On Nakba Day, Israel faced hostility on four borders: Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, and Lebanon. Yet as another flotilla prepares to sail and as the Palestinians prepare to head for Turtle Bay in September, a different front is on Israel’s mind. I speak, of course, of the dread Twitter. “We are intensively preparing ahead of September,” Chaim Shacham, the Foreign Ministry’s head of information and Internet, tells Haaretz. (“Think of him as the Israeli government’s tweeter.”) Well jeeze, I mean Jews do run the Internet, this shouldn’t be that difficult?
Twitter hasbara turns out to be complicated though. “For instance,” says a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, using the flotilla as an example, “it isn’t enough to say there’s a maritime blockade—we have to explain where it can be under international law. Since the explanation is a complex legal one, which contradicts the simplicity of messages by Twitter or Facebook, we have to distill the complex messages in a more accessible way, and send links to legal sources.”
So basically, the Internet is the new bumper sticker. With links.
Israel Preparing Itself for Twitter War Over Palestinian State [Haaretz]
Related: Web Jew.0 [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: The Arab Spring Comes to Israel
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.