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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.”

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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