By Alison Weir
Concerned that growing international criticism of Israel as an apartheid state is “just as threatening” as Gazan rockets, Israel advocates have created a new website and complementary smartphone app to defend Israel online and attack critics.
App users have already managed to bring the rating of an Australian business critical of Israel down from 4.6 to 1.4.
According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the campaign leverages the collective efforts of pro-Israel students who “speak 35 languages, hail from 86 countries and have connections to the pro-Israel community all over the world.”
The way it works is that app users find instances where Israel is being criticized, and then they program the app to alert all users to focus their online efforts on that target.
For example, app users targeted an Australian business that allegedly refused to serve Israelis. The app instructed participants to criticize the firm on Facebook and succeeded in “bringing its rating down from a 4.6 out of 5 to a dismal 1.4.”
A current “mission” calls on app user to post comments on an Al Jazeera Facebook post, telling users: “Al Jazeera published a video where Hanan Ashwari (PA legislator) refers to Israel and Palestinians as ‘master and slave.’ Let’s call out this rhetoric for what it is: demonization and incitement.”
The related website contains file folders with documents with talking points on a variety of topics, including United Nations actions, Hamas, U.S. policies, etc. The campaign also has a Facebook page.
The software is a joint creation of Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, the Israeli American Council, and the Maccabee Task Force and is strongly supported by the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry.
The Post article, entitled “Combating BDS with a Push of the Button,” states: “While it may be difficult to get Israelis to agree on much, a platform like Act.IL offers world Jewry an opportunity to fight for one thing the majority can rally behind: Israel.”
A creator of the App points out: “When you work together, with the same goals and values, you can be incredibly powerful in the social media landscape.”