December 30, 2008
In the midst of its Gaza operations, the IDF is entering yet another conflict zone: the Internet. The Israeli army announced yesterday the creation of its own YouTube channel, through which it will disseminate footage of precision bombing operations in the Gaza Strip, as well as aid distribution and other footage of interest to the international community.
“The blogosphere and new media are another war zone,” said IDF Foreign Press Branch head Maj. Avital Leibovich. “We have to be relevant there.”
Her sentiment reflects a growing awareness in the Israeli government that part of the failure of the 2006 Second Lebanon War was Israel’s lack of readiness for the intense media debate surrounding its operations.
Since the beginning of the Gaza air strikes, Israeli politicians have been appearing regularly on the largest international news networks to defend the IDF. Leibovich’s YouTube initiative is another piece of the new media offensive.