Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 241, May 12th, 2011

TIP Arabic Facebook gets almost 15,000

Followers in less than 2 weeks

"Israel Uncensored" (إسرائيل بدون رقابة ) tells the true story of Israel

Israeli society, culture and politics covered in Arabic for Arab world

Arab revolution is springboard for positive message about Israel

Jerusalem, May 12 - “Israel Uncensored,” (إسرائيل بدون رقابة ), The Israel Project (TIP)’s new Arabic-language Facebook page, has reached almost 15,000 followers less than two weeks after going live.

The response shows an appetite for accurate information about Israel and the Middle East among the Arabs, especially the younger generation which has embraced social media. The rush to sign up shows a willingness to reject decades of anti-Israel propaganda in favor of a more nuanced, balanced and accurate picture.

TIP’s Arabic team, which has been engaging Arabic-speaking journalists and political leaders for 18 months, is now reaching out to a wider audience, presenting a broad-cross section of Israeli life and society.

“TIP has created a unique platform to reach out to the Arab world, getting them the facts about Israel at this critical juncture in Arab history,” said Marcus Sheff, TIP’s Israel office Executive Director.

“We are trying to give a multi-dimensional picture of Israel,” said TIP Arabic’s Director Shimrit Meir. “Clearly, there is much interest in that in the Arab world.”

“Israel Uncensored” is geared toward young Arabs and the content is often cultural, social and political. Arab youth, explained Meir, particularly because of their demographic importance in the Arab world, is the key audience and the response shows that many young Arabs are open to a free flow of ideas, images and thoughts from around the world including Israel.

Indeed, the age group 18-34 represents the main cross-section of the group’s followers.

An ‘Israel at 63’ Press kit and video-clips of Israeli performer, Beri Sacharoff, garnered some 33,000 views, 72 “likes” and 48 comments.

“It’s a huge achievement. We are very happy to be part of the ‘Facebook revolution’ that looks for openings in the Arab world to create positive impressions about Israel and towards peace,” added Meir.

TIP Arabic’s flagship Facebook page, TIP Arabic, includes mainly journalists and editors from the Arab world amoung its friends. It focuses on “hard-core” politics, mainly the Israel – Palestinian conflict related issues. It provides the Israeli perspective on regional events and has over 900 followers.

Some 4,100 followers of “Israel Uncensored” come from Egypt and nearly 500 are Palestinian. Nearly 2,000 are from Algeria, 1,000 from Morocco, 660 from Tunisia, and 360 from Saudi Arabia.

Women make up 26 percent of the followers - an important social tool given that women were very involved in Egypt’s revolution.

The Israel Project’s (TIP) Arabic Media Program works to open hearts and minds in the Arab world toward peace with Israel -- and a better future for both sides. The program provides journalists in the Arab world with facts and sources to inform their readers and viewers about the real Israel – a democracy defending itself from terror, but working for peace.

The Arabic team is headed by Shimrit Meir who draws upon more than 12 years of experience researching and covering the Arab world. Prior to joining TIP, Meir was the Arab affairs correspondent and commentator for Galei Zahal, Israel’s popular army radio station. Previously, Meir worked for both Israeli public television (Israel Broadcast Authority) and for Channel 2 News, the country’s largest commercial channel. She is fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, English and French.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi


Marcus Sheff


Shimrit Meir


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