‘The first premeditated social media war against a people and a nation’

Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, and President of the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, speaking at the conference in New York, said that the world turned against Israel shortly after the Hamas attacks due to a deliberate social media war conducted against the Jewish people. “Sophisticated operators  linked to Hamas, “said Lauder, “began a 24-7 barrage against Israel and unleashed vile streams of antisemitism on social media and other platforms.”

Just days after October 7, he pointed out, well-organized demonstrations began throughout the world. “Israel was not prepared for this. The United States was not prepared. The entire West was not prepared.” The October 7 attacks were not just attacks against Israel, he charged, but were an attack on peace.

Lauder added that the forces aligned against Israel embedded themselves in colleges and universities, turning them into platforms of hate. The premeditated social media onslaught, coupled with antisemitism, created a negative reaction against Israel, he said.

Most young people, he noted, get virtually all of their news from their phones or computers, noting that “97 percent of the news they see on Israel is negative and only 3 percent is positive.”

Lauder said Israel must make its social media presence a priority. “Israel cannot afford to lose this front,” he urged, “and neither can the United States. It is that important.”

While the Hamas attacks have united Israel and the Jewish people, Lauder said that the Jewish people could not rely on its enemies to bring it together. “Our unity must come from within,” he said. “it has to come from within every one of us.”

As evidence, he cited his experiences in helping to support Jewish education for young Jewish children who had come from the Soviet Union, when he was serving as US Ambassador to Austria. “I learned that one person can make a difference,” he said.

“Our generation has never had to fight,” he noted, “but now we do. We must fight on the new battlefield of social media, we must fight in our schools and take them back, we must fight just as Israel is fighting and just as hard.”

The World Jewish Congress sponsored a portion of the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference.

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