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Israel: Consulate Holds Twitter “Press Conference”

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, North America, Western Europe, Germany, Israel, Palestine, U.S.A., Breaking News, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Governance, Humanitarian Response, International Relations, Technology, War & Conflict

Just last week, HubSpot, a Boston-based Internet marketing firm, released a report [1] which stated that micro-blogging platform Twitter [2] gains 5,000 to 10,000 new users every day. Given the recent use of Twitter in discussing major events such as the recent attacks in Mumbai [3] and Gaza [4], it is unsurprising to see such growth.

Governments have also been using Twitter for quite some time. The U.S. government operates a number of Twitter accounts [5] (including @USAGov [6], @TheWhiteHouse [7], and @NASA [8]), with other countries’ governments sure to follow. This afternoon, in the midst of the Israel-Gaza conflict, the Israeli Consulate of New York set up a Twitter account. Its first tweet read [9]:


Shortly afterward, the consulate announced its intent to hold a citizens “press” conference on Tuesday, December 30, from 1-3 pm EST:

The conference presents a unique, never-before-seen opportunity for a government to create an open platform for global discussion during a time of crisis.  Twitter users are able to send questions during the conference, and follow the discussion by using the #AskIsrael [10] hashtag.  The face behind the consulate's Twitter account is David Saranga [11], Consul for Media and Public Affairs for Israel in the United States.

Twitter users have already begun to ask questions.  gyokusai [12], based in Germany, asks:


travmavg queries [13]:

Details about the press conference can be found on the consulate's blog [14].