This is a good sign. Will it offset the tsunami of antisemitic world press reports? Of course not but it is a signal that Israel finally recognizes the overwhelming impact of a Jew hating press. For those of us in pursuit of historical accuracy it is a much needed tool. So let me be the first to say thank you.
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.
UPDATE: Over at Israel Matzav:
YouTube takes down IDF's most popular videos
Yesterday, the IDF opened a YouTube account.
Noah Pollak has more.
This was apparently too much for YouTube, which moments ago removed several videos from the IDF’s channel, including the most-watched video, which showed a group of Hamas goons being blown up in an air strike as they loaded Katyusha missiles onto a truck. The point of such footage, as if it needed to be said, is not to revel in violence — it is to show the legitimacy of Israeli self-defense.
The rank double-standard that YouTube has applied to Israel is disturbing. YouTube hosts all manner of similar footage — much of it far more gory than the grainy infrared images posted by the IDF — of U.S. air strikes. Why is YouTube capitulating to those who do not wish for Israel to be able to tell its side of the story?
Why am I not surprised?
In any event, LiveLeak is much more willing to post non-PC material, and I will try to do my part to get the word out.