Israel Makes Its Case -- In 140 Characters or Less
Twitter feeds, YouTube footage show what really happened.
10:55 AM, Jun 2, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
Noah Shachtman has a rather dour take on the utility of Israel's new media engagements in the wake of the flotilla fiasco:
Dror might be right. But that doesn't mean Israel can afford to sit out the PR fight, especially when Hezbollah and Hamas are so adept at explioting suffering.
The IDF's use of new media gadgets is a 180 degree turnaround from prior PR disasters -- snafus that could have easily been avoided with a combat cameraman and a Twitter feed. In the immediate aftermath of the flotilla pacification, IDF spokespeople flooded YouTube and Twitter with videos, metrics and data (like how much aid moves into Gaza daily via Israeli checkpoints), and even directly contradicted some of the more virulent anti-Israel propaganda inundating cyberspace. This wasn't insignificant. Had the IDF failed to publish the video of their commandos being attacked by murderous activists (swiftly posted by McCormack here on the blog hours after the ship's seizure), the current narrative could have been completely different.
Savvy PR utilization can be a game changer, and I think -- at least in the this instance -- the IDF has finally wised up.