Israel Launches Social Media Effort to Reach Arab Youth in Wake of Peace Accords

(Sunday Telegraph-UK) James Rothwell - Israel is deploying a social media unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to introduce Arabs to Israeli perspectives on key security issues, such as the threat posed by the Iranian regime and its proxy groups in the region. Yonatan Gonen, 34, head of the unit's Arabic team, said, "Without social media we would not have been able to reach such a large audience in the Arab world because...most Arab media is very hostile to us." The unit's Israel Arabic page on Facebook has 2.8 million fans. One recent post, which received more than 6,000 "likes," shows a beaming group of Arabs, one wearing a veil, sitting in a restaurant in Dubai with Israeli tourists. Another Facebook post juxtaposes glamorous photographs from Saudi Arabia and the UAE with the ruins of countries where Iran's proxies wield influence, such as Syria and Iraq. "We want to show the Arab world that we have a shared challenge, not just with the Iranian regime but also on regional development," said Gonen. The unit also runs Persian social media channels which reach one million users in Iran. In addition, up to a third of the unit's 400,000 Twitter followers are in Saudi Arabia.

2021-02-04 00:00:00

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