The Power of Social Media in Regards to Foundation for Defense of Democracies
The images on the television were those of American flags on fire, children dressed as suicide bombers, Saddam Hussein triumphantly talking to a huge gathering of Iraqis, and grainy footage of the destruction wrought by a terrorist attack. These arresting pictures and voice overs are meant to inform viewers that the war in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and al-Qaeda’s attacks against the United States are all part of a larger war that Israel and the U.S. must fight together.
This advert is targeted at everyone, and that includes congressmen and senators, White House aides and Pentagon officials, lobbyists and journalists ever since it began running on cable television in the Washington D.C. area. That is one of the tactics that the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is using to influence American’s thoughts on war, terrorism, and the Middle East., and the influence is being felt on the nations policy makers.
Formed by a tightly knit group of billionaire philanthropists who conceived of a plan to win American sympathy for Israel’s response to the Palestinian intifada, the Emet was born in 2001. The Palestinian cause seemed to be getting too much support, even within the American public, particularly within the media and in colleges and Emet: An Educational Initiative, Inc., was formed to offer Israel the kind of PR that the Israeli government didn’t seem able to provide itself. The organization did not work as effectively as they wished, until 9/11 happened and Emet changed to Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
FDD focused its advertising campaigns very carefully, running television ads in Washington and a print campaign directed specifically at the Hamptons. Hollywood was another potential target, and the FDD even looked at using country music as a means of getting to more Americans. Universities were also of particular interest to the organization, and the FDD established academic fellowship programs that are actually doing very well.
“We look for students who are very bright, who are articulate, who are interested in being activists on this issue when they get back to their campuses,” said Clifford May, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
What makes all of this possible is the support the foundation receives from its billionaire backers. Its nearly $3 million annual budget comes from 27 major donors, most of whom are members of “the Study Group”, also sometimes called the “Mega Group” because of their sizeable contributions, a semi-formal organization of major Jewish philanthropists who meet twice a year to discuss joint projects.
In my opinion, there are more ways that the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies can make their point seen by more people. Nowadays, people spend a lot of time on social media and it has become the most powerful marketing tool. If they can take advantage of it, it would likely spread out to more Americans, and even other people around the world. Americans spend an average of 2 hours every day on their smartphone, and possibilities are that most of the time they are on social media. Think about it!