Pro-Palestinian Twitter users on Wednesday subverted an IDF social media campaign aimed at raising awareness about Holocaust survivors, instead using the campaign’s hashtag to promote the Palestinian narrative.
The IDF Spokesperson’s unit on Tuesday launched the #wearehere campaign ahead of next week’s Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.
It enjoined users on the social media network to upload photos with Holocaust survivors with their current location and the topic #wearehere in order “to map Holocaust survivors across the world” and “commemorate the memory of the Jews murdered during the Holocaust,” the official Twitter feed of the IDF said.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) April 22, 2014
Over the course of the first day, dozens of images of elderly Holocaust survivors accompanied by relatives, including some IDF servicemen and women in uniform, were uploaded to Twitter.
— Ben Lichtman (@Odawg66) April 22, 2014
— Tsahal-IDF (@Tsahal_IDF) April 23, 2014
Although @IDFspokesperson tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the “the #WeAreHere campaign is off to an inspiring start,” many pro-Palestinian activists may have been inspired by the recent hijacking of a New York Police Department Twitter campaign by those protesting police brutality.
“#Wearehere and this is Palestine,” and “#Wearehere and we will resist” were some of the popular messages shared on Twitter by anti-Israel activist groups such as @Op_Israel and @PalAnonymous using the IDF-inspired hashtag.
Others uploaded photos of apparent IDF brutality with the same topic.
— #OpIsrael (@Op_Israel) April 23, 2014
— Anonymous Palestine (@PalAnonymous) April 23, 2014
Yet others posted images promoting the Palestinian historical narrative in an effort to combat the Israeli one on social media, including maps showing what they portrayed as aggressive Jewish colonization of British Mandate Palestine.
The IDF said in response that “the #wearehere campaign is meant to highlight the connection shared between IDF soldiers and Holocaust survivors who are close to them in honor of Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel.” It declined to comment on those using with the same hashtag to promote the Palestinian narrative.