By: Lizzy Zucker  | 

Unpack with YUPAC: ‘Veahavta Lereiacha Kamocha’: How Loving Each Jew Can End Online Terror

Posting and direct messaging on social media have become tools by which terrorists have been able to promote their platforms.  

Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar said recently that Israel's most complex threat is online terror. Terrorists’ influence on social media platforms has proven to be a profoundly challenging issue for the Israel Security Agency. 

Online terrorists have the power to erode Western populations' loyalty to their governments and undermine their beliefs. Terrorists use social media sites to share their beliefs and access massive amounts of data. Access to the platforms allows them to see who has viewed their posts, contact them and persuade them to support their cause. 

Israel has eliminated many hateful accounts that promote terrorism, but this has proven to be insufficient. When one is destroyed, five more appear in its place. Additionally, Bar asserted that in order to combat online terror, information technology needs to change into information management to counteract these terroristic social media activities. In other words, Israel should protect certain information and limit its availability. According to Bar, Israel needs to revise its concept of vital infrastructure. It should not be that hospitals lack the resources and security necessary to prevent hacking because they are not regarded as critical infrastructure. Additionally, he stressed the importance of creating a diversified group of technological professionals in various cyber fields. This would entail allocating sufficient financial resources to technology advancement to cover every facet of an intelligence organization. 

Unfortunately, this issue doesn't just apply to larger corporations or institutions. Online terror attacks have targeted both individuals and the State of Israel.

How has this issue come about? Partially due to the gaps and divisions among Jews and the various religious factions that make up the Jewish people. Terrorists have spread their message by exploiting tensions between different sects of Judaism. They utilize our divide to highlight inadequacy and spin it to benefit their mission. However, we might be able to solve our problem by following Rabbi Akiva's fundamental principle of the Torah: “Veahvta Lereiacha Kamocha” — love your fellow as you love yourself. In other words, treat people how you would like to be treated. 

The Jewish people have split into many different sects throughout history. Although we know that we are all different, society will always see us as the same. It is time that we accept our differences; what makes the Jewish people unique are our differences. Our individual talents and capabilities are all vital to defeating our shared threat. We must concentrate on our common goals rather than what each of us does differently. How do we envision the Jewish people's future? Can we continue if we do not act as a united force? Despite our best efforts, society will always lump us in with one another. To achieve our shared objectives, we must put aside our differences, love one another as we love ourselves and take on our mutual enemies.

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Photo Caption: Online terror is one of Israel’s most complex threats.

Photo Credit: Pixabay