“The more security measures, the less we feel secure”
The role of social media in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is growing. More than 35 percent of Palestinians living in the territories of Gaza and the West Bank use internet and mobile technologies as their primary communication tool – said Dr Orit Perlov, Social Media Analyst at the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv at a meeting held by the Pulaski Foundation. Social Media is being used as a weapon and can be an effective means of promoting violence.
There are many social and political campaigns conducted through mobile applications (Twitter, WhatsApp) such as stabbing campaign (presenting bloody images of Jews after knife attacks carried out by Palestinians) with the aim of promoting violence among young Palestinians. In the absence of strong leadership and positive role models, children and adolescents are looking for role models among fictional characters from cartoons or comic books. Those characters are often used in propaganda materials.
High unemployment and a lack of perspective, especially among the young and educated generation, leads to frustration and social degradation. Thus, social media is an effective tool and platform which enables them to influence people’s attitudes and shape public. However, finding a solution to the problem is not easy. “The more security measures, the less we feel secure” – added the expert.
On the 12th of January 2016 the Pulaski Foundation convened an expert meeting on social media and public opinion in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East. The event was attended by experts from the Foundation, representatives of universities and research centers.