Ayalon uses Facebook to present Israel’s case

"We have to understand that we are facing a very dedicated enemy," says deputy FM at J'lem seminar; de-legitimization will be "obstacle to peace."

By
November 2, 2010 15:02
2 minute read.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon turned to Facebook Tuesday night, transforming the social network platform typically used for cute notes among friends into the forefront of the media battle with the Palestinians for the hearts and minds of the international community.

The live, half-hour question- and-answer session he held with worldwide users was the latest in a series of steps the Foreign Ministry has taken to defend Israel on the Internet and to educate supporters all around the world to do the same.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“We have to create Israel defenders,” Ayalon told the Internet audience.

Earlier in the day, he told pro-Israel activists at the Foreign Ministry that the Internet was a critical tool in the new Israeli-Palestinian public relations war.

The Palestinian Authority has replaced military warfare with political tactics dedicated to defaming Israel and delegitimizing it in the international arena, Ayalon said.

“They [the PA] tried to take us on militarily and they couldn’t, then economically...and then with terror. Now the [battle] front is the political and legal warfare,” he told activists in the oneday seminar sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, called “Israel’s Upcoming Public Diplomacy Challenge.”

“We have to understand that we are facing a very dedicated enemy,” he added, saying it was making use of the Internet and non-government human rights organizations in a very sophisticated way.



If this delegitimization continues, “it will become an obstacle to peace,” he declared.

“If you try and paint Israel into a corner, there is no incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate” because “they believe that someone else will do the job for them,” he said.

To fight this dangerous delegitimization, Israel also needs a network that goes well beyond governmental institutions, he continued, declaring that in the 21st century, an entire community had to band together to tackle its problems.

The government can be supportive in terms of financing and information, but “we cannot do it alone,” he said.

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on the sidelines of the conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the ministry was making use of all the Web tools available, including Twitter and YouTube.

“Five years ago it would not have occurred to us that we needed a Facebook page” or that a press conference could be held on it, Palmor said.

“Now we are veterans of this technique,” he went on, boasting that his ministry had been the first one in the world to host such an event earlier this year.

The ministry, he said, was seeking other Web ideas for spreading Israel’s message.

“Today we need to deal with globalized information and globalized spokesmanship. It happens fast. You need to be permanently on the alert if you want to be there [and to be heard],” said Palmor.

Journalism, he said, was more global than he could ever have dreamed.

“When a Spanish newspaper carries an interview with a renowned Holocaust denier, I will get a phone call from a Polish journalist in Warsaw who wants me to make comments,” said Palmor.

Related Content

Anti-government protesters demonstrate on a street in central Ankara
June 16, 2013
Thousands take to streets of Istanbul, defy Erdogan

By REUTERS