‘United with Israel’ Reaches 1 Million Fans on Facebook - The Jewish Voice
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‘United with Israel’ Reaches 1 Million Fans on Facebook

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In just 15 months, a tech-savvy, pro-Israel advocacy start-up group has developed a reach of over 200 million people around the world.

When Michael Gerbitz moved with his family to Israel in 2007 he thought he would make a living with online Israel-related business ventures. He didn’t think he’d create a global movement that would become a social media phenomenon. But that’s exactly what has happened.

A little more than a year after it was created, United with Israel, which calls itself the Global Movement for Israel, is reaching more than 1 million supporters in over 100 countries. In fact, on March 4, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came on board, saying that he was “honored on being the 1 millionth Facebook fan!”

“We’ve obviously hit a chord with a wide variety of people around the world,” Gerbitz says. In the process, United with Israel has firmly established itself as a grassroots, global network of people who are Israel supporters-turned-activists.

“It’s not like we’re creating a market of Israel supporters,” Gerbitz says. “The market exists. It just wasn’t being reached. The State of Israel is focused on protecting its citizens, not on social media. That’s where we come in. We fight for Israel on the battlefield of public opinion all over the world.”

The Secret of Success

“It’s not magic,” says Gerbitz. “We’re the first pro-Israel organization that’s actually harnessing the full potential of social media.” 

“The fact is, if ordinary people in the Arab world and in the former Soviet Union can use social media as the basis for radical change, we can certainly use it to advocate for Israel. Like people in countries all over the world, we are harnessing the best technology out there to reach the masses.”

And United with Israel really is reaching the masses. “The beauty of social media is that each of our one million supporters has a network of friends,” says Gerbitz. The result is that, according to Facebook, United with Israel has an extended friends reach of more than 200 million people, speaking 20 languages across the globe. That’s about one-quarter of the 800 million people the social media giant reaches.

What’s Really Happening in Israel

“We give people information about what’s really happening in Israel. All they have to do is Like, Share or Comment on our content and it’s broadcast instantly to their network of friends in an understated, non-confrontational manner. We have an extremely high rate of engagement,” says Gerbitz. “United with Israel spreads the truth about Israel: from friend to friend to friend.”

Of course there is more.

“We also develop action items that make it easy for people to transform themselves from lovers of Israel into doers for Israel.” The beauty of working with social media is that “many of the action items require just one click to send pro-Israel messages to decision-makers in any country.”
Other United with Israel action items range from boycotting anti-Israel companies to promoting Israeli technology to circulating petitions. For example, a United with Israel petition against a self-declared Palestinian state at the United Nations garnered 100,000 online signatures that were presented to US President Barack Obama.

‘No other pro-Israel organization is doing anything close to this’

“What United with Israel has done is redefine the meaning of hasbara (public relations),” says Naftali Bennett, former Chief of Staff for Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Using social media, this dynamic, young organization has been able to accomplish that which Israel has been trying to do for years.”
“In the pro-Israel world, nothing measures up to United with Israel in terms of the number of people they reach and the diversity of the member population. No other pro-Israel organization is doing anything even remotely close to this,” Bennett says.

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