Days after sending aircraft to strike Hamas militants in Gaza, the Israeli government is launching a campaign to dominate the blogosphere.
Among other things, the Israeli military has started its own YouTube channel to distribute footage of precision airstrikes. And as I type, the Israeli consulate in New York is hosting a press conference on microblogging site Twitter. It’s pretty interesting to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reduced to tweets of 140 characters or less (“We hav 2 prtct R ctzens 2, only way fwd through neogtiations, & left Gaza in 05. y Hamas launch missiles not peace?”; “we’re not at war with the PAL people. we’re at war with a group declared by the EU& US a terrorist org”).
The Jerusalem Post quotes Maj. Avital Leibovich, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ foreign press branch on the digital media campaign. “The blogosphere and new media are another war zone,” she says. “We have to be relevant there.”
It appears, however, that some of the YouTube posts have already been scrubbed. A note on the page of the pro-Israel YouTube channel reads: “We are saddened that YouTube has taken down some of our exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip. … It is also worth noting that one of the videos removed had the highest number of hits (over 10,000) at the time of its removal.”