IranDecember 21 2023, 11:31 am

Iranian Influence Network Targets Israeli Society Through Social Media

On 19 Decem­ber 2023, the Jerusalem Post report­ed that an Iran­ian influ­ence net­work has been active­ly try­ing to sow dis­cord with­in Israeli soci­ety since 2021. Employ­ing tac­tics like fake social media accounts, deep­fakes, and the cre­ation of fic­ti­tious social and polit­i­cal move­ments, this net­work has aimed to pit dif­fer­ent Israeli groups against each oth­er. The meth­ods include pos­ing as promi­nent rab­bis, pub­lish­ing anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Hare­di con­tent, and form­ing fake dat­ing groups that lat­er inject­ed polit­i­cal mes­sages. In the past year, the focus shift­ed to the con­tro­ver­sy around judi­cial reform in Israel, involv­ing direct attempts to recruit activists to spread its con­tent. Notably, dur­ing the Israel-Hamas con­flict in Octo­ber, the net­work spread con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about trai­tors in Israel and infil­trat­ed group chats of activists, par­tic­u­lar­ly those advo­cat­ing for the release of hostages. Fak­eRe­porter, a watch­dog group, high­light­ed the increas­ing com­plex­i­ty of these for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions in Israel, warn­ing of the chal­lenges in coun­ter­ing such sophis­ti­cat­ed tac­tics. The report con­clud­ed with an alert that addi­tion­al oper­a­tions by this Iran­ian net­work were dis­cov­ered, urg­ing the pub­lic to report any sus­pi­cious activ­i­ties con­nect­ed to it.


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