Shaping public opinion on the Gaza blockade, 140 characters at a time.
Just moments after the Israeli navy boarded the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in the Mediterranean en route to Gaza, an explosive battle of another kind was playing out on the Facebook and Twitter fronts.
The phrases “Gaza flotilla” and “#freedomflotilla” were among the three highest “trending topics” on Twitter on Monday morning, Eastern Standard Time. By Tuesday morning, “flotilla” still remained among the top 10.
Israel’s disputes with its neighbors have a long history — but there’s also a less tangible, but no less important front line: the media. Public opinion in the United States is an important area of concern for Israel, especially considering Israel has not always been great with its own public relations. Fortunately, there are a number of American-based groups that help make the case for Israel, and one of the best is The Israel Project (TIP).
No humanitarian aid to Shalit, and no story either.
Even before the facts were clear about the battle between Israeli commandos and the pro-Hamas flotilla, we were told by The New York Times website, and dozens of other online media, that Israel was being “condemned.” Indeed it was.
Peter Beinart dispensed harsh criticism for Israel replete with phrases I have heard before from people who think they are pro-peace (“Beinart’s Blast,” Editorial, May 21). I agree that Jews in the U.S. face crucial challenges. Many of our young people no longer feel a connection to Israel and organized Jewish institutions.
In the “Back of the Book” section, Sharon Udasin provides a poignant snapshot of the diminishing tolerance for Jews in Europe (“Speaking The King’s Jewish English,” May 28). In a conversational tone, she describes how “kipot” cannot he worn in public and pronouncing the word “Jew” risks violence. Yarmulkes are kept out of sight, and the word, “wej,” (Jew spelled backwards) is used instead. How sad and disturbing.
The desecration, vandalism and redevelopment of Jewish cemeteries in Europe has prompted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press local governments abroad to preserve those sites.
In a letter Tuesday to Clinton, Gillibrand said she was acting on behalf of constituents who have expressed concern “about the threats faced by historic cemeteries, such as those in Lithuania, Poland and Malta.”
Given that last week's big Jewish news was Peter Beinart's criticism of the Jewish American establishment, I got up today wondering what he'd say about the Gaza flotilla attacks. Not so surprisingly, he had quite a bit to say, and posted his reaction on The Daily Beast.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration wants Israel to conduct a "full and credible" investigation into a clash that left nine people dead when Israel commandoes boarded a flotilla shipping aid to the Gaza Strip.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- With nations around the world condemning Israel for the deaths of nine people aboard a Gaza-bound ship, israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned visit to the White House.
Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Obama following a weekend visit to Canada, which included a working meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The visit would have been Netanyahu's first meeting with Obama since a late March meeting at the White House in which the administration was accused of snubbing the Israeli leader.