Danny Ayalon’s Video: Comments and the Roar of the Crowd

Danny Ayalon

For a long time, I’ve wondered if the Israeli government could get its act together for some sensible PR.

Judging from the statistics and reader comments I’ve seen, credit where credit is due to Danny Ayalon for a viral video that didn’t feature grainy footage of Israeli naval commandos rappelling into a Turkish boat brawl.

The Truth About the West Bank has been viewed more than a quarter-million times, earned a lot of thumbs up on Facebook, and sparked significant Twitter buzz — including a direct Twitter debate between the deputy foreign minister and journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, which fueled further commentary — such as Jonathan Tobin’s take. It all represents healthy online conversation.

And HonestReporting’s communique addressing the Palestinian response to Ayalon‘s video has rocketed up to number 3 for our most-read content of the year. How to explain this?

Among the reader comments, Vibeke Lichten hits the nail on the head:

What took israel so long to produce this piece information?????? it will take a long time to reverse the damage done by the palestinians having had such success at setting the terms and the terminology of the regions history !!!

better late than never !!

I can’t recall a single instance when an Israeli official articulated Israel’s claim on the West Bank in a way that

  1. was so well-received,
  2. with quantifiable feedback,
  3. and directly empowered Israel’s supporters discuss the issues of “occupied” and “disputed” territory with more clarity and confidence.

Thanks to new media, Ayalon — and anyone else — can take their message to the public, bypassing the foreign press corps, the talk shows, and the other traditional media gatekeepers. That was a point touched on by another reader,  Faye:

I am so proud of the Israeli government for finally fighting Media bias using the Media!!!!

One Internet success doesn’t represent a trend. But it does offer hope that the government — and regular supporters of Israel with a simple video camera — can make the case for Israel.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video.