New pro-Palestine Twitter campaign denies Israel’s existence

Once again it is important to reiterate there is no evidence that the articles being replied to or retweeted have any connection to each other or the coordinated campaign

People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL)
People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL)
A new campaign on social media platform Twitter appears to include more than one hundred pro-Palestinian accounts that are attacking posts about Israel by claiming that all of Israel is “Palestine.”
This campaign was revealed by a post that I put up of a peacock in the Negev over the weekend. The hundred comments on the post are all similar and appear to be a network of Twitter accounts that are coordinated.
This is not the first time that groups of accounts have acted in concert using social media to push political messages. The corporation disclosed in June networks of 32,000 accounts that appeared state-linked. For instance 7,340 of the accounts were linked to Turkey’s ruling party, coordinating attacks on dissidents and those who don’t support Ankara’s regime.
The current network coordinated an attack on a photo that included the word “Israel.”
One account called “Nana” was created in December 2020 and replied “this land belongs to the Palestinians from the north to the south and to the east and west long live Palestine such a beautiful country until the Israelis came and occupied.”
The same account replies to posts from Dawn in Pakistan regarding reports that Pakistan could recognize Israel. The account replied “Israel is a terrorist state that kills innocent people and demolishes their homes. It must be boycotted. Normalization with Israel means stealing more Palestinian lands.”
Another December 21 reply by “Bader” claims that “this is Palestine. There nothing can be called Israel.”
The Bader account was created in June 2020. It retweeted Ali Mustafa of TRT attacking a recent group of visitors from the UAE and Bahrain to Israel. The tweet notes “These Emirati and Bahraini sellouts have no shame.”
Bader also retweeted CJ Werleman’s recent tweet about Israel detaining Palestinians and a tweet by Hanan Ashrawi. It also retweeted recent tweets by Dan Cohen, Sarah Leah Whitson and Kenneth Roth about Israel, and an article about Israel doing vaccinations but Palestinians not being vaccinated. And it slammed Gal Gadot. The “Nana” account retweeted the same Gal Gadot image.
Then there is “Hala”, an account with 200 followers created in August 2020. Hala claimed that the peacock photo is “this our land Palestine.”
This account retweeted the same Ali Mustafa tweet and the same Washington Post vaccination article, then retweeted the same Hanan Ashrawi and Dan Cohen articles and Ken Roth and Sarah Leah Whitson tweets. It also retweeted the same Gal Gadot meme. That meme now has 2,600 retweets. It’s unclear how many of them are linked to the same exact pattern of retweets, but it appears some are.
At the time of writing the retweet pattern included another tweet by Rafael Shimunov of the Washington Post vaccination story. There were 377 retweets as of 7:55 p.m. Israel time. The Sarah Leah Whitson article, which is about Effi Eitam, also had 377 retweets.
Not all the replies had the same pattern. However, they had similar replies to the peacock photo.
“Ishaq Islam” tweeted the same “we will return” meme as “Hala.” Like others the “Ishaq” account’s replies included messages like “freedom for Palestine” with Palestinian flags. Then there was a series of replies that simply said “this is Palestine” with flags.
An account called “Khetam” created in March 2020 with 691 followers also retweeted the Ali Mustafa tweet about “sellouts.” It had the precise same pattern of retweets as the Ashrawi post – Dan Cohen and CJ Werleman and Sophie McNeill and Roth and Whitson and then Shimunov.
This does not imply that there is a connection between any of the Twitter accounts being retweeted, only that a pattern of social media users appeared to retweet all the same posts in a similar order.
The account “Millisa,” created in January 2014 with only 106 followers, did the same exact type of retweet pattern. The account “Manar,” created in August 2020 with 84 followers did the same. Another “Bader” account did the same, as did another August 2020 account called “James.”
THE PATTERN of “this is Palestine” replies on December 21, combined with similar retweet patterns, appears to indicate a coordinated campaign. The goal of this campaign is mostly about boosting anti-Israel content. There are also reply patterns, such as replies to the same article at the Pakistan paper Dawn. An AJC post about Reverend Raphael Warnock got more than 400 replies, and some appear to be linked to this coordinated campaign. One reply says “Israel is a settler colonial regime.”  
The retweets clearly boosted some articles. Ashrawi’s articles usually get only a handful of retweets, but this particular article on December 18 got more than 300. Dawn articles usually get only a handful of replies, but this one got 100.
Once again it is important to reiterate there is no evidence that the articles being replied to or retweeted have any connection to each other or the coordinated campaign.
The campaign has set upon a series of pro-Palestinian tweets or articles and one photo of a peacock to push a pro-Palestine agenda. This agenda also targeted the recent delegation from the UAE and Bahrain to Israel.
Why this coordinated campaign was operationalized at this time is unclear, and it is unclear whether the same accounts will continue the coordinated campaign and similar pattern of tweets.
The accounts all share the fact that they have a small number of followers, usually in the hundreds. Some were created recently, but others date back to 2014.
The decision by the group to focus on a Pakistan newspaper could imply that the coordination is related to Pakistan and is aware of Dawn, a paper most in the West are not aware of. However, it could also just be a coincidence due to a keyword search for “Israel” that brought the Dawn article to the attention of the coordinated group.