Last month People across the world work up to a new offensive that started in Palestine. There were war cries with both side accusing each other. But as the ceasefire broken by Egypt was announced , both sides claimed victory by harnessing power of social networks. It sounds strange as it might look like since the war was fought between two rivals who are not matches. On one side we had the conventional might of the Israel Defense Forces and the rocket-firing units of Hamas’s armed wing.
In the past the offensives were rarely shares by the two fighting units. But during this war both side used social networks extensively to bombard opposition claims and promoted the own versions of the battle progress. It was a strange battleground for two long fighting countries but probably the Arab revolution and power of social media made both the enemies to have a dedicated social media warfare media besides the regular ammunitions.
Four year ago when the war had happened, Israeli military was keeping the journalist away but during the recent conflict social medias followers got the story sooner. Thanks to all the people dedicated by Israeli war team who covered the event as it happened. The war games of the Israel Defense Force have definitely been one of the unique strategies tested in modern warfare.
The idea of war as a online game is not new, but Israel's approach during the recent conflict attempted to calm fears about their attacks on Gaza and at the same time igniting the emotion over Israeli deaths. All this happened bypassing the traditional Western media, who always would have presented their own interpretation of the war.
Not only did Israeli Army succeed in its warfare but also the opposition forces have used the social media extensively. This days so called videos of aggression goes viral. Be it the execution of Libya ruler or the hanging of Sadaam Husain. According to stat published by a leading paper Israeli Army twitter has more than 200,000 followers, compared to the 40,000 following Hamas's military on the social network.
Both the teams have been innovative in promoting their messages. Besides this actual ground offensive, both the sides have been trying to hack each other websites. Israeli authorities themselves say that a staggering 44 million hacking attempts have been made since the latest war. Most hacking attempts have been made on defense-related sites. As a ceasefire is announced and both sides claim victory in Israel and Gaza, the Israeli military's online propaganda offensive continues. It needs to be seen what innovative strategies worlds military adopt from this conflict.
But for sure everybody understand the power of Social media and the social media is turning out to be a powerful gun that can be operated using the keyboard. It needs to be seen if this trend continues and how the buzz shapes the future warfare.
Below is a video which shows Israel's President Shimon Peres addressing a news conference about the prospects of peace with the Palestinians, the Goldstone Report (& Goldstone's "reconsideration") and recent Gaza conflict.
Below is another video which talks about the recent the Palestine-Israel impasse moving into a dangerous stall and even the "2 state solution" is at risk.