The Gaza conflict is being fought online, as well. Twitter is the main new front in a propaganda war between Israel and Hamas, but experts say the use of social media for public diplomacy is a double-edged sword. Social media can help convey a message to the public, but Twitter can be used carelessly, with a danger of overplaying things
It was inevitable as governments and the militants fighting governments became more adept at social media that they’d end up using Twitter and YouTube against each other. The problem is that in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the very real war can come across as farcical on Twitter, as the two sides go at each other.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan dashed hopes for a normalisation of his country’s relations with Israel, on his return to Ankara from a state visit to Berlin Friday, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel directly appealed to him to reopen dialogue with the Jewish State.
In a brief visit lasting several hours, Sheikh Hamad was inaugurating a $250 million Qatari investment project to help Gaza rebuild from the damage caused by an Israeli offensive against Hamas in December 2008 to January 2009. The project includes a new housing development that will be named in his honor in the southern city of Khan Younis.
Despite leveling criticism at Israel for “excessive force,” the report could and should have been a major prize for Israel’s public diplomacy. How often, and particularly at a time of precious few PR gifts, does a UN-sponsored investigation uphold the legitimacy of Israel’s naval blockade and highlight the danger of Hamas from Gaza?
Israeli officials are already trying to use the opening of the crossing for public diplomacy, arguing that a planned new flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists with supplies for Gaza is a political provocation rather than a humanitarian mission.
Ambassador Menha Bakhoum, head of media and public diplomacy for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, told CNN, “The Egyptian government decided to open the Rafah border to give relief to the people of Gaza permanently.
Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli conductor, led an orchestra of two dozen elite musicians — volunteers from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Berlin Staatskapelle, the Orchestra of La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris — into Gaza on Tuesday.