Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Wed, 01/04/2012 – 17:53
The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) has become a full-time partner in the Israeli government’s efforts to spread its propaganda online and on college campuses around the world.
NUIS has launched a program to pay Israeli university students $2,000 to spread pro-Israel propaganda online for 5 hours per week from the “comfort of home.”
The union is also partnering with Israel’s Jewish Agency to send Israeli students as missionaries to spread propaganda in other countries, for which they will also receive a stipend.
This active recruitment of Israeli students is part of Israel’s orchestrated effort to suppress the Palestinian solidarity movement under the guise of combating “delegitimization” of Israel and anti-Semitism.
The involvement of the official Israeli student union as well as Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University and Sapir College in these state propaganda programs will likely bolster Palestinian calls for the international boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Paying students to spread Israeli propaganda online
This is our opportunity, as Israeli students, to provide hasbara [state propaganda] that is correct and balanced, to help in the struggle against the delegitimization of the State of Israel and against hatred of Jews in the world.
That is one of the exhortations in a Hebrew document issued by NUIS, and translated by The Electronic Intifada, inviting Israeli students to apply for a program to help spread Israel’s message.
The project seeks to take advantage of the fact that “Many students in Israel master the Internet and are proficient at using the Internet and social networking and various sites and are required to write and express themselves in English.”
The paid scholarship will allow them to get training and then work from home for five hours per week for a year to “refute” what it calls “misinformation” about Israel on social networking sites.
Among the stated goals of the scholarships is “to deepen and expand hasbaraactivities of students in the State of Israel.” The document explains:
The Internet allows uncontrolled access to content from marginal groups and therefore can influence many audiences who are exposed to such information, particularly young people who are more easily influenced.The Internet, then, is used as a major tool for the dissemination of anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel and of Jews and thus the Internet is also the place to battle against such sites, pull the ground from under them and to provide reliable and balanced information.
Work from the “comfort of home”
The NUIS program document explains:
After training, the student will begin his activities. The student will do the activities in the comfort of his home, where every week he will be obligated to about 5 hours of activities for a period of one calendar year (not academic year). Students will be paid a total of NIS 7,500 [$2,000] to perform the tasks of the project, at least 5 hours weekly for a total of 240 hours of activities under the project umbrella.
What is completely missing from the program is any indication that criticism of Israel could be valid. Rather the National Union of Israeli Students apparently seeks to indoctrinate Israeli students that every criticism of Israel is “hate” and “anti-Semitism” and that the Internet should be seen as a battlefield on which they are foot soldiers.
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