Israeli Military Putting Gaza Clips On YouTube

    December 30, 2008

Israel is well known for both developing and buying some of the most advanced military tech in existence.  Now, arms of the nation’s government have begun using two of the tech community’s favorite social media sites in order to explain and defend its recent actions.

These developments are slightly mind-boggling.  First, check out a day-old channel on YouTube featuring (among other things) videos of missile strikes.  The profile states, "The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit is the Israel Defense Forces’ professional body responsible for media and public relations in Israel and around the world.  This is our new site that will help us bring our message to the world."

YouTube Israel
 Israeli Army Using YouTube

Then there’s the Israeli Consulate’s new Twitter account to consider.  A two-hour question and answer session just finished, with Consul David Saranga taking questions from a large crowd.  He concluded, "the point of this was to hear what ppl say and to share our POV with fellow twitters."

Neither outreach effort is likely to hurt Israel’s reputation; openness is hard to criticize.  IDF Foreign Press Branch head Major Avital Leibovich also explained the moves to the Jerusalem Post by saying, "The blogosphere and new media are another war zone.  We have to be relevant there."

Still, whether a country’s intentions can be successfully communicated by short, grainy videos and 140-character messages remains to be seen.  And it’s possible that even these attempts will be limited; presumably due to their violent content, YouTube has already pulled at least two videos the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit posted.