Monday, October 16, 2017

  • Monday, October 16, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Don' t market to these guys! It's offensive!
From Haaretz:

Several hours after Haaretz published a story exposing a controversial Israeli government initiative to set up a database with the names of all Jewish students in the United States, the plan was put on hold.

Based upon a statement published by Hillel International, the largest Jewish student organization in the world, the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs came under pressure to withdraw it.

The project was supposed to have been run through Mosaic United, a company set up by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs several years ago with the declared mission of strengthening the religious identity and connection to Israel of young Jews abroad.

In its statement, Hillel International said it had not been aware of the plan until it received an inquiry from Haaretz. “We immediately investigated and made clear to Mosaic United our objections to this initiative. We believe the initiative in this tender is not in the best interest of engaging American Jewish college students. Based on our objections, Mosaic United has agreed to take down the tender from its website and cancel this initiative. We appreciate Mosaic United’s swift response to our concerns.”
“The idea is to set up a database of all Jewish students in the United States (some 350,000 students) and to map daily all the Jewish/Israel events taking place on campuses, along with a daily structural mapping of Jewish/Israeli online content from around the web," the tender for the project stated.

"The goal is to bring a student not active today in activities connected to Judaism/Israel (roughly 85 percent) to participate in online and local campus activities numerous times and continuously."

According to the tender, the job of the company that won the contract would have been not only to create a database of names but also to divide up the Jewish students into sub-groups for micro-targeting purposes.

The company was supposed to have gathered material, both online and offline, that might be of interest or relevant to Jewish students – such as articles, photos and video clips, as well as information about Jewish or Israel-themed events taking place on their campuses. Each sub-group of students would have received a package of material, via social media and other channels, tailored to its specific needs, which would have been determined in consultation with Mosaic United.

Members of Mosaic United’s advisory board had also been kept in the dark about the initiative, which was almost certain to have drawn criticism from liberal Jews in the United States.
I cannot figure out why this is considered objectionable.

On the contrary, this is how marketing works. You can buy a mailing list of "Affluent Jewish Parents" and other companies can take an existing database of people and categorize them by ethnicity or religion. Any article about how modern elections work talk about the micromarketing done by both Democrats and Republicans to provide targeted messages to specific people based on religion, ethnicity, geography and any other factor you can imagine. Religion is one of the obvious factors that marketers use when targeting their audiences.

Why is creating a database of Jewish college students controversial?

Haaretz doesn't tell us why, just that Hillel was left in the dark about this and objected. Of course, Hillel owns the biggest database of current Jewish college students in the US, so for all we know their objection was to having competition in that area. But anyone who sees how their online ads change based on a Google search done minutes beforehand should not be shocked at modern micromarketing methods.

And who can object to marketing Jewish and Israeli events to Jews? Unless, of course, the Jews are the tiny percentage who are rabidly anti-Israel to begin with, who need a trigger warning before seeing the word "Israel" used in any sentence that does not mention "apartheid."

It must be the rights of those Israel-hating Jews that Haaretz is so concerned with.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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