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Iran wins the Twitter smackdown

The Islamic republic and the Jewish state engaged in direct, bilateral taunting (yes, really)

Last week, as Prime Minister Netanyahu surveyed the weapons found on board the Klos C vessel, Israel’s social media campaign against Iran reached its high point. In addition to Netanyahu’s own tweets regarding the seized weapons, the IDF spokesperson’s twitter channel was also filled with allegations against Iran.


While the social media campaign received little attention from other countries, Iran decided to rebuke the allegations made against it via its digital channels. But instead of a formal denial or hollow threats, Iran decided to recruit humor and banter. The @MeetIran twitter channel soon wondered how far one man will go to get his hands on Iranian cement. In Benjamin Netanyahu’s case, very far indeed.

This was followed by another tweet in which the Iranian foreign minister almost thanked Netanyahu for promoting an Iranian brand referencing the famous American campaign “Got Milk?”

Interestingly, theses tweets were not only in response to Netanyahu but were also tweeted at the Israeli Prime Minister. The result was a direct virtual dialogue between the Israeli and Iranian government. A dialogue that went even further when Netanyahu responded to the Iranian tweets by asking who the liar is- Israel or Iran?

Benjamin Netanyahu is considered by most Israelis to be a gifted spokesperson and media expert. Yet when it comes to social media, he has much more to learn for the online buzz following Iran’s rebuke was greater than that  created by Israel’s pictures, Infographic and videos of the weapons found on board the Klos C.

When analyzing why the Israeli social media campaign failed some blamed bad timing. Iran reminded us that sometimes diplomacy is all about a different kind of timing, comedic timing

About the Author
Ilan Manor is finishing his mass media studies at Tel Aviv University. He has previously contributed to the Jerusalem Post, +972 Magazine, the Jewish Daily Forward and On Second Thought magazine. His Hebrew-language blog has been featured several times in the Israeli press.
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