rest of the world needs, not less.

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