Israel student union sets up “war room” to sell Gaza massacre on Facebook


As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has once again turned to students to sell the slaughter online.

“Although they haven’t been called up to the army yet, they’ve decided to enlist in a civilian mission that is no less important – Israeli propaganda [hasbara],” Ynet’s Hebrew edition reported about a massive initiative organized by the Israeli student union branch at theInterdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya), a prestigious private university.

Hasbara war room

Hasbara,” literally “explaining,” is the term used in Israel for government propaganda aimed at overseas audiences.

“The goal is to deliver a very clear message to people abroad – Israel has the right to defend itself,” Lidor Bar David told Ynet.

Bar David, a student, and one of the organizers of the “war room,” adds, “We want people abroad who don’t know our reality to understand exactly what is going on here.”

(Update: In a 15 July report, which also links to this post, The New York Times notes that previously “Bar David was a captain in the Israel Defense Forces, serving in the office of the military spokesman’s unit.”)

At least 168 Palestinians have been killed since Israel massively escalated its attack on Gaza on 7 July. Eighty percent of the fatalities are civilians, according to the United Nations.

Thirty-six Palestinian children have been killed and more than 1,200 people have been injured. Thousands are fleeing homes fearing escalating Israeli attacks which have so far destroyed or severely damaged 940 homes, as well as numerous mosques, schools, businesses and charities.

A video accompanying the Ynet report shows rows of students beavering away at computers in a hall with a sign on its door saying “Advocacy Room” in English. In Hebrew, it says “Hasbara war room.”

While Ynet does not reveal specific government ties to this initiative, the National Union of Israeli Students, of which the IDC Herzliya student union is an affiliate, has a history of working on government-funded propaganda schemes, where students are recruited as the country’s “pretty face.”

“Organized lying”

Last year a “covert” Israeli government initiative came to light which planned to pay students for spreading propaganda online.

“The whole point of such efforts is to look like they are unofficial, just every day people chatting online,” Israel expert Dena Shunra told The Electronic Intifada.

“But in fact, these are campaigns of organized lying, orchestrated with government-approved talking points and crowdsourced volunteers and stipend recipients,” Shunra added.

According to Ynet, “The war room was opened in the afternoon of the first day of Operation Protective Edge,” one week ago, by the IDC Herzliya student union, and currently has more than 400 volunteers active in it, all students at the institution.


The IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen in a screenshot from Ynet video, is a continuation of earlier propaganda efforts.

Working in 30 languages, the students working this comment far target online forums including so called “anti-Israel” pages on Facebook and comments sections of online media.

Tomer Amsalem, a second-year year psychology student, acts as one of the war room’s graphic designers.

“In one of our graphics we show the treatment that members of [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh’s and Abu Mazen’s [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas] families received in Israel, to show we’re even humanitarian to the families of the Palestinian leaders,” he told Ynet.

“In another graphic we show the trauma of the children living around Gaza, which is expressed in drawings of Qassams [rockets]. Another example is a series of cities around the world, being attacked. For example, Berlin – we wrote in German ‘What would you do?’ with a background of Berlin being attacked,’” Amsalem added.

Amsalem is quoted as saying that he sees his work in the “war room” as a civilian equivalent to being called up for military reserves.

Inbal Deutsch, another psychology student who moved to Israel four years ago, responds to comments. She focuses on misattributed photos – photos occasionally circulated online that show scenes that are either not current or not from Gaza. Israel propagandists likely hope that by debunking such pictures they can sow doubt about all too common real pictures of atrocities currently being committed in Gaza.

Focus on Facebook


Students working the “Hasbara war room” at IDC Herzliya, seen in a screenshot from a Ynet video, see their role as a civilian equivalent of military service. 

Yarden Ben Yosef, chair of the IDC student union, is described as the person who initiated the war room.

“Yesterday we managed to pull down a whole Facebook page that incited against Israel and called for the killing of Jews,” Ben Yosef claimed.

“It had 120,000 followers and Facebook took it down after a lot of activity on our part,” Ben Yosef said.

If true, that is in marked contrast to Facebook’s total inaction, despite complaints, to control the pervasive, raging incitement to racism and violence by Israelis on Facebook who support the slaughter of Palestinians.

Student role in government propaganda

Bar David is quoted as saying that “the war room was founded as a continuation from Operation Pillar of Cloud,” Israel’s November 2012 assault on Gaza that killed more than 170 people, again overwhelmingly civilians.

Indeed, the effort to recruit students into government propaganda has a well-documented history, as The Electronic Intifada has reported:

With thanks to Dena Shunra for research and translation.

  1. #1 by lolathecur on 07/23/2014 - 9:34

    They rarely show up here at TUT.They know better.

  2. #2 by nooralhaqiqa on 07/23/2014 - 9:34

    I have run into quite a few of them lately over my infrequent comments here and there. I don’t take them seriously of course but have obliterated them within one or two light hearted comments followed by, if necessary, my infamous take-no-prisoners polite responses. Amazing how fast they drift away towards, alas, more easy prey. The ones I love are the ones who call me a “stupid desert woman” ….. The thing is, they are VERY active out there in social media and it is our business to point them out as often as we can….

  3. #3 by Vickie Jacobs on 07/23/2014 - 9:34

    “The goal is to deliver a very clear message to people abroad…”

    Okay. Now that we know what their little ‘red’ line means, let’s go deep to see another line and what it means for you church and what is going to occur because you didn’t recognize this line of deception brought upon you.

    “And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.” They threw him in a pit.

    Acts 7:54 (57); “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.” In other words, they not only hated, they took action against it and killed. (As with Jesus)

    Zechariah 13:1; “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabits of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” FOUNTAIN is Hebrew #4726/6979/7023 using James Strong Concordance=means dug, to trench, wall up, wall down. In Amos 7:7, Jesus is the plumbline on the wall and we are the lively stones. These verses are telling us that there are two groups of Christians. Joseph and his brothers and Stephen and the liberal Christians (Libertines:6:9)
    are just two examples.

    Ezekiel 13:(10), 11; “Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.” This wall (in verse 10) #7023/6979=means fountain. This fountain (Jesus Christ is the living water) it is either opened or is stopped up. One group we see in scriptures plug up God’s word or they are that group opening up God’s word. Wind=is tribulation.

    When one group sees another bring forth truth of doctrine you will see great conflict start. It makes one see false teacher because they have denied or gone contrary to truth of doctrine. They can’t have this happen to bring forth truth and shows them having lies. You can’t believe in Jesus Christ and keep in falsehood. This is shown in the sheep and the goats. They are separate in doctrines.

    This is the plumbline in Amos 7:7 and Matthew 25 with the ten virgins. Jesus Christ doesn’t recognize any that are in lies.

    Isaiah 28:2 (17, 18); “Behold, the LORD hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm as a flood of mighty waters overflowing shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plumbline: and hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18)…..this overflowing scourge shall pass through….Jesus in John 2:15 (16) did it in the temple and he did it twice: There’s to be one more cleaning out of God’s house. Hail (hailstones)=are lies from false ministers. They are cold in doctrine. Shower=means reign. These cold lies want to reign over truth.

    Zephaniah 3:13…we do not speak lies or be deceitful and 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2 we renounce those hidden things of dishonesty. 1 John 4:6 is understanding the truth from error.

    This tells us that most people will not hear or listen because they are on one side of the line of error. They refuse to see the lies and they sit at this table of merchandisers that Jesus had to overthrow twice….and you church are about to see it again where lies are going to expose you.

    You should leave and stay clean from error: 2 Peter 2:18, 19, James 5:19, 20 says if one errs from truth is now considered a sinner. It’s not that you know God. It’s does he know you?

    We saw Satan’s red line also. He knows about the line in scripture.

    Church, you are being fed a table of lies about Israel.

  4. #4 by Ghazi Al-Hind on 07/23/2014 - 9:34

  5. #5 by nooralhaqiqa on 07/24/2014 - 9:34

    #4 thank you so much for this post. Great video!

  6. #6 by gaston rahier on 07/25/2014 - 9:34

    little do they realise that we dont believe any of the shite that they spew

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