Perhaps the most surprising thing about Israel's surprise attack on Hamas this week is that many people learned about it by reading about it on the Israeli Defense Forces own surreal Twitter feed. The account, @IDFSpokesperson, is also paired with a blog to create a chronicle of this ongoing mini-war that is one part press releases, one part propaganda, and one part taunting the enemy. When it isn't dryly announcing statistics about its newest military actions, IDF is defending its attacks with reminders of the terror facing Israeli citizens or dossiers on the people they've just killed. Occasionally, they take a moment to threaten the enemy with certain death from above.
They even posted a YouTube video of the assassination of Ahmed Jabari. The grainy surveillance footage was quickly taken down by YouTube, but like most controversial clips, it has found its way back on to the site.
On one level, it makes sense for the military to use the internet to provide useful information and possibly even explain its mission to the public. (They have Spanish and French-language versions of the account too, for added global reach.) But the odd tone of the writing, has taken some people aback and left the IDF open to mockery and charges of insensitivity regarding a very sensitive subject.