Monday, July 24, 2006

Globalization: Israelis and Lebanese are still talking - on the Net

Cyber-Truces
Interesting article in the Jersualem Post about how Lebanese and Israeli bloggers find themselves talking in real time about what is going on in each-other's backyards.
Diplomatic talks between Israel and Lebanon may appear distant, but virtual talks between Lebanese and Israeli nationals are gathering steam daily on the Internet. Hundreds are signing on daily to blog, chat and post about the ongoing violence, with many finding new ways to relate to one another.

Obviously, there is the usual smackdown/hate magnified with the real life emotions of people at war, but somewhere there seems to be a real exchange of information between younger people, which at least serves as another source of direct information, that might challenge official or ideological positions by the combatants.
Middle Eastern bloggers sprang into action within hours of the initial violence, exchanging photos via Web sites such as www.flickr.com, and long message strings on sites such as lebanesebloggers.blogspot.com. There have also been chat rooms set up by Jewish and Lebanese bloggers to allow for real-time communication between the two communities.


For many, the attraction of going on-line has to do with connecting with one another without the third party filter that a media outlet generally provides. "I wanted to know what they were thinking, especially people my age," Shira. "I don't know any politicians or important military guys. The only people for me to appeal to are my peers

Click For Yourself:
There is even a site, On The Face started by a young Israeli blogger, Lisa Goldman, which links posts from both countries including those on Lebanese Bloggers. Really, really, interesting first-hand stuff there.
"It's important to note that this community existed for some time before the war broke out," said Lisa Goldman, who has used her blog, ontheface.blogware.com, to publicize Israeli-Lebanese blogging since the current crisis broke out. "We have tons of things in common. We come from two of the most liberal, educated countries in the Middle East. Many of us received a western education. We have talked, wrote, and dreamed about open borders between our countries."