Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FLOTILLA2 - Israel: 'We will unmask the true face of the hate-filled provocateurs'

(Shlomo Cesana-IsraelHayom).Israel's Public Diplomacy Corps is also preparing for the upcoming flotilla. An exercise was conducted Tuesday to see how the corps would respond to a scenario in which 500 activists aboard 10 ships entered Israel's territorial waters. Public diplomacy officials from the Prime Minister's Office, Foreign Ministry, Public Diplomacy Ministry, IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Government Press Office, Jewish Agency and other organizations took part in the simulation.

The diplomats were asked to respond to a scenario in which the IDF approached the ships and was then attacked with stun grenades and even a live grenade, causing several injuries to our troops. The IDF took control of the ship, neutralized the attackers, who had used both lethal and non-lethal weapons. Ten IDF soldiers were injured, two flotilla activists killed, and another 14 injured.

The public diplomacy corps practiced how to respond to the ensuing flood of media disinformation, with special attention to misleading reports on Facebook and Twitter, some of which were disseminated by private individuals and others by Hamas.

During the simulation, the situation room, working in coordination with national public diplomacy staff and the IDF Spokesperson Unit, started releasing reliable reports to Jewish communities and pro-Israel groups around the world. In addition, situation room staffers responsible for new media started updating their posts to social networks.
"In the face of the flotilla provocation, whose sole purpose is to damage Israel's global image, we have set up a special situation room to ensure cooperation between the Israeli government and Jewish communities and Israel advocates around the world," Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein remarked upon completion of the exercise.
"We are here to unmask the true face of the terror organizations and hate-filled provocateurs organizing the flotillas to Gaza, and to distribute pictures and information in real-time over the Internet. I am confident that we will be reinforced by tens of thousands of activists from Jewish communities all over the world".