Since the establishment of the State of Israel, its history and reality have been the subject of global controversy and debate. Yet, much of this debate is frequently conducted under a cloud of misinformation and biases. Astonishingly, Israel has proven remarkably ineffective in presenting its narrative to the world.
While Israel boasts a state apparatus, with offices and ministers devoted to its international image, what we see in practice is a disconcerting inertia. How is it possible that, in the midst of the information age, Israel lacks a solid and effective communication strategy?
Since 2011, I have personally been dedicated to clarifying the Israeli reality for Portuguese speakers. My presence spans across various platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Telegram, and WhatsApp. Despite a combined audience of over 1 million and a monthly reach of 10 million, all this is done without the support or acknowledgment from official entities. And as impressive as these numbers are, they are merely a drop in the ocean of what could be achieved with a proper state-backed campaign.
I must ask: where is Israel’s strategy? In an era dominated by influencers and social media, why doesn’t Israel harness its power and resources to collaborate with these opinion shapers? Internal politics, with its constant bickering between the right and the left, seems to overshadow an urgent international need. Meanwhile, many young Arabs are radicalized, fed by skewed narratives, and, even worse, driven to act upon them.
The picture becomes even more alarming when considering the absence of explanatory channels in Arabic. Although I’ve begun efforts in this regard, I’m but one among few, and individual resources are constrained.
The reality is stark: Israel’s silence and inaction are perilous. Each day of inertia fuels antisemitism and jeopardizes internal security. If Israel doesn’t strive to control its own narrative, others will. And the outcomes of such relinquishment are already painfully evident. It’s more than time for a radical shift in how Israel communicates with the world. The urgency is now.
Influencers vs. Traditional Journalists: The Gap in Israeli Diplomacy
During the recent UN event, a particular detail stood out, highlighting a gap in Israel’s communication strategy. As the Israeli delegation flew to New York, the composition of their entourage was telling. Local journalists, undoubtedly valuable in Israel’s internal context, occupied privileged spots. But where were the digital influencers who now wield the power to shape opinions and narratives on a global scale?
In a world where a single tweet or Instagram post can instantly reach millions, the absence of influencers with vast global audiences is not just a missed opportunity but an oversight. While other nations recognize and harness the power of digital influencers, integrating them into their communication and diplomacy strategies, Israel seems stuck in a bygone media era. At pivotal events like those at the UN, where every word and image matter, the presence of influencers with a global reach could profoundly influence Israel’s perception on the world stage. It’s not about replacing traditional journalism but complementing it and amplifying Israel’s voice in a modern and effective manner.
Furthermore, Israel occupies a unique position in this digital age. Its rich tapestry of cultures and backgrounds provides an unparalleled advantage. Israel possesses something many countries would envy: a population capable of speaking virtually any language in the world. We are the true modern-day Tower of Babel. To overlook this strength is not only a strategic oversight but an acceptance of defeat in today’s intricate world of communication. At a time when narrative and perception shape reality, failing to leverage this multilingual capacity means missing an opportunity to authentically and impactfully share our story with every corner of the globe.