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The IDF announces a military operation against Gaza - on Twitter

Using a multi-pronged strategy, the army spokesperson’s office launched a full social media assault via YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, with the latter in English, Hebrew, Arabic, French and Spanish. No word yet on the tumblr blog, though.

In what is possibly a social media precedent, the Israeli army spokesperson’s office (@idfspokesperson) today announced a military action against Gaza — on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/IDFSpokesperson/status/268722403989925888

This came shortly after the IDF announced — again on Twitter — that that the Israeli Air Force had assassinated senior Hamas operative Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jaabari.

The responses came in immediately, from various sources and in many languages.

Fania Oz Salzberger (@faniaoz), a prominent academic who is the daughter of Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most famous authors, tweeted:

https://twitter.com/faniaoz/status/268728154003238912
Oz was in fact translating a tweet by Yossi Gurvitz (@ygurvitz), a prominent Israeli blogger and journalist who had just tweeted in Hebrew, “Did I understand correctly? Did the IDF just declare war on Twitter — and in English?”

Lt. Colonel Avital Leibovich (@AvitalLeibovich), the IDF spokesperson for the international media, went on Twitter to announce the name of the military operation — Pillar of Defense. Helpfully, she included the hashtag #PillarOfDefense in her tweet.

But Hebrew speakers immediately noted that the Hebrew name for the operation was actually Pillar of Cloud, a name taken from the Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Bible, after the ancient Hebrews escaped Pharaoh and slavery in Egypt, they were guided through the desert by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night.

John Cook of Gawker caught the discrepancy between the Hebrew and English names for the military operation and wrote about it, commenting:

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  • COMMENTS

    1. ElaineB

      Israel once again unleashing the might of one of the world’s military superpowers on a predominantly civilian population, half of whom are under 18. Shame on Israel. There is no amount of media spin that will make this despicable act alright. Already 3 children dead and many others with horrific burns.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Media does not have to make it alright – Gazans themselves do pretty good job of making it alright and hardly leave any other option.

        Pity that still there is a nation which realizes that there could be peace only after being bombarded for a month.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Zombie Mohammed

        Comment deleted.

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