Using video games as propaganda is nothing new. The U.S. has been doing it with 'America's Army' for some time, while Hezbollah has employed 'Special Force' to spread its message. But those games might seem quaint and diplomatic in the face of a series of games from Residents' Councils of Samaria and Binyamin
, an advocacy group for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The organization has released a trio of violent shoot-'em-ups with Biblical roots and a pro-Israeli bent
. The first, 'Judah Maccabee,' puts players in the role of a Maccabee soldier (a rebel army that took control of Judea from the Greeks around 167 B.C.) as he infiltrates a Greek camp. The second, 'Ahab in Samaria,' has players defending Israel from invading soldiers. 'Ammunition Hill,' the most recent game, puts players in the boots of a soldier during the invasion of East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.
The games are rough-looking by American standards, with simplistic play reminiscent of 'Doom.' They were developed by Virtual 3D, a company that primarily traffics in archaeological software, using Shockwave (a relative of Flash). The games aren't going to win any converts to the settlers' cause, and will probably further put off those who are already unsympathetic. But propaganda will always have its place, and in the digital age that place is online games.