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Is there light at the end of the (Hezbollah) tunnel?

CM 20/04/2021 1


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What happens when you throw a bunch of TikTokers into a Hezbollah tunnel and show them the secrets of Israel’s security threats?Last week, a group of social media influencers toured one of Israel’s most dangerous borders – the northern front – and learned about the threats that Hezbollah poses to all residents in northern Israel, including the country’s Druze, Christian and Muslim minorities, understanding that “if a missile lands on a nearby Jewish village – it threatens all of us.” While Israel’s public diplomacy efforts hit some barriers this past year due to the pandemic, Hezbollah did not slow down its efforts to disrupt the lives of the local population.DigiTell tour to Israel's northern front for social media influencers, April 12, 2021 (Credit: Tobias Siegal)DigiTell tour to Israel’s northern front for social media influencers, April 12, 2021 (Credit: Tobias Siegal)As part of the tour, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit provided the group with a tour of the Ramya tunnel, considered Hezbollah’s flagship project in its campaign to conquer the upper Galilee and destabilize the State of Israel. As its name suggests, the tunnel was dug from the Lebanese village of Ramya over the course of years. It is the longest (nearly 1.5 kilometers) and deepest (around 80 meters) tunnel dug by Hezbollah and was the last one among six similar tunnels in the area to be neutralized by the IDF.  


The unique tour, organized and led by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs (MSA), was the first of its kind since the coronavirus pandemic broke out over a year ago. One of its major focuses was meeting residents, of all kinds. The tour opened with a panel titled “Minorities Under Attack” with four participants representing Israel’s diverse population: Yoseph Haddad, an Arab Christian from Nazareth who heads the “Together – Vouch for Each Other” organization; Daniel Salami, a Druze and a correspondent for Ynet; Sarit Zehavi, Jewish, CEO and founder of Alma Research Center; and Ibrahim Abu Ahmad, an Arab Muslim and senior researcher at Alma. The discussion primarily revolved around the nature of Israeli identity for each of the panel participants, while connecting each of their perspectives to its unique context of growing in this country under different circumstances and conditions.  From left to right - Daniel Salami, Yoseph Haddad, Ibrahim Abu Ahmad and Sarit Zehavi (Credit: Tobias Siegal) From left to right – Daniel Salami, Yoseph Haddad, Ibrahim Abu Ahmad and Sarit Zehavi (Credit: Tobias Siegal)“Everyone should understand that Israeli society is not only Jewish but is composed of all of its components: Druze, Jews, Muslims, Christians and so on,” said Haddad, who was recognized as an IDF disabled veteran after being injured during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.  
THERE IS no doubt that growing up as a part of a minority group in Israel poses challenges, according to Ahmad. It is not the challenges that matter, but where one chooses to position himself in relation to those challenges, he explains. “We are still establishing our identity,” Ahmad says. “My grandmother’s story was a Palestinian one, mine is more Israeli… the political reality requires you to choose sides, but I believe in being in the middle,” he adds. “I believe in my heritage; I have no shame in that. At the same time, I was raised here, and growing up in Israel is also part of who I am.” In follow-up questions and later conversations with Haddad and Ahmad, one thing seems to connect everyone: everyday life and its often devastating disruption – regardless of race, gender or religion – by the ongoing security situation with Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. “Palestinians are starting to realize that Nasrallah is using the Palestinian story as a tool, and not one that will serve the Palestinians,” Ahmad said. The coronavirus pandemic has had an unexpected effect in that regard, raising more support for the IDF than ever before, with numerous reports indicating a generally warm welcome by the Arab society during the coronavirus pandemic, especially in northern Israel. “COVID has helped unite minorities in northern Israel,” Ahmad says. “There is an understanding that if a missile lands on a nearby Jewish village – it threatens all of us,” he adds, noting that “this was not the situation in the past.” Haddad agrees, and adds that Israel’s Arab population up North “supports the IDF more when it comes to the Hezbollah front” – indicating, possibly, a perceptional change in regard to the IDF and the State of Israel as a whole.  Both Haddad and Ahmad agreed there is currently no political party that represents their views – but noted that their percentage within the general Arab public is growing and that they are receiving more support for voicing ideas that consider all parts of Israeli society. The group later met with Nadav, the security officer of Kibbutz Hanita, located just meters away from the Lebanese border and one of the original Tower and Stockade settlements, built in the late 30s as a means of countering the Arab Revolt and as a fortifying presence. DigiTell tour to Israel's northern front for social media influencers, April 12, 2021 (Credit: Tobias Siegal)DigiTell tour to Israel’s northern front for social media influencers, April 12, 2021 (Credit: Tobias Siegal)When asked about the daily challenges the kibbutz faces, Nadav spoke mostly about the uncertainty and the grave responsibility that locals have in case of an emergency. “Hezbollah sees and documents everything we do,” he told the group. “During the first few minutes of an incident, we are responsible for defending ourselves.” And while the group got acquainted with the security situation in northern Israel and the various ways it affects the people living in the area, it was not the sole objective of the tour. Rather, the tour itself was meant to provide the group with a platform that will allow them to create better content and reach more people.  
THE GROUP is called DigiTell and was established three years ago by Ido Daniel, MSA’s Director of Digital Strategy. Today, the initiative is an inseparable part of the ministry and plays an integral part in bringing its vision to life: fighting the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement by creating reliable content that exposes the truth and tells Israel’s story by the people who actually live its reality.  “This global network of digital influencers and social media managers includes more than 100 individuals. Some are part of wider organizations and some are completely independent,” Daniel told The Jerusalem Post.  DigiTell tour to Israel's northern front for social media influencers, April 12, 2021 (Credit: Ministry of Strategic Affairs) DigiTell tour to Israel’s northern front for social media influencers, April 12, 2021 (Credit: Ministry of Strategic Affairs)“Our objective was to reach out to these individuals on behalf of the State of Israel – for the first time – and to provide them with a platform that allows them to do a better job by providing them with a framework, networking and resources,” he said, noting that the most effective tool that he has found for encouraging creative collaborations is letting people meet face to face. “We give them tools that are meant to empower them, but each and every one of them is their own master. They don’t work for me,” he says.  Before the pandemic started, Daniel says, the ministry would provide the group with seminars that included lectures and training by some of the biggest names in the industry. “Twitter sent a team and held a panel about the platform itself,” he explains. “The idea is to always be learning from one another.”And it seems to be working. One TikTok video published by one of the participants from within Hezbollah’s Ramya tunnel has received almost 400,000 views in only a few days. “It was broadcasted live – people were watching in a live feed what a terrorist tunnel meant to hurt Israeli citizens looks like.”
Source: Jerusalem Post

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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