Fabricated immigrant stories and quotes along with stock images of people were posted on Twitter by the Israeli Immigrant Integration Ministry to encourage Jews relocate to the occupation state.
An investigation undertaken by the Times of Israel failed to find any of the supposed immigrants quoted on its social media accounts.
Following an enquiry, many of the fake posts – using the now defunct hashtag AliyahStory -encouraging Jews to make “aliyah” – the move to Israel – were deleted and the ministry confirmed yesterday that all of the people quoted were made up.
Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva noted that in one case, it confirmed that the image was a real person, who was not an immigrant and never made the quote attributed to him.
According to the ministry’s Twitter feed, a Tanya Lipworth from Chicago could never imagine that she would fulfil the Zionist dream and make “Aliyah a reality”.
However, there is no record on the internet of a Tanya Lipworth existing.
“I grew up in a Jewish home, Jewish school, but could never imagine that I would fulfill the #Zionist dream. I realised after spending a year in #Israel after studying that making Aliyah could become a reality,” says Tanya Lipworth from Chicago, USA.
— Misrad Haklita (@MisradHaklita) January 6, 2019
“The thing about life in #Israel after making #Aliyah is that I realised is how to keep in contact with family and friends back home,” Carla Weinberg from Toronto is reported to have said.
Another alleged immigrant, Misrad Haklita was quoted saying: “Modern technology has made it easier to keep in touch! We love our Friday FaceTime!”
According to The Times of Israel, most of the names do appear on Facebook but do not appear to belong to anyone living in Israel.
Jason Pearlman, a former spokesman for Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, said: “If it is the case that this is a genuine ministry account, and the photos and names are fabricated, it is nothing short of horrendous.”
“To use stock images to illustrate classrooms or meetings is one thing, but at a time when Israel’s credibility is constantly attacked on social media, to make people up is nothing short of idiotic.”
Israel has made a lot of effort to persuade Jews from Europe and the US to migrate in order to maintain the demographic superiority of Jewish citizens in the state.
Although 20 per cent of the Israeli population are Palestinians, Israel has consistently denied those who were ethnically-cleansed from Palestine since 1948, along with their descendants, their legal right of return to their homeland.
According to internal Jewish Agency figures, immigration to Israel rose by more than a quarter in the first half of 2019, fuelled almost entirely by a continued surge in Jewish immigrants from Russia.