- (First published in 2015)
The Western Propaganda in favor (or not) of Israel
Daily headlines and front-page news coverage connects often Israeli and Palestinian actions in a particular way: Israel is usually depicted as reacting to Palestinian provocations.
During the latest Israeli assault on Gaza during the summer of 2014, the news media emphasized in countless items that the Israeli military responded to rocket attacks by Hamas. As an example, the German press argued Israel would hesitate to “retaliate” to rocket fire from Gaza (FAZ.NET, 9 July 2014), had “retorted the attacks” (Bild.de, 10. Juli 2014), or “responds to rocket fire“ (SpiegelOnline, 11. Juli 2014).
Such usual framing of issues in the Israli-Palestinien conflict implied a cause (Hamas) and effect (violent confrontation) framework that promotes a particular solution such as Israeli military offensive actions to stop Hamas’s rockets.
The terrorists and extremists are always on the Palestinian side
The propagandistic representation of cause and effect in the Gaza conflict also touches the Palestinian side. In regular news media coverage of Gaza, Hamas and its members were often labeled as terrorists or extremists.
According to international law, Hamas has the right to resist Israeli occupation as part of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Of course, Hamas’s indiscriminate firing of rockets can hardly be justified.
In contrast, prominent international law experts have specified that Israel’s attacks on the heavily populated Gaza strip may amount to violations of the laws of war.
Unfortunately, the main crucial problem there, if resolved one day could be avoid a lot of clashes: Israel and the USA are not supporting the international consensus and reject the rulings of the International Court of Justice. Every year, since 1989, they voted against the UN-General Assembly Resolution called “Peaceful Settlement of the Palestine Question.”
Inside Israel & Palestine Propaganda wars
On the ground, both Israelis and Palestinians believe the other side wishes to annihilate their very way of life, and likely don’t have the time or motivation to question the veracity of the reports they hear.
Israel has invested massive amounts of time and effort into improving its “external image”, hiring well-groomed and articulate representatives to speak on behalf of their government (lobbies and social media propaganda).Hamas, however, has fewer resources and fewer spokespeople to use to appeal to Western audiences. Sometimes the Western audience does not appreciate a strong arab accent.For instance, Hamas, is unable to maintain an English-language Twitter account without it being blocked for content violations!!!
The methodology used
Government-run propaganda largely falls into two categories: Dictatorial propaganda, which is the result of an oppressive regime that stifles all alternative information, leaving only the state’s interpretation of the facts, and propaganda made up of public relations combined with a sense of complacency among the constituency. If people aren’t motivated to seek out the truth for themselves, then the most widely disseminated information usually becomes assumed as the truth.
The deadly war in the Gaza Strip and Israel is being fought with rockets and guns. It’s also being fought with tweets and viral videos. Propaganda has always been a part of conflict and social media has expanded the battlefield.
According to experts,the propaganda problem becomes exacerbated in the age of social media, where everyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection can believe that he/she can uncover any information they need.
Citizen Videos Used as Propaganda Tools in Israel-Palestine Conflict
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) may have realized, as many news outlets have, that amateur footage (also known as user-generated content, or UGC) can convey a sense of authenticity and immediacy that professional production lacks. While the IDF is known for its innovative and often controversial media strategy–which includes a blog, YouTube channels, and social networks in several platforms and languages—its current messaging campaign is notable for its heavy use of citizen footage.
During the past years, Hamas produced the song, “Shake Israel’s Security,” in Hebrew. The lyrics are not exactly subtle: “Let’s kill Jews, let’s kill Zionists.” But people danced to it in clubs,”because it’s a really good song; it’s got a really good beat.”
Obviously, Israeli suffering also merits compassion, but these military deaths were overshadowed by a far higher loss of Palestinian lives, most of them civilian men, women and children. Antisemitism in Europe rises as the financial and refugee crisis grows and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still active, therefore, demagogues search always to blame someone for.
Even indisputable evidence here and here that Israel had fired on hospitals in Gaza, major war crimes, brought little outrage from politicians and media. Jonathan Whittall, Head of Humanitarian Analysis at Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), reminded the world:
‘Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions.’Despite the unequal battle and high civilian death toll, no high-profile advocates of the West’s ‘responsibility to protect’ (‘R2P’) civilians in Iraq, Libya and Syria have been calling for ‘intervention’.
Sources: usnews.com, npr.org; reuters, huffingtonpost.com, stopwar.org.uk, telesurtv.net.
Studies and relevant genious writing articles on this issue:
- The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War
- Captive Revolution: Palestinian Women’s Anti-Colonial Struggle within the Israeli Prison System
- Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land
- Advocating Propaganda Viewpoints from Israel: Social Media, Public Diplomacy, Foreign Affairs, Military Psychology, and Religious Persuasion Perspectives:Based on a series of interviews with top players in the Israeli propaganda war, Advocating Propaganda – Viewpoints from Israel gathers the perspectives from a rabbi, a priest, a politician, public servants, a military officer, a student activist, and a social media consultant to discuss the incomprehensible situation of Israel’s faltering public image. The book seeks to rectify Israel’s international image through better understanding of historical and contemporary policy, and the political, religious, and military philosophy behind the different approaches over the years, presenting media and psychological mechanisms of motivating a more resourceful approach to this increasingly necessary aspect of Israeli statehood.
- Middle East Fights Propaganda Wars on World Cup Sidelines
- White House Paid Journalists To Go On Middle East Propaganda Network
- Israel: History vs. Propaganda
- DOES HEZBOLLAH HAS A “STRATEGY” IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR THEY COPY PASTE PLANS “MADE IN IRAN”?
- US, CUBA AND ISRAEL :THE GEOPOLITICAL PUZZLE CHRONICLE
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