AI bots and Jews for Jesus: Isolated on the world stage, Israel is getting some strange bedfellows

Social media bots are the latest tool used by Israel's government to win the war of public opinion. (Image by Hotpot.ai)

Israel had some strange bedfellows in the news this week. The New York Times unveiled that country’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs created social media bots that posted AI-generated comments to influence American lawmakers and the general public; meanwhile, a rally against antisemitism in Manhattan drew headlines when it was revealed that the organization behind the rally was a Messianic Jewish group that aims to convert Jews to believe in Jesus.

While the stories are different, the underlying theme is the same: Israel is increasingly isolated around the world, with ever-sinking public opinion and international allies growing distant. When good PR is hard to come by, you end up with AI-created bots and Jews for Jesus as suddenly noteworthy friends.

Avi and Phoebe discuss these topics on this week’s episode of Bonjour Chai, with special guest Rabbi Michael Skobac of Jews for Judaism, an organization created in direct response to Jews for Jesus.

Credits

Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast, donating to The CJN and subscribing to the podcast’s Substack.