The day after Israel occupied even more of Palestine by approving another settlement in east Jerusalem—and a mere week after some Israeli soldiers crossed into Lebanon—the Israeli Government has decided it needs some good PR. How? By simply bribing student nationals with scholarships at its seven universities in exchange for the students making pro-Israel Facebook posts and Tweets targeted towards foreign audiences.
It is now possible to sell your opinions and get paid with education. Smooth. I guess when brainwashing your own people doesn’t work, paying them to promote scripted opinions is easier?
The Independent, also says the students are not supposed to reveal that they are being funded by the Israeli government—they should make the fake posts “undercover” as it were. So we will never know if what is posted by an Israeli Student is propaganda or his real opinions. Seems education in Israel these days is not so much about forming your own opinions as simply repeating the right opinion. But really Mr. Nethanyahu? You don’t think your government’s aggressive behavior has isolated your people enough? Are you going to make them lose credibility in the Internet too? Just because you want to LOOK GOOD?
This plan is so brilliant Netanyahu is probably gearing up for a Peace Price from Iran or North Korea. It must have been an eye opener for Netanyahu to see what people write about him on the Internet, and it’s easy to assume he didn’t like what he saw.
I know it can be hard to read what people say about you on the Internet. And if you have done bad things people will will write bad uncensored things about you, just like I am doing now, Mr Netanyahu! However, if you are willing to listen you can actually learn a lot from people on the Internet. The reason for this is that people from different backgrounds and mindsets come together and communicate with a goal of sharing knowledge and ideas and learning. And when I talk to an Israeli person (who is not paid by the government) on the Internet I do that because I want to get to know and learn from a person, not a Government.If I wanted to do that I could just visit your country’s propagandic homepage! Or perhaps the IDF blog which recently published a sunny, smiling, and ridiculously false blog post on how the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is no more.
The problem is that if you are known to be a liar, people stop believing you. Not telling the truth didn’t work so well for the Israelis during the war against Lebanon in 2006. Polls conducted by Dr. Udi Lebel show that the Israeli public trusted Nasrallah to divulge details of the atrocities as they occurred more than the Israeli prime minister at that time, Shimon Perez.
And if people don’t believe you anymore, I agree, you have a problem as a politician. But still, paying educated youths to openly support your agenda is a bit trashy! It’s like when you are the loser who can’t get any friends so you have to pay the kids to hang out with you, or if you are the loser who can’t get laid and has to pay for sex. It’s uncool. And to go back to the schoolyard, which you are fond of, paying people to say you are cool it makes you look really Uncool.
The Irony of paying a student for their opinions – about Israeli Democratic Values, doesn’t seem to matter for the Israeli Government. No matter how clear it is for everyone else. Doing such a good job that people would actually write about you by their free will doesn’t seem like an option to the Israeli Government.Now the Israeli Government is paying Israeli Youths to secretly fight an information battle where Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu says will focus on political and security issues, combating calls to boycott Israel and combating efforts to question Israel’s legitimacy. The officials said the students would stress Israeli democratic values, freedom of religion and pluralism—but apparently not the freedom to have your own opinions.
It is easy to draw the conclusion that a program of this sort is meant to highlight the well doings of the government and to shadow the wrongdoings. When Israel approved the plan to build 900 new homes in East Jerusalem last week, was their propaganda army supposed to celebrate it? Or perhaps tweet the price lists of the new apartments?
The Numbers of Ethiopian Jews killing themselves in the Israeli Army is said to be ten times higher than average. Is Netanyahu’s Internet army going to say it’s “LOL”? Will they tweet that there is no racism in Israel, that Ben has been doing a good job – and looks cool doing it?
No matter what their motives are YOU have to start being more critical when you see Israeli Students posting stuff on Social Media. This kid might not have his own opinions – he might have sold them for an “education”!
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