English-speaking immigrants serving in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit are at the forefront of the war of words in Operation Swords of Iron. Jonathan Conricus, born in Jerusalem to a Swedish father and an Israeli mother, spent his formative years in Sweden. He has effectively utilized his multiple perspectives to challenge narratives about Israel.
Conricus is a prominent IDF spokesperson, expressing facts, figures, and sentiment for media outlets such as CNN, NBC, the BBC, Fox News, and on his own Twitter account with a following of some 96,000. He emphasizes the importance of having grown up in Sweden, outside of Israel, as it has given him an understanding of how to communicate with people who are not Israeli in terms of tone, choice of words, and body language.
Having served in the Israel Defense Forces from 2017 to 2021, including the Guardian of the Walls Operation, Conricus is a reserve officer focusing on American media during overnight hours. He faces challenges in navigating the media landscape, often filtered through an unfriendly lens towards Israel. His team uses social media to present information transparently and rapidly.
Conricus highlights issues with the press such as journalists not independently verifying data. He mentions the attempt to blame Israel for bombing the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza and how news institutions walked back on their headlines when provided with evidence that it wasn’t true. Additionally, Conricus points out the challenge of recognizing the accuracy of the number of casualties reported by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.
For Conricus, groundbreaking platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are good ways to get information out without filtering. He urges journalists to be better and more professional in their reporting.
When asked about the best-case scenario for the war, Conricus hopes for an immediate surrender by Hamas and minimal civilian suffering, with the ultimate goal being the eradication of Hamas, allowing Israelis to return to normalcy and establishing a stable structure for the future.
Conricus believes that Israel is a success story and that Jews around the world should come home to the Holy Land. He views it as a tremendous investment with potential for prosperity, despite political issues. He sends a message to other immigrants in Israel to share the Israeli narrative to their foreign networks and speak up to bring their story to the world.