ISNAD, the “Human Chain” to spread the disinformation of the Palestinian cause

By Andrea Tucci

Behind ISNAD network there are a group of Egyptian expat volunteers. This group focuses on spreading disinformation of the Palestinian cause and the war in Gaza.  It aims, through the help of  digital experts, graphic designers, Hebrew speakers, AI experts, to tarnish the image of the Israeli army.

Their campaign is not about convincing or fighting with them. “The idea is that we play with their minds and implant ideas, images, and phrases that have a negative impact on public opinion.” 

Ezzeddine Dowidar, coordinator of the ISNAD campaign, says  ”The digital resistance campaign ISNAD was launched in November 2023 as a means to defend the Palestinian cause and confront the misinformation disseminated by the Israeli media machine. The Israeli public, among others, is greatly affected by the false claims propagated by their leaders and their manipulation of public opinion. Israeli media deems ISNAD a source of disturbance as it disrupts the Israeli propaganda machine, which Israel spends millions of dollars on”.

ISNAD is led by a large group of digital and artificial intelligence experts from across the Arab world. Over 4,700 volunteers from the region are affiliated with ISNAD, working to “support the Palestinian cause” by breaking Israeli military censorship constraints on media content in order to convey the reality on the ground in Gaza to the Israeli public.

ISNAD, works to expose the Israeli public to the “reality” of the war, by archiving and blogging in different languages via a thousand of accounts, some with Hebrew identities, and on various platforms. According to ISNAD, which has around 31,000 followers on Telegram, they have published over 800,000 posts in Hebrew. The team also engages in “125 daily tasks”, disseminating diverse content related to Palestine in Israeli digital circles.

When pro-Palestine protests in the West intensified, occurring on a weekly basis, and the Western public proved to be more engaged than those in some Arab nations, it became clear to us that blogging in foreign languages, especially in English, was no longer so decisive. Western society was and is already doing its part: Western activists and youth, have embraced the cause and followed it closely, successfully exposing it to their people and communities.”

This network idea is to play a more advanced role, much closer to the battleground, that goes beyond just writing in foreign languages or appealing to international organizations: “ They decided to target Israeli public opinion.”

 Dowidar continues saying that ISNAD is not a humanitarian organization, because that would mean they are not concerned with their cause. “Our primary motive is responsibility: We are not defending others, we are defending our nation, our country”.

Lately they became one of the top trend network in Israel for two days after an hashtag went viral..

The hashtag was about the Ukrainian mercenaries who accidentally killed three Israeli captives in the second stage of the war. Their lack of Hebrew knowledge led to their inability to understand the captives’ calls for help!

As of now, the initiative have an organized mechanism for taking in followers and volunteers, interacting among each other, and forming a structure very well organized: ”We try to do a peaceful Palestinian resistance is to defend the cause and confront the misinformation disseminated by the Israeli media machine”.

After witnessing the impact on the Israeli public opinion, it is clear that the campaign of communication is a success.

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