The Israeli government’s Foreign Ministry is involved in efforts to influence public opinion on the Internet. ‘s Foreign Ministry orders Internet propagandists, so called "trainee diplomats," to skew online polls and public forums to conform with the Israeli line.
This is an organized effort, using "special ‘megaphone’ software," to alert "hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists" so they can manipulate Internet websites and chatrooms to conform with the slant that already permeates mainstream media.
Yonit Farago in
In the past week nearly 5,000 members of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) have downloaded special "megaphone" software that alerts them to anti-Israeli chatrooms or internet polls to enable them to post contrary viewpoints. A student team in
"We’re saying to these people that if is being bashed, don’t ignore it, change it," Mr Cline said. "A poll like CNN’s takes just a few seconds to vote in, but if thousands take part the outcome will be changed. What’s vital is that the international face of the conflict is balanced."
Doron Barkat, 29, in
"It’s very satisfying. There are also forums where Lebanese and Israelis talk."
‘s Foreign Ministry must avoid direct involvement with the campaign but is in contact with international Jewish and evangelical Christian groups, distributing internet information packs.
Amir Gissin, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s public relations director, said: "The internet’s become a leading tool for news, shaping the world view of millions. Our problem is the foreign media shows Lebanese suffering, but not Israeli. We’re bypassing that filter by distributing pictures showing how northern Israelis suffer from Katyusha rocket attacks.".