Come join the (brainless) IDF cyber army

Seriously, Israel, this is how you want to defend your criminal behaviour (via Jerusalem Post)?

… It could be the solution that millions of Jews and supporters of Israel worldwide are looking for: A chance to sign up for the Israeli army and help in the fight to defend the… Jewish… state – virtually.

A new initiative launched this week by the IDF Spokesman’s Office on its blog provides an online option for those cannot or do not want to physically join the army, but nevertheless want to contribute to the well-being and future of the Jewish state.

“Have you ever wanted to join the military and fight to defend Israel?” reads the introduction to “IDF Ranks,” an online game that allows participants to sign up via social… networkingsites such as Facebook and Twitter and earn points by disseminating as much positive information about the army and its activities as possible.

As players earn points, they are rewarded and allowed to move up through the ranks of the IDF, starting with the first level of “Green Private” just for signing up, and moving through to “Skilled Private,” “Veteran Private,” “Specialist Private,” “Green… Corporal” and onward, until they pass through 48 different levels and accumulate 1 million points.

Those who are really addicted to social media or are especially dedicated to spreading the views of the IDF can even reach the rank of Lieutenant-General. “All rise for the new Chief of Staff! You’re the commander of the Israel Defense Forces, sir. Salute!” states the text below the game’s final badge of honor.

According to the game’s rules, in order to earn points or rewards, the virtual soldiers merely have to surf the IDF’s active blog – filled with articles about Israel and the Arab world,… videos… and images – “like” the items, share them with their friends on Facebook or retweet them on Twitter. In the virtual world, websites and online campaigns get more publicity the more they are shared and viewed on social networks.

The game, which clearly has super hasbara (publicdiplomacy) potential, is a brave attempt by the army to harness the power of social media in sending messages and defending the state online.

While some individuals from the unit are extremely active on social media networks, the sheer number of anti-Israel activists online has meant that Israel is increasingly failing in combat against its critics.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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