ONTD Political

curious-shadow rkt

Israel Declares War on Hamas via Twitter

9:11 pm - 11/14/2012
Israel Declares War On Hamas Via Twitter, Hamas Responds Via Twitter, Welcome to 2012

A Twitter war that's about an actual war. In real time.

By Dan Nosowitz

IDF Strike on Twitter
via Twitter

Israel launched an offensive this morning on "terror sites and operatives in the Gaza strip, chief among them Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets."

Except that's not what the release said: it said, "terror sites and operatives in the #Gaza strip, chief among them #Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets." Because this announcement was made on Twitter.

The Israeli Defense Forces has a spokesperson, and that spokesperson has a Twitter feed, and that Twitter feed is where information from the Israelis is being disseminated.It's a mix of news ("The IDF has seriously damaged Hamas' long-range missile capabilities (40 km/25 mi range) & underground weapons storage facilities.") and argument in favor of the strike ("Israelis living near the #Gaza Strip have been living under fire for the past 12 years."). It's run extremely blandly
and competently, like whoever's behind the feed was hired after proving their worth as the social media manager of Oprah Magazine. It hits all the right notes: hashtags, links to videos and articles, original photos. Hell, there's even a custom hashtag (#PillarOfDefense) created specifically for this event.

It'd be a very well-run Twitter campaign, except it's not announcing a new cellphone--it's announcing a barrage of missile strikes against a neighboring territory. Those pictures are of bombing sites. The videos are of Israeli generals explaining the bombings, or even videos of the bombings themselves. That hashtag? It's only #PillarOfDefense in English. In Hebrew, as Gawker found out,
it's #PillarOfCloud--"a Biblical reference to the form God adopted in
order to protect the Children of Israel and strike terror into the heart of Egyptians." And instead of Microsoft playfully interacting with Apple, or Domino's and Pizza Hut trading zingers about pizza, we have @AlQassamBrigade, the Twitter account of the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian political party/terrorist organization Hamas, tweeting back:

We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.

@IDFSpokesperson Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are (You Opened Hell Gates on Yourselves)

Remember when Twitter was silly? When it was about what you ate for lunch, or when it was a launching pad for comedians, or an irritating tool for self-promotion? It's not that anymore. Now it's the place where one of the strongest militaries in the world tells us what they're bombing today. It's where the IDF and Hamas interact.

You're no longer being asked to retweet if you love Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich.


apologies for wonky html.. i also left off a final huge pro-Israel tweet (visible at the source) because it was huge and i couldn't resize. also, it was (obviusly) full of bias/spin.

i don't even know ... the interaction is almost funny but that these are people's real life lives.  tbh, if only folks could leave it on the internet and twitter-bickering could bring about the start of world peace
kaelstra 15th-Nov-2012 03:56 am (UTC)
This is really surreal to me.
purplerains 15th-Nov-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
This is so assbackwards. There are no words.
ennifer_jay Repost from another ONTD_political entry about Israel...15th-Nov-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
I am ashamed to say that I am very ignorant on the conflicts between Israel and Palestine. Does anyone have any links to information?
hammersxstrings Re: Repost from another ONTD_political entry about Israel...15th-Nov-2012 05:37 am (UTC)
i know it's wiki but....


may help


not an edu but


Edited at 2012-11-15 06:06 am (UTC)
kitchen_poet Re: Repost from another ONTD_political entry about Israel...15th-Nov-2012 07:11 am (UTC)
The problem with most sources about this conflict is they are narratives and thus inherently biased.
Although one source that I feel that balances itself out are the pair of authors Yaacov Shamir and Khalil Shikaki. They wrote several good articles together about the first and second intifada, and also about Palestinian unity and the struggle with Hamas.

Google Scholar might have it, but (sorry, I'm a librarian---I have to plug library resources!) most public libraries will likely subscribe to databases that could pull it up online.

Also, can I add that I totally respect your honest request for information. It seems like most other political topics involve people screaming at each other whether they know what they are talking about or not. Nicely done, sir. :)
sesmo Re: Repost from another ONTD_political entry about Israel...16th-Nov-2012 12:46 am (UTC)
Wouldn't the more fair pairing with Shikaki who supports the intifada be someone who supports the Israeli settlements? You got a secular Jew who advocates for the PLO and the Palestinian people, and a Palestinian who advocates for the PLO and the Palestinian people. I would not call that balanced.
ragnor144 15th-Nov-2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
I took an entire class about Israel / Palestine, and I still feel like I know next to nothing.
jugglingeggs 15th-Nov-2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
SAME. I have been reading up about it as much as I can for the past 2-3 years and STILL I feel like I know nothing about the situation there. All I know is that it freaking breaks my heart what the Palestinians have to go through. Nobody should be ok with that.
kitanabychoice 15th-Nov-2012 04:30 am (UTC)
I read this about 10 minutes ago and I'm still WTFing. This is so ... I don't even know.
astridmyrna 15th-Nov-2012 04:49 am (UTC)
Holy shit.
little_rachael 15th-Nov-2012 04:53 am (UTC)
You know how with some things, the very fact that they would be "funny" if they didn't evolve real people and real lives makes them that much more chilling?

Yeah. This is one of those things.
shortsweetcynic 15th-Nov-2012 12:31 pm (UTC)
MTE. :/
zinnia_rose 15th-Nov-2012 04:58 am (UTC)
This sounds like an Onion article.
rkt 15th-Nov-2012 06:17 am (UTC)
hence the tag :(
zinnia_rose 15th-Nov-2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Well, don't I fail at reading comprehension. I was so overcome by WTFery that I must have scrolled right past the tags, sorry!
rkt 16th-Nov-2012 01:16 am (UTC)
no need to apologize.
farchivist 15th-Nov-2012 05:02 am (UTC)
A pox on both their houses.
blueboatdreams 15th-Nov-2012 05:09 am (UTC)


Both the IDF and Al Qassam Brigade twitters feel like propaganda machines churning out whatever they can to get the world on their side.


I can't. Done.

Edited at 2012-11-15 05:11 am (UTC)
rkt 15th-Nov-2012 05:27 am (UTC)
i... just.. i know, right?
hammersxstrings 15th-Nov-2012 05:36 am (UTC)
this is breaking my heart :( i fucking hate that the US always sides with Israel on this shit.
(no subject) - Anonymous
hammersxstrings 15th-Nov-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
i know...i still don't like it :/
(no subject) - Anonymous
rkt 16th-Nov-2012 01:17 am (UTC)

twitter needs to update their TOS, apparently.

"no declaring war via us"

nepthys_12 15th-Nov-2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
This is unbelievably awful and disrespectful. They can't formally declare war?
slurp 16th-Nov-2012 10:58 am (UTC)
How embarrassing.
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