The Numbers Crunch: AIPAC on the Web

Conference participants tweet #iamproisrael and Israelis post Purim; Russian clips popular on YouTube.

March 9, 2012 09:33
3 minute read.
The Numbers Crunch

Numbers Crunch 311. (photo credit: Mrkay Design)


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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee held its annual policy conference this week, which made waves in both local and foreign media as well as on social networks. Videos of keynote addresses were posted on news sites and shared on Facebook alike, participants and speakers tweeted, and supporters of Israeli the world over wrote messages using the #iamproisrael tag.

On it was no different; four of the most-read stories were comments made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his trip to Canada and the US, all leading with statements on the Iranian nuclear threat. The top story, which was read almost twice as many times as the runner up, was on an interview which US President Barack Obama gave prior to his own AIPAC address.

JPost Top Five most-read stories:
1. Obama seeks concrete resolution to Iranian threat
2. PM: Israel has acted against US advice before
3. PM to AIPAC: Israel can't wait much longer on Iran
4. PM: I'll never let Israel live under shadow of annihilation
5. Netanyahu: 'Israel's positions accepted with understanding'

Netanyahu’s rhetoric also stirred up discussion on the JPost talkback forums. Four of the five most-active threads corresponded with the most-read stories, with the exception being a story on accusations by a top PLO official that Israel is building a settler state in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

JPost Top Five most-active threads:
1. Obama seeks concrete resolution to Iranian threat
2. PM: Israel has acted against US advice before
3. PM to AIPAC: Israel can't wait much longer on Iran
4. Abed Rabbo: Israel is building a settler state
5. PM: I'll never let Israel live under shadow of annihilation

Hundreds of JPost readers responded to a poll on safeguarding against Iran going nuclear and yet still maintain good relations with the US. A plurality of respondents – almost 35 percent – voiced optimism, answering that the US has made it clear it will never abandon Israel. However some 25% were more skeptical, opining that Obama has hinted he would not support a premature strike on Iran.

Iran-Israel US poll

On social networks, meanwhile, the AIPAC- and Iran-related stories were less popular. The JPost story with the most page views from Facebook was a weekly feature of old Israeli photos, followed by an article by Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh on a female terrorist’s talkshow. On Twitter, however, our live feed from AIPAC brought in the most traffic, followed by an article, gallery and video on the long awaited snow in Jerusalem.

Zooming out to international news on social media, a Pew Research Center report on new media in the past week found that events in Russia dominated video news online for the second time in a month. The most-viewed clip was a fake scene showing Russian President Vladmir Putin on trial for corruption and terrorism, made using footage from businessman Mikhail Kodorkovsky’s trial in 2010. The Russian-language clip, which garnered over five million views, was released as Russian riot police detained hundreds of protesters challenging the legitimacy of Putin’s presidential election victory.

Lastly, in honor of Purim this week, the colorful festival’s name was one of the highest trending Twitter terms in the region, along with an apparent reference to the popular Sh*t meme, @shitegyptiansay.

Twitter purim

From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a weekly column which zooms out and brings you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the world, and poll results from

The writer is the Internet desk manager at The Jerusalem Post

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