Israel, Palestine and the Twitter Frontier

It was only a matter of time before Twitter became the new frontier for conflict.

Quick on the news that the Taliban had taken to the social network (seriously? I’ll wager their WiFi coverage beats 3) Chaim Shacham, head of the information and Internet department at the Foreign Ministry announced the initiative.

It should be daring, slightly awesome and more than a little daunting.

But given the complete absence of the spontaneity that characterizes Tweets, it fulfils only the latter:

We are intensively preparing ahead of September. We have formulated some arguments that are relevant to what’s going to happen in September, even if we don’t know exactly what it will be. We began disseminating these arguments and statements, backed by links to documents and articles, among the relevant bloggers and social media members.

From our perspective we’ve already begun the battle over publicity, though formally, nothing has begun. Our main argument is ‘Palestinian state yes, but only through direct negotiations.’ In events that we have to truncate the message to fewer characters, we say, ‘Let’s talk’. [Source]

It is orchestrated, prepared and touched by vitriol (the move is partly in reaction to the surge in online support for the flotillas) to the extent that it surely cannot work as a campaign machine.

No minds will be changed that have not been already; it will provide a platform for the Israeli perspective – no bad thing if the notion of freedom of information is to be upheld.

But as a frontier? No.

The element of calculated preparation can not rival the impromptu bursts of passionate humanitarianism shared by the pro-Palestinian side.

The ideological battle may be waged in a limited 140 characters, but it will never be won.

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This entry was posted on May 25, 2011 by in Israel, Palestine and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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