IDF Using Social Media for Gaza Public Relations

The New York Times reports that the Israel Defense Forces are using video on their YouTube channel and a Twitter based news conference to bring their message to audiences far and wide. The Times reports:

“Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well,” said David Saranga, the head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, which conducted the Twitter news conference on Tuesday… Tuesday’s online dialogue, which was open for questions from anyone with a Twitter account, was “the first governmental press conference ever held on Twitter.” And he made no apologies for using common text-messaging abbreviations 2 for to, 4 for for, and r for are, and other shorthand like civ for civilian in his answers. “I speak to every demographic in a language he understands,” he said. “If someone only speaks Spanish, I speak in Spanish; if someone is using a platform like Twitter, I want to tweet.”

While the 140 characters allowed in a “tweet” (a posting on Twitter – see CommonCraft for a brief explanation of Twitter) may not be able to dive into the nuance and details of the conflict, the Twitter-based PR efforts seem to be more intended to build relationships. Those who participated felt they had a direct ear to someone with authority, and being able to engage in dialog, even 140 characters at a time, is in fact a small step towards greater understanding and use of words (or at least partl 1s) instead of weapons. Experts from the Twitter Q&A follow, as reported by The New York Times. See the full article for more.


explore4corners: How many attacks have there been against IS in the last 6 months? How many casualties? The MSM doesn’t report that here.

israelconsulate: ovr 500 rockts Hit IL in the 6 mts of CF. per the last 72 hrs mre thn 300 hit IL. kiling 4 ppl & injuring hndrds


carrotderek: On what conditions would Israel consider a ceasefire?

israelconsulate: CF must ensure no more rockets on IL no arms smuggling. btw crossings for Human Aid r open and trucks are entering


backlotops: 1 side has to stop. Why continue what hasn’t worked (mass arial/grnd retaliation)? Arab Peace Initiative?

israelconsulate: we R pro nego. crntly tlks r held w the PA tlks on the 2 state soln. we talk only w/ ppl who accept R rt 2 live.

If you’d like a challenge, “translate” the above tweets and post your translations in the comments of this blog post so others who don’t “speak tweet” can understand it!

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