Many supporters of Israel have grown frustrated with hostile feedback posted to Web articles and on blogs since the start of Operation Cast Lead nine days ago. A group of Israeli students has decided to fight back.
HelpUsWin.org is manned by social media experts and Israel activists around the clock, with the main “situation room” based at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, and sponsored by the Stand With Us education organization. Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information.
Students and volunteers have been monitoring and responding to social media Web sites worldwide in several languages, to mount a public diplomacy offensive for Israel on the Internet.
“There is a misconception that the Internet is democratic, but that’s far from the truth,” said Alex Gekker, 24, a student in new media diplomacy at IDC and a volunteer at HelpUsWin headquarters.
“You can voice your opinion, but it doesn’t mean anyone will listen. So we created HelpUsWin.org to give people a simple toolset to make a lot of noise,” he said.