No amount of Tweeting, tagging, posting or liking will save Gazans from an Israeli ground invasion. So why bother? By Corey Sherman Recent political upheavals in the Middle East tend to have a social media subplot, whether it's how savvy youth use it to subvert harsh authority, or how states manipulate access to it so as to stop such subversion. There’s the story about how State-Department-Official-cum-Google-Ideas-Chief, Jared Cohen, requested that Twitter delay a scheduled maintenance of their network to enable Iranians to continue to use the platform to organize during the harsh crackdown on post-election protests in 2009. Or how…Read More... | 10 Comments
Police detained and held Razi Nabulsi, a young Palestinian from Haifa for a week for statuses he posted to Facebook and Twitter, claiming they constituted incitement. The catch? Even though the statuses were posted publicly on the Internet, police declared them to be secret evidence and refused to publicly say in court what he was accused of writing. By Yoav Haifawi Razi Nabulsi, a 23-year-old activist and student in Haifa, spent the last week in jail for statuses he publicly posted on Facebook and Twitter. His detention was extended twice. In four different court hearings during the week (two remand extension…Read More... | 34 Comments
Two of the most well-spoken public figures in Israel are MK Ahmad Tibi and former settler leader Dani Dayan. Dr. Tibi is known to lecture to the Knesset plenum in prose, and is considered one of the MKs with the best command of the Hebrew language. Dayan, on the other hand, has the uncanny ability to make even the most die-hard two-state advocate question their political belief system. But just because two people are elegant and gifted orators doesn't mean they can't get into an old fashion, tit-for-tat Twitter battle -- and that's exactly what happened today. I've translated the…Read More... | 11 Comments
The 'Prisoner X' affair was sensitive enough for Israel to use all of its censorship tools at once: the military censor, gag orders and the 'editors committee.' But was the effort by the Prime Minister's Office entirely about national security, or did it have to do with protecting those responsible for the mess? And what should the affair teach us about the ability to keep information from the public in this technological age? The affair known as the death of "Prisoner X" is becoming an interesting test case for the effect of new media on state secrets and the relations between…Read More... | 2 Comments
Palestinians attempted to set out in a motorcade of about 50 cars from Jericho en route to Ramallah this morning, to protest and challenge the system of Israeli-only roads throughout the West Bank, according to Twitter updates over the last few hours with the hashtag #carprotest. According to an Israeli Ta'ayush activist I spoke to who was there and who prefers not to be named, dozens of cars manned by Palestinians from the West Bank tried to leave Jericho this morning in a non-violent protest action, but were stopped by Israeli forces, who blocked the four lanes entering and exiting…Read More... | 18 Comments
Last week I posted this item, in which I referred to the #ThawretWeladElKalb ("Revolution of the sons of dogs") hashtag used by some Arab twitterers to discuss J14 as an anti-Semitic term. Jalal Abukhater, who occasionally contributes to +972, has sent me the following rebuttal: I disagree that anything that criticizes something related to the Israeli society should be considered pure Antisemitism. Labeling this hashtag as anti-Semitic is wrong. Of course, I do not justify the use of #ThawretWeladElKalb. I have declared my opposition to this hashtag because it held unnecessary prejudice and insult. There are many good Israelis and…Read More... | 11 Comments
The new American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has a Twitter account. What does he tweet? For example, a message on his visit to a missile battery (in both Hebrew and English). @AmbShapiro And here is the video of my visit to see the Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon. http://fb.me/HrUHkp4F What doesn't he tweet? His own State Department's condemnation of settlements construction. (Same goes for the Tel Aviv embassy's Twitter feed - only this one had seven tweets from the Iron Dome visit.)Read More... | 4 Comments
In what appears to be an escalation in the Israeli army's attempts to intimidate unarmed protesters from joining protests in Nabi Saleh, soldiers apprehended a Palestinian-American college student this morning at the entrance to Nabi Saleh as the weekly demonstration against the occupation was starting. The demonstrator, who wishes to remain anonymous, told +972 that he was on his way into the village in a private taxi from Ramallah. At the entrance to the village, Israeli soldiers prevented him from entering and searched him and his driver mutiple times. After the searches were complete, soldiers took his phone, passport and wallet while leaving him and his…Read More... | 7 Comments
Twitter is changing the nature of breaking news from West Bank demonstrations. It is exposing Israel’s heavy handed crowd control methods which often break the army’s own internal codes of conduct. Naturally, some so called ‘supporters of Israel’ are having a hard time rationalizing Israel’s behaviour, therefore attacking Twitter users as biased, misinformed or even outright liars. As I was standing amidst the chaos yesterday at the Qalandia checkpoint -- the site of a demonstration marking the anniversary of the 1967 war -- I reported on Twitter what I saw. The demonstration started off peacefully and then the army attacked…Read More... | 35 Comments
My first visit to Cairo, as described in this post, was a memorable experience. Not being there for the uprising that toppled Mubarak was a painful one. The revolution is ongoing, though, and it's an amazing story that I would love to write about for +972 Magazine. But ours is a self-financed media shop, staffed by volunteer writers. So in order to pay for my expenses and my labor, I thought of an experimental method of financing independent, freelance journalism - by turning directly to readers. So first the tale of my first trip to Cairo and then, at the…Read More... | 24 Comments
The revolutions that toppled Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Mubarak were not planned on Facebook, and they did not gather momentum on Twitter. Social media is a useful tool for many things, but critical mass can only be achieved through old-fashioned, face-to-face people power By Maath Musleh As the youth revolutions flourished in the Arab world, many people started referring to them as Facebook revolutions. The young generation was called the Facebook generation. The social media did cross the imaginary borders between Arabs, but how much did social media influence the revolutions in the Arab world? As a social media…Read More... | 10 Comments
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RT @sheeraf: Gaza's only power plant up in flames.Gaza is already suffering from a humanitarian disaster. http://t.co/RsYndqcStR http://t.c…
PHOTO: Israeli activists protest Gaza violence outside air force base http://t.co/YA8wPuF05s by @activestills http://t.co/LdORwDGEKm
NOW: Israeli air strikes pound #Gaza, day after militants kill five soldiers http://t.co/HvCgl5e367 by @edokonrad
RT @BBCWorld: #Gaza: Israel warplanes bombed home of former Hamas PM Ismail #Haniyeh, his son Abed wrote on Facebook via @Rushdibbc http://…
Is Israel really willing to prolong the fighting just so that Hamas' allies don't get credit for the ceasefire? http://t.co/jyM0Nh0h85