Israel Hiring Students To Post Pro-Israel Tweets
Well, that's one way to combat anti-Semitism.
The Israeli government has set aside three-quarters of a million dollars' worth of scholarships to give to students, whose job will then be to defend Israel and Judaism on Twitter, Facebook, and other social-media sites.
Israel's prime minister's office divulged the news, calling it an extension of government attempts to wipe out anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment. The students that are awarded full or partial scholarship money — taking effect a few months from now — won't have to reveal that they'd been sponsored. Their only prerogative would be to advance the Israeli and Jewish causes via their own social-media networks.
"This is a groundbreaking project aimed at strengthening Israeli national diplomacy and adapting it to changes in information consumption," the statement said.
Well, it's definitely groundbreaking. It also poses all sorts of questions: exactly how much posting would these students have to do? Would it be wry and subtle, or public declarations of Israel adoration? Under what grounds could you be kicked out of the program? And, um, has anyone mentioned the word "propaganda?"
A senior official told the Washington Post that $778,000 would be put aside for the project, and that "everyone who believes in the cause, and wants to join, can join."
Further complicating the program is its chief executive, Danny Seamen, who according to Israeli paper Haartz has posted the following on his Facebook:
Does the commencement of the fast of the Ramadan mean that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?...
The EU found an unequivocal voice when it comes to Israel, but still can’t declare the Hezbollah a terrorist entity. Ironically, while Europeans try to define our ancestral borders, the Muslims are redefining theirs...
Question for Peres, Clinton and Blair – how many ‘victims of peace’ never celebrated their 10th birthday?
Ah. So, there's that. Apparently the prime minister's office has since told Seamen to "stop making such pronouncements." So...problem solved.
Israel follows in the footsteps of China, whose "50 Cent Party" is paid — you guessed it — fifty cents by the People's Republic of China every time they post pro-China messages on social media. China also has the Internet Water Army, which pays pais ghostwriters to create positive Chinese content.