The Israeli government has launched a new program to promote the Israeli agenda on Facebook and internet chatrooms.
Students participating in the program will receive a two thousand dollar stipend from the Jewish Agency to spend five hours a week online promoting talking points provided by the Israeli government. The Jewish Agency is a quasi-governmental organization. While it does not receive funding from the Israeli government, it does enjoy a great amount of political support from and closely coordinates work with the Israeli government.
According to the National Union of Israeli Students, which is a partner in the program, it is aimed at quote “deepening and expanding hasbara activities of students." Hasbara is a Hebrew word that means, literally, explanation but, in this context, it implies propaganda. Hasbara efforts usually consist of framing the illegal occupation of the West Bank as security-related and depicting Palestinians as terrorists who are uninterested in peace. Among other tactics, those who engage in hasbara typically say that Israel was founded by Holocaust survivors, ignoring that the Zionist movement and settlements began in the late 1800s.
Critics of the new program say that the information provided to student participants does not make any distinction between anti-Jewish statements and legitimate criticism of the Israeli government’s policies. Instead, program organizers say that all criticism of Israel constitutes ‘anti-Semitism’ and should be combated using cyber-warfare and propaganda.
To that end, they will be sending hundreds of self-proclaimed ‘student missionaries’ to colleges around the world to promote the online propaganda program and to encourage students to support the Israeli government’s agenda.
To be eligible for the program, students must have lived in Israel for three years and consider themselves active Zionists, as well as having served in the Israeli military.
It should be noted that there are a number of organizations dedicated to turning university students into hasbara agents, such as the Hasbara Fellowship that offers American Jews a deeply discounted trip to Israel on the contingency that participants return to the US and push the right-wing Israeli narrative on college campuses.
In: World News, Politics, Other Middle East, WTF
Tags: palestine, israel, westbank, gaza, jews, propaganda
Location: United States (load item map)
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