In the last few days a newspaper in Russia featured a report that Israel is bombing a Russian city. How did this happen? Instead of writing about the unwillingness of the Bnei Ayish Local Council, most of whose residents are Russian speakers, including the council head, to accept that missiles might be launched at it from Gaza, the paper wrote about Israeli firing on the "Russian city of Bnei Ayish." A few hours later, thanks to the assistance of Russian-speaking Israeli bloggers, a more accurate version of the report was published.
When you start from the assumption that the average Russian does not necessarily know where Israel is located and where Gaza is, and that he is fed primarily by the official propaganda in Russia, it is necessary to explain to him the proximity and the danger in launching rockets from Gaza using his own reference points. The bloggers created maps of Moscow and its surrounding suburbs in order to explain to the Russian audience where it would be possible to launch missiles at them and from that conclude how dangerous the rocket threat against Israel is.
The use of blogs for Israeli information campaigns in Russia started with a basic text posted by Marek Bibichkov, a former advisor to Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak, on his blog in which he offered a simple explanation about the war in Gaza and the reasons for it. 20,000 hits a day indicated a news vacuum existed. "The information office" of the bloggers, most of whom worked for political parties in Israel looking for a way to win the Russian vote, organized spontaneously and operates independently, but receives backing and quiet cooperation from official information agencies that have identified the potential.
After a few successful days of blog public relations efforts, the phenomenon is also spreading to other languages, such as English, Belarus and Spanish.
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