"Anonymous Soldiers": The First Facebook Protest of Israeli Soldiers

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Seminar 34 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Hillel NOSSEK, The Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Israel

David Adamov, a soldier of the Nahal Brigade of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), was videotaped having an aggressive confrontation with Palestinian teenagers at the occupied city of Hebron, in which there is a constant ongoing tension. The videotape which has a prominent title: "Youth against Settlements", was constructed by this Palestinian activists group, aims to trigger the incident while videotaping the confrontation with Adamov, as part of "Electronic Intifada" (uprising) campaign. After the video was posted by Ma'an News Agency – a Palestinian independent news agency at the occupied territories – it was posted by the independent Israeli right wing online news site 0404 and then broadcasted on Israeli television (29.04.2014), accompanied by a military spokesman declaration  that Aamov behaviour was not compatible with the IDF's code of conduct.

The Facebook protest was characterised by anonymous soldiers, also women soldiers, wearing common army uniform, some only pants, some declaring their military units, soldiers photographed from their backs, since no one showed his face on facebook. Photographs were taken by Smartphones, presenting hidden faces of soldiers covered by a hand written paper or a placard: “We are all with David the Nahlawi" (about 3000 photos and 100,000 likes). The main facebook slogans where common right wing demands, opposing the Israeli military legal code of ethics and conduct that reduces and constrains the use of military power by the IDF in relation to Palestinian civilian population of the occupied territories.

The paper analyses the paradoxical outcomes of this protest which was supported by right wing politicians as well as by the left-wingers. In addition, a peculiar question arises about the representation of the protest in Israeli media: why the source of the videotape was rarely discussed in Israeli mainstream media.