Fresh Diplomatic Meat on Tumblr

New cadets have arrived at the Foreign Ministry for their intense 6 month training program  and they plan to blog about it on Tumblr.

digital diplomacy

The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s 30th cadet training course seems pretty unique. Not because it is comprised by an equal number of men and women or because of its cultural diversity, but because of the fact that many of these people have chosen to dump promising careers in journalism, law, high-tech and finance to join a neglected government agency that as a result suffers from strikes and public campaigns in protest of low pay.

A country brand that is on the rise but has so many issues to resolve cannot afford to recruit un-to-under-qualified personnel but until this  issue between the Treasury and the MFA is resolved, they will have to continue to rely on people’s good will and sense of mission.

I was never a cadet and a few of them might be older than me, but if I were to dispense any advice vis-à-vis this blog it would be:

1. WRITE IN ENGLISH (or else the only people reading this blog would be your families and your supervisors, plus it’s a good opportunity to practice your English writing skills).

2. Use tags that will help people who are interested in diplomacy find you.

In other words, be apart of the conversation beyond your office walls and fulfill this blog’s potential.

Let’s all wish them the best of luck on their challenging journey!

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Hamas on Twitter: “You’ve Opened Hell’s Gates on Yourselves”

Hamas is not such a friendly group of people. They may smile for the cameras when naive dogooders first arrive in Gaza or upon the return of their leader’s granddaughter from medical treatment in Israel

Hamas in Gaza

(actually they didn’t smile, they frowned because it made their boycott calls seem kinda stupid); but Twitter has had enough of being used as a channel for them to voice direct violent threats and has suspended their
account.

Could this be an opportunity to replace badmouthing with conversation? Is Twitter going to succeed where all the American presidents and special envoys have failed? Yeah, probably not. I’m sure that would make my friend Peter Lerner’s public diplomacy job much easier but I’m afraid that for a second there I drifted into a fantasy, sorry about that.     IDF on Twitter

The fact is that hostile social media accounts will continue to pop up like mushrooms after the rain. Homophobic, Xenophobic and other Polyphobic groups will continue to spread hate rather than engage in productive dialogue.  Governments and organizations will continue to try to deliver messages according to their agendas. But with all the accounts in the world, they will never reach the impact they desire if they do not step out of their comfort zones and create content worth sharing beyond their natural circles.

See the full New York Time’s report and Twitter thread here

 

New frontiers in Twitter diplomacy: Barack Obama, the president of Iran and Jack Dorsey

Gigaom

By now, most of us are pretty used to seeing Twitter as a powerful tool for real-time discussion around global events — discussion that in some cases includes the actors involved in those events, such as the historic back-and-forth between the Israeli army and the Palestinian group Hamas earlier this year. But even though that seems almost routine now, it’s still impressive to see how far-reaching Twitter can be, and how it lets the “sources go direct.”

In one of the most recent examples, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and U.S. president Barack Obama exchanged pleasantries on Twitter both before and after a historic telephone call — then on Tuesday, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey followed up with his own discussion with Rouhani about Twitter access and freedom of speech in that country.

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Winds of a Cyber War

In a ceremony attended by some of the country’s major cyber security engineers and executives as well as political figures and financial leaders,  Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, inaugurated the new, state-of-the-art High-Tech Park, in the southern city of Be’er Sheva.

In his speech, Netanyahu referred to cyber and information security as a top priority for Israel, not only as a world leader in this field but also due to the reality in the region. And the reality in the region is certainly much to be concerned about at the moment and one cannot overlook the timing of this pre-planned event that took place today, while the world waits for congress to ratify U.S. President Barrack Obama’s convictions regarding the situation in Syria.

With a U.S. strike against Syrian targets in the horizon come the usual threats on Israel by Syria and Iran, followed by Netanyahu’s constant reminders that Israel will strike back if attacked.

Will striking back include a cyber attack as well? Has there been a change in the existing cyber defense doctrine? Has the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad ever trained a cyber army as he did an entire military corps for chemical warfare?

Chances are he didn’t. In that case, who are the combatants? Are they paid hackers? Ideologist hackers? Of which nationality are these groups or individuals? Are these questions even relevant in a world that is getting smaller thanks to big data analysis?

I leave it with the experts, knowing only that cyber warfare puts the civilian population on any side as well as traditional national strategic targets more vulnerable than ever before, and opens a window for sectarian, partisan, guerrilla and civilian groups to take matters in their own hands by intervening in a way scarier and more chaotic than any amphibious landing on any shore.

The Limits of Twitter Diplomacy by Christopher R. Hill – Project Syndicate

See on Scoop.itDigital Diplomacy

“Twenty-first-century statecraft,” we have been told repeatedly, promises to go further and deliver more than in the past, for now diplomats have Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
See on www.project-syndicate.org