Besides attacking Hamas terrorists in Gaza and hampering their ability to harm Israeli civilians, Israel has been fighting Gaza Arab terror on the cyber front. With social media becoming more important than government announcements or even TV coverage, the government has set up a special “social media situation room” which will communicate to the rest of the world in real time what exactly is happening in the new IDF operation, Pillar of Defense.
The opening of the situation room was presided over Wednesday night by Hasbara and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein. The situation room is working with the IDF, the Defense and Homefront Command ministries, and other official channels, taking the information from all streams and “translating” them for use on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. Until now, the situation room has concentrated on messages aimed at diplomats and the media.
Staff in the situation room are in touch with thousands of bloggers and other pro-Israel activists around the world involved in social media. The messages are sent to these activists, and forwarded on to social networks, blogs, web sites, and other internet outlets. The messages include statements from officials, testimonies from resident under fire, photos, videos, and links to news stories. The messages are sent out in a variety of languages.
“We began this effort in order to ensure that government officials and citizens can work together to get the word out about our situation effectively,” said Edelstein. “We are here to reveal to the world the intolerable suffering of residents of the south, and the need for this military operation against Hamas and the terror groups. I am sure that our efforts will be reinforced by tens of thousands of activists from Jewish communities around the world,” he added.