Meital Nahmias

TikTok Advocacy for Israel

I am late to the game and I know it! only recently I decided that I must join the masses and download TikTok to see what everyone are talking about. To my surprise, amongst the dancing cats and food challenges that involved outrages portion of ridiculously unhealth fast food, I found hundreds if not more pages, videos and people talking about Israel, defending it all over the world, people who are not afraid to speak up, to go against anti Israel aggressive individuals and to my even greater surprise the responds are not all bad.

Since last night the IDF is conducting an operation in the Palestinian city called Jenin. For those who follow the situation in Israel , the name of this city should be familiar and not for a positive reason. Too many terror attacks against Israelis and against the IDF soldiers originated from Jenin to the point that the IDF had to initiate surgical operation in the city.

Honestly, none of us were surprised about the news that the IDF is operating in Jenin, and not even the slightly surprised by the lies and biased covers of the operation in the  international media. Even so I certainly was not surprised by the videos on the various social media platforms. Despite my words so far we are still far behind on social media when it comes to showing our side and attracting the millions of users.

I am a strong believer in the traditional diplomacy, because in the end of the day we need governments to sign agreements, to vote in our favor or to support us when public opinion is not in our favor. In the last six years my daily work is mainly focused on protecting Israel. I was lucky enough to be the heart of the Israeli diplomacy when I worked for four years in the Israeli Mission to the EU and NATO in Brussels, working along side some of Israel’s best diplomats and seeing with my own eyes how hard we work to prevent any harm to Israel in the diplomatic arena. On the other hand in the last  two years  I am meeting every day people from all over the world who comes to learn about Israel, about how we live, about the Israeli innovation, research, medicine and technology.

A few days ago I welcomed a delegation of Students from one of the leading universities in the US. They came prepared to ask me some hard questions about Israel and about how we treat the other side. I got to speak face to face with those young people that will be maybe some day the leaders of their country, and they came here and heard what we had to say and to see with their  own eyes our reality. In the end of their two plus hours they told me  that now they fully understand and that Israel is so different than how they imagined it because they heard or saw other things on TV or on Social Media.

What I did is just a drop in the ocean, but one drop and one more and etc. and we will, if we keep working on it and fighting in the social media arena, reach more and more people that can and will share our side of the story.  When I studied about terrorism my professors called it the war on hearts and minds. This war might not involved risk to our soldiers but it is one hard war to fight and win.

Israel needs to invest so much in the fight on social media. The users of today are tomorrow’s leaders…

About the Author
Meital born and raised in the south of Israel. She hold a BA in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy from the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, specializing in counter terrorism and international relations and MA in Political Marketing. Previously served in the Diplomatic Mission of Israel to the EU and NATO