‘Love’ for Israel winning Twitter war

Jewish Agency’s social media head counters anti-Israel trend on Twitter with a message of love.

Avi Mayer was monitoring his Twitter account early Sunday morning when he noticed a disturbing topic that had been gaining popularity.

The phrase “Israelhates” had been tagged onto enough posts that the message had become a worldwide trend topic. Overnight, the hash tag had reached 0.15 percent of all worldwide tweets, reaching its peak just after 2 a.m., according to the web site Trendistic, which monitors the popularity of trend topics.

For example, “#IsraelHates Freedom, Democracy, The Free Voice! & Resistance,” was retweeted more than 100 times.

Mayer, who heads social media for the Jewish Agency, wanted to combat that message of hate, so he decided to start his own trend topic.

“The haters have gotten ‘IsraelHates’ to trend worldwide. Let’s counter with #Israelloves,” Mayer wrote in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Less than a day later, Mayer’s tag had become so popular, reaching 0.02 percent of worldwide tweets, that the message of hate he had sought to combat had disappeared from the trending list.

“It’s important for those who love Israel to talk about it in a positive way,” said Mayer.

Mayer stressed it was crucial for his counter message to be one of love and not hate, as responding with “Palestinehates” would have been.

“Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestine are not mutually exclusive,” said Mayer.

Though he stated his main goal was to have the “Israelhates” tag removed from the trends, Mayer said he is hopeful for his message to continue, whether it is to acknowledge Israel’s support of civil rights or to say how much Israel loves humous. It’s part of Jewish peoplehood, said Mayer, to support the Jewish nation. “There is an eagerness out there to combat negativity with positivity.”

Despite Mayer’s message of positivity, some Israel supporters have decided to flip the “Israelhates” message on its head, with one person tweeting “I wish the righteous folks twitting #israelhates a good, fulfilling, joyful and democratic life in peaceful Syria. Say hi for me, will ya?”

::Jerusalem Post