In recent years, Israel’s Security Agency (Shabak) launched a new psychological warfare arena with an Arabic language Facebook page addressed to Palestinians, alongside more precisely targeted pages monitored by regional field officers (the so-called “Captains”). The messaging is nearly identical to the kind of propaganda the Zionist media has aimed at Palestinians for over a century: Israel is here to stay, Israel desires co-existence, but those who defy its authority suffer the consequences. The difference is that this time the messages are targeted, personal, illustrated with documentary footage of youths detained, homes demolished, calls for collaborators and informers, and preachy holiday greetings. These Facebook pages have acquired a huge following, but their comments show that the Palestinians are not buying the message. Some signal an interest in the dangled benefits, some respond with a slew of curses, while others use the platform to send political counter-messages. Social media has so far not succeeded in winning over the hearts and minds of Palestinians, though it may discourage them from joining the struggle against the occupation.
- Influence Operations
- Psychological Warfare
- Security agencies
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations