thought control
Thought-police is here
By Rona Kuperboim

The Foreign Ministry unveiled a new plan this week: Paying talkbackers to post pro-Israel responses on websites worldwide. A total of NIS 600,000 (roughly $150,000) will be earmarked to the establishment of an “Internet warfare” squad.

The Foreign Ministry intends to hire young people who speak at least one language and who study communication, political science, or law – or alternately, Israelis with military experience gained at units dealing with information analysis.

Beyond the fact that these job requirements reveal a basic lack of understanding in respect to the dynamics of the online discourse – the project’s manager argued that “adults don’t know how to blog” – they are not too relevant either. An effective talkbacker does not need a law degree or military experience. He merely needs to care about the subject he writes about.

The sad truth is that had Israeli citizens believed that their State is doing the right thing, they would have made sure to explain it out of their own accord. Without being paid.

Foreign Ministry officials are fighting what they see as a terrible and scary monster: the Palestinian public relations monster. Yet nothing can be done to defeat it, regardless of how many foolish inventions will be introduced and how many bright communication students will be hired.

The reason is that good PR cannot make the reality in the occupied territories prettier. Children are being killed, homes are being bombed, and families are starved. Yet nonetheless, the Foreign Ministry wants to try to change the situation. And they have willing partners. “Where do I submit a CV?” wrote one respondent. “I’m fluent in several languages and I’m able to spew forth bullshit for hours on end.”

Anti-democratic initiative
Any attempt to plant talkbacks online must fail. Especially if the State is behind it. Not only because it’s easy to identify responses made on behalf of someone, but also because it’s anti-democratic. When the Israel Electric Company or other companies do it, it’s annoying. Yet when the State does it, it’s dangerous.

Imposters on behalf of the government are threatening free discourse even if they only wander through the virtual space. The Internet was meant to serve as an open platform for dialogue between people, rather than as a propaganda means.

Something worrisome is happening here lately. We see the accumulation of silencing attempts. The Nakba Law, the bill calling for a ban on protests outside the homes of politicians, Lieberman’s Loyalty Law, and the biometric information database. The free speech hunting season is on.

Thankfully we have the Internet, and it enables us to identify processes, discuss them, warn about them, and join forces against them. We can assume that soon we’ll see the establishment of a website opposed to this new initiative, unless such site already exists. Perhaps even a group on Facebook. I wonder whether all its members will be Foreign Ministry agents, or whether it will also include some real people.

This is not a police state: This is a thought-police state.



  1. skulz fontaine said,

    July 12, 2009 at 17:12

    One is of course, ‘free’ to think nice thoughts about the system. Speak nice words about the system. Support the wars and make nicey nicey. “We” can’t allow any icky to muck up the day. Wouldn’t be prudent. Apartheid is freedom and mind control is democracy. Yup. Ethnic extermination is spiritual release.

  2. maasanova said,

    July 12, 2009 at 17:51

    Go and read the comments of that Ynet article and understand that there are lunatics that are willing to lie for Israel. This begs the question, when Israel finally loses the information war and other stronger measures are needed to silence Israel’s critics, what else are these army of psychopaths willing to do on behalf of Israel?

  3. July 12, 2009 at 19:55

    For decades you could find these political idiots in Esperanto Cultural Chat-Rooms, praising, defending everything and everyone pro Israel and barring everyone who tries to criticize them. They even sold a long play record, with the audacity of attacking the U.S.A. and Germany for committing crimes against humanity at the time when they were committing them in Palestine. ” Kun Helpo De Di’ ” ” With The Help Of God “.

  4. rainman said,

    July 12, 2009 at 20:11

    The Zionists at work, knowing that there time is running out. The normal jewish people have no clue that these Zionists bastards have there own GOD.
    (G-gold, O-oil, D-drugs). They control the Media, Military and Money.

  5. Karen said,

    July 12, 2009 at 20:59

    “This begs the question, when Israel finally loses the information war and other stronger measures are needed to silence Israel’s critics, what else are these army of psychopaths willing to do on behalf of Israel?”

    I think we look no further than the treatment they give to all of their “enemies” and we have the answer to that. I think of them bulldozing homes in Gaza and think that — that could happen here if we don’t all wake up and stop them before it’s too late.

  6. Mike J. said,

    July 12, 2009 at 22:29

    I agree with Rivero. This will backfire on Israel. People will just assume that every pro-Israel anti-Arab comment is just paid Israeli propaganda

  7. ermanno said,

    July 13, 2009 at 01:02

    When desperate people get caught doing desperate things, then desperate measures are tried in desperation to obscure the issues. In the end, however, realism and truth seem to always prevail, and ones’ chickens do invariably come home to roost. On such waves Israeli apologists are now embarking, but their beaches are rocky and theirs waters are merky. They cannot bottle the wind, they cannot put out the fire by wishing it out.

  8. July 13, 2009 at 14:30


  9. pitaloka said,

    July 13, 2009 at 17:48

    Please check related video on ‘thought police’.

  10. July 13, 2009 at 18:20

    Hi Desert Place. Nice blog you have here!

    I think all Israeli peace-bloggers should apply for some of that money. Don’t we care about the future of the citizens of Israel (both Arab and Jewish?!). Don’t we work to secure the prosperous future of the residents of this piece of land? History will probably judge us more favorably than the racists…. Anyway, this would be a government position, right? In the “only democracy in the Middle East” political views should not be a prerequisite for getting a government position, so I suppose pro-Peace bloggers are as much as eligible to receive funding as pro-War propagandists. Then we can take this money and donate it right back to Taayush or B’tselem… It’s a little bit of blogger Jujitsu… use the power of the attacker against him…


  11. July 21, 2009 at 04:58

    […] Ministre des affaires étrangères d’Israël a annoncé la création d’une nouvelle police de la pensée pour mener une guerre sur l’Internet. Le gouvernement va commencer à payer des anciens […]

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