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      Organizer: Facebook Can’t Replace Real-Life Protest

      Activist organizer Yitzchak Shadmi says online activism can’t replace street protests, but has a place.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 6/24/2012, 11:02 PM

      Protest (file)
      Protest (file)
      Flash 90

      Activism on social networks is crucial, but cannot replace street protests, says Yitzchak Shadmi, head of the Binyamin Residents’ Council.

      “Strong, determined protests are critical, and their importance should not be underestimated,” he told Arutz Sheva. The Council’s new initiative to teach social network activism should not be taken as a move away from traditional protests, he added.

      However, he said, “Not everyone is able to stand at junctions, to confront police, to be shoved or sometimes more than that. A wise man, quoting another wise man, once told me that the distance from standing on the sidewalk to going into the street is more than twenty centimeters.”

      In addition, he noted, there are times when the political situation is relatively calm and no protests are taking place. “In calmer times, social networks can be used to get the message out.”

      One of the most important messages to transmit is Judea and Samaria’s proximity to the rest of Israel, he said. Most people “don’t understand what’s going on. They don’t understand that this is happening 20 kilometers from them. It seems to them like something from a far-away land.”

      The course on social network activism is to begin this week.