The Jerusalem Post explains why the growing public protests over Sheikh Jarrah have been helped greatly by the web (and ironically, the failure of the Western press to adequately report an issue a few kilometres from their offices):
Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, along with a slew of blogs, are playing an increasing role in the growing participation of young Israelis in protest rallies in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, activists and journalists familiar with the situation there told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Activists and journalists both described a situation in which protesters were relying on the Internet to try and affect change on the ground and raise awareness of the arrests made during demonstrations in the neighborhood.
“It’s all Facebook, e-mails and Twitter,” said Didi Remez, a human rights activist, who has become noticeably involved in the Sheikh Jarrah protests as of late. Remez was arrested during a protest there last Friday.
Remez also said that distant audiences, like American Jews, who might be deprived of Sheikh Jarrah coverage due to the mainstream media’s lack of interest, were instead staying abreast of the situation via social networking sites.
“The American media is for some reason refusing to cover this,” he said. “Even though it’s becoming a major issue in Israel. And still, despite that, there’s a lot of awareness [of this issue] among Jewish Americans, the reason being that they are increasingly connected through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on.”
“They’re getting information on this without The New York Times,” Remez continued. “So, something that hasn’t been covered at all by the [American] mainstream media, is still getting coverage through new media, and I think that’s a statement about the decline of the mainstream media and maybe a larger comment on the shift away from it.”