Israel Defense Forces’ Public Diplomacy Activities in the Age of Digital Technology: The Case of IDF Tweets


The integration of information technologies into industrial production has opened a new epoch; The fourth phase of the industrial revolution. In this phase, nation-states and the all other actors in the international system have started to use the new socialization areas, that is, the internet and social media, for their own interests. Public diplomacy, which can be defined as the process of creating a perception among the peoples through visual and written media, comes into play at this point. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) often applies disproportionate hard power instruments against Hamas, the Islamic Jihad Organization, and Hezbollah, as a so-called counter-terrorism strategy. This raises negative reactions against both Israel and IDF in the international community. Israel is labeled as a militarist state, while IDF soldiers are seen as brutal. The soft and smart power strategies and public diplomacy, therefore, gains importance for both Israel and IDF to improve her international image. This paper analyzes the image improvement and brand correction strategies of IDF in the 2000s as a smart power strategy and public diplomacy. For this reason in the study, by using the content analysis technique, the tweets sent from the official Twitter account of the IDF between the years 2018-2020 were examined. It has been concluded that the IDF practices public diplomacy as described by Nicholas Cull, and on the other hand, IDF tries to get rid of negative discourses on Twitter and tries to manipulate the events in times of crisis.


Israel Defense Forces public diplomacy Twitter Israel soft power