The Promised Land Goes Online

"Israel's official MySpace page was launched in January under the direction of officials from the Foreign Ministry," reports Gregory Levey. "The MySpace page automatically greets visitors with a sleekly produced hip-hop song called 'Peace in the Middle,'" and "shows pictures of Israel's beaches, glitzy hotels and the Tel Aviv skyline." It's part of the Israeli government's efforts "to reach out to young Americans" and "disarm the conflict-centric image so prevalent in the Western media." The Israeli government also has its own blog, which (like its MySpace page) links to YouTube videos on "Israel's achievements in technology, medicine, business and entertainment," as well as Gay Pride Parades and "a lot of people wearing bikinis. There is nobody wearing a military uniform in the videos, even though military service is compulsory for all Israelis after they turn 18." Future online plans include a second blog run by Israel's Foreign Ministry, "devoted exclusively to politics," and "an Internet television station aimed at American evangelicals and other Christians."