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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The WZO writes a useless "Zionist" iPhone app

From JTA:
A new mobile app provides a database of information about Zionism and Israel.

The free “Zionation” app for iPhone and Android devices, developed by the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Diaspora Activities, includes a Zionist calendar that marks and provides background information on significant dates in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel.

The app, which supports Hebrew, English and Spanish, also notifies users about conferences and events occurring in their communities or around the world.

Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman, the co-chair of the Department for Diaspora Activities, said the app is designed to resonate with a younger Jewish generation.

“We believe that now more than ever, given the alienation among large segments of the Jewish community from the State of Israel, that it is our duty to encourage the younger generation to create their own Zionist Jewish identity based on knowledge and familiarity with major figures and historical events, values and achievements,” he said in a statement.

I downloaded this app, and it is as close to a useless application as you can imagine.

It contains three sections on its home page: "Yearly events," "Protagonists of Zionism" and the ever popular "About."


For October, it has exactly one event: the memorial day for Rahav'am Ze'evi. That's it. Nothing about the Yom Kippur War, for example. (But you can add Ze'evi's memorial day to your calendar!)

The awfully named "Protagonists of Zionism" section is even worse. It has five categories: Prime Ministers, Presidents of the State of Israel, Nobel Prize Laureates, Olympic Champions and Winners of the Eurovision.

Have all Zionist heroes been reduced to this?

It is like a really, really bad website, with very little information. Nothing interactive. Essentially nothing useful in its "database." The biographies are ridiculously short.  It is only a week old and already out of date, since there is a new Israeli Nobel laureate.

If this is how the WZO is trying to engage young people, they are even more clueless than I would have imagined. I can guarantee that no "young people" will use this app more than once, probably to laugh at it.

I am shaking my head thinking how much this cost the WZO in time and money. If this is how they think they can engage Zionist youth, they might as well close that division  - or hire someone who is not completely ignorant about how young people think.