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Propaganda 2.0? Israel Condemns Released Killer on YouTube

The Israeli government, no longer willing to wait to for an Arab television interview, is sending their message to the Arab world via YouTube. Israel's government uploaded a video in Arabic and English condemning Lebanese militant Samir Qantar as "the most despicable of murderers." Qantar, released Wednesday in a prisoner swap, received a hero's welcome back in Lebanon. He had been jailed since 1979 for killing a 4-year-old Israeli girl, along with her father and two policemen. The 2-year-old sister also died, because her mother accidentally smothered her while they hid.

Israel is trying to smother the political support for Qantar with the details of his crime sent straight to the Arab world. But the message comes with a warning, too. The Arabic video ends promising a tougher Israeli response than in 2006, if Hezbollah tries a kidnapping similar to its capture of two Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah says that Israel is sending voicemails to Lebanese mobile phones with the same retaliation threat.

YouTube sounds like a promising channel for dialogue, but I couldn't imagine receiving a voicemail from a foreign government hinting at impending military violence. Do you think a message for peace can get out using technology?

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