Yechiel Jacobs, Instagram social media influencer, spoke to Real Talk at Israel National News - Arutz Sheva, on how a bit of sarcasm and a New York accent can play a big part in Israel’s public relations, especially during the current Gaza War. Engaging in the social media ecosystem, Yechiel skillfully navigates this challenge by infusing serious topics with sarcastic humor, transforming complex issues into accessible and sharable messages.

Yechiel Jacobs introduced himself and his social media enterprise, “This all started after October 7th, when obviously everyone was just in shock, horror. On top of that there started all these pro-Palestinian videos out there, these anti-Israel, antisemitic videos that were completely false. I saw these videos and it bothered me to the core that no one was responding to these specific videos, and they're getting away with crazy lies. For example, Israel's doing a genocide, Israel's an apartheid. All these crazy accusations that are so false, so I figured, ‘you know what, I'll do it.’ The way I decided to do it is like, I'm a funny guy, so I'll figured I’d try using my humor to captivate the audience, but at the same time bring in the message and bring in the facts and the reality, so that even people that aren't necessarily into Israel or know what's flying here, will still watch my videos because they're entertaining, but they walk away knowing a little bit more about Israel. So that was the idea, and I did my first video and it really kicked off. This video got 300,000 views in about four days, and I didn't even have a big account. I had an Instagram account with about 800 followers, so it just exploded.”

Yechiel felt that he was doing something good, doing something positive and people really needed this. He understands that this is, “What people really needed. It was at a time when everyone was going through such hardships, and it was unbearable. You go through Instagram and everything is depressing, depressing, depressing, depressing and heavy, heavy and heavy. And then you go to the next one and it's like, ‘How you doing? You're like – who's this kid? And I'm saying all the things that people are thinking, like I'm calling out the stupidity, but I'm doing it in a humorous way. If you take stupidity and you respond with seriousness, you're almost justifying the stupidity, but when you do it in a sarcastic, comical way, it's throwing it to the side and then bringing the facts. I think that it was a perfect mixture, and that's why I really was able to explode.”

Yechiel has just turned 23 and feels that this is, “Definitely becoming more full-time. I'm starting to do standup comedy shows, I'm doing a lot more events. Actually, I'm a comedian as of like four and a half minutes ago. It literally started like six months ago. I was always funny, but never a public figure, and then through this, it kind of brought it out.”

Yechiel believes that as a young adult, who is very active on social media, “His message is, ‘make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.’ I believe that everything comes from God, so He said, ‘you’re doing it for the right reasons, so I’ll help you.’ I think that when you do things for the right reasons, people notice that and people want to encourage that, so they want to share my content. It's not like they’re thinking, ‘This kid wants to become big and popular, but no, this kid is standing up for Israel. He's standing up for the Jewish people and I want to promote him. I want to help him.’ I think that's what really helps. So, for the young generation I have to make sure to have the right intentions and I think that will be super helpful to help you grow.”

Yechiel came to Israel on a 5-day delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and describes it as, “Incredible. I came with a few other influencers. We went down south, we went to the kibbutzim, the Nova Festival, which was very heavy, but it was important to see everything. It was crazy to see something like that, that I've been fighting for nonstop for the past six and a half months on social media, to see it in real life, to see what it is that I'm saying, ‘this is what happened. Look what happened.’ It was very intense. I did a video on it, just giving my raw feedback on it and it was very intense, but it was very important. I'm happy I did it and now I'm happy to be in Israel for a little bit longer to meet people.”

Yechiel says that, “He is known in Israel, not by everybody, but a lot of times people take pictures and a beautiful thing is if people see me and say, ‘Thank you so much for what you're doing’ and just walk away. Those are the best for me, because that shows that they really appreciate it, and it means that I'm really doing something good. I am quite well known in the US, in the Jewish communities.”

Yechiel comes from a very global background, “My Mom's Australian, my Dad's from England. They met in Israel, had me and my sister in Israel and now we live in America. Our upbringing is religious, modern Orthodox, so there's no drama here. I've been consistent my whole life.” So, if there are any girls who are watching, Yechiel says that he can ‘send you my shidduch resume,’ and put you in touch with my Mom.”

Yechiel agrees that, “Israel's public relations is not good. Hamas’ is way better. This is my theory, number one, that we're majorly outnumbered. When it comes to social media, you're talking about insane numbers. Number two, is that in Israel we care about something called the truth. People aren't so familiar with it unfortunately nowadays, but we care about truth and we care about facts. So that means that when Israel puts out things, we have to verify them before we release them. The other side, Hamas, the pro-Palestinian side, they get information, see that it makes Israel look bad, send it out, send it out, send it out. Israel is constantly putting out all these fires and is forced to be on the defense, taking out all these fires. We never have the opportunity to even go on the offense, we verify information and then release it. So, I think that's a big reason why we're at a big disadvantage, because we're putting out things that are truthful and we care about what actually happened, as opposed to just putting out what makes the other side look bad.”

Yechiel believes that the best way to attack the other side, “I think for straight thinkers, people that are serious thinkers and not naturally antisemitic, when they actually look into it, we have the truth on our side, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. A disadvantage because we have to verify everything and put it out and an advantage, because anyone who actually cares about the truth will look at our stuff and think, ‘one second, I did a little bit of research and what they're saying is actually true, while what the other side's saying is completely false and not true. I think that those people will gravitate toward Israel's side. So, I think we what we have to do is release the truth faster. If we can, get more people on board, get more involved globally. We have to connect all together, as opposed to everyone doing their own thing. If we can have Israel connecting with influencers around the world, to put out information, I think that will be a big help.”

Yechiel admits that, “The Americans are really on our side. Absolutely. That's a big thing that I felt. It’s good to know that we are not alone. Israel is not alone. That's a huge thing that people need to know and I felt that when I came here. We met the families of the hostages and a big feeling that I got hit with was they were so grateful and so thankful. They were almost shocked that I came and the feeling I had is like, ‘of course, it's not even a question. Of course, I'm going to stand up for you guys. I think the mindset in Israel is, ‘We're alone.’ But, the truth is you're not alone and I'm telling you as an American from Florida, there are so many people that are pro-Israel, that are fighting for Israel, that are actively doing things for Israel. It's incredible to see. So, the message I want to give over is you're not alone and there are a lot of people that are silent that are on our side and there are a lot of people that aren't silent and on our side globally.”

Yechiel filmed his last video with Michael Rapaport, the actor who is always standing up for Israel and asked him if he puts on Tefillin, “Yeah, we get to spread the truth everywhere. Chabad, it's all good. First of all, a shout out to Michael. He's unbelievable, he's been such an incredible supporter of Israel and I met him personally. I know him personally and he's so genuine in what he's doing and it's so refreshing to see. There's no motive. It's just, this is the truth, I want to make sure everyone knows about it. That's what he does and that’s what inspires me and other influencers to do the same thing. It's like, ‘This is the truth, let's go. He's awesome.”

Regarding his plans for the future, Yechiel is currently “Just going with the flow. I'm saying yes to every opportunity that I get. I was handed a big opportunity and the last thing I want to do is to let it go. Standup comedy is something that I started doing. I did a show in LA, I did a show in Miami, I have two shows coming up in New York. I think overall is just seeing where things take me. I’m obviously not just waiting to see whatever happens, but being proactive. I maybe want to take this even into acting, Hollywood, see where it takes me.”

Yechiel concludes his interview with a final message, “Israel is probably one of the smallest countries on planet earth, but the truth is we're the biggest family on planet earth. That's something we’ve got to take away – keep together, keep supporting each other. That's my number one message. Am Yisrael Chai.”