From the trenches of Twitter: the propaganda war of the Israeli army Gaza


On May 14, the Israeli army’s official Twitter account tweeted a “pop quiz” video, inviting viewers to “imagine” that they themselves were the Israeli armed forces deciding what to do in response to the rocket from the Gaza Strip. The answer options were: “A. Nothing[.] It allows terrorists to destroy Israeli cities ”or“ B. Aim at terrorists firing rockets ”.

According to the military, there was “only one correct answer”: option B. Actually, a more accurate answer would have been something like this: “C. Bombing Gaza into the reduced lands and massacring entire Palestinian families in” response “to rockets that are not even capable of destroying Israeli cities – and that are only being fired at Israel because Israel has spent the last 73 years massacring and torturing Palestinians. “

So far, nearly 250 Palestinians have been killed, including 66 children, in the Israeli assault that began on May 10th. As usual, the Israeli military Twitter account has served as a valuable weapon to wage a parallel propaganda war to bolster physics.

The account, which currently has 1.5 million followers, is largely devoted to reversing the roles of victimism and victim to portray Israel as the latter, in theory a formidable task, as “victims” do not usually stand up violently. their country in the land of other people. and subjecting legitimate inhabitants to ethnic cleansing and killing.

Totally disproportionate destruction in Israel and Gaza means the Israeli army is often reduced to tweeting about airstrikes, with useful color maps: “All red dots mark sirens in Israel for the last 30 minutes: Israel is under attack “.

If the red dots weren’t traumatic enough, a May 11 tweet encouraged Twitter users to listen to an audio clip of “SIRENS IN TEL AVIV” and “imagine listening to that sound and having seconds to run. his life”. On May 12, another tweet announced: “It’s 3 in the morning and more rockets are being fired in Tel Aviv. Families wake up and rush to bomb shelters.

No matter the lack of anti-aircraft sirens or bomb shelters in Gaza. Imagine being, for example, six-year-old Suzy Eshkuntana, pulled from the ruins of her Gaza City seven hours after an Israeli airstrike killed her mother and four brothers. Or imagine being Eman Basher, a professor at the United Nations Employment and Relief Agency, who tweeted on May 13: “Tonight I put the children to sleep in our bedroom. So when we die, we die together and no one would live to mourn the loss of others. “

The Israeli army tries to “imagine,” but only from the perspective invented by Israel. Another sensationally epic video tweet, titled “Imagine This Was Your Reality,” aims to show how “ALL ISRAEL IS UNDER FIRE” through a montage of rockets, flames and ordinary people. The video urges viewers to “imagine if it was Washington”; “Imagine if it were Paris”; “Imagine if it were London.”

Meanwhile, this same army continues to inflict an apocalypse of cinematic proportions on the Gaza Strip. Imagining Israel as a victim requires a lot of imagination.

From time to time, the military urges the Twittersphere to imagine events through a supposed Palestinian perspective. He begins his May 18 video tweet, “Explaining the Use of Hamas Human Shields”: “Imagine your home surrounded by terrorism,” which presumably doesn’t require a moment of imagination to to residents in Gaza, watching Israel flatten the tall buildings that surround them.

According to the exhausting Israeli narrative, Palestinian “terrorists” enter civilian areas and are therefore to blame when Israel eliminates civilians. Certainly, the military regularly provides rigorous evidence to support this narrative, as would be expected of any technology-cutting entity.

For example, a now-deleted version of the video “The Use of Hamas’ Human Shields, Explained” included images of what Israel claimed to be Hamas rockets embedded in Gaza’s civilian neighborhoods. But, as Reuters reporter Raphael Satter pointed out, the images were really from a “2018 Israeli training exercise” in – guess where – Israel! (Satter went on to remark that the fact that the Israeli army has “problems distinguishing Hamas rockets from Israeli rockets does not inspire confidence in the quality of its intelligence”).

A similar digital draft reached the state of Israel in May 2010, when the army killed eight Turkish activists and a Turkish-American aboard the Mavi Marmara, the flagship of a flotilla that sought to deliver aid to Gaza. According to the Israeli official line, Israeli commanders who had descended from helicopters shooting at people were the real victims of the episode, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry was uploading photographs of the “weapons” allegedly found on board, including marbles, keffiyehs, kitchen knives and handles.

This slingshot photograph was initially specified as taken in February 2006, more than four years before airborne controls were brutally assaulted in the middle of the sea by people delivering incubators and medicines to a besieged coastal enclave. Is it true that when your whole victimhood narrative is a lie in the first place, what need is there to be meticulous about the details?

In the end, if you are in the Israeli army and have an Internet connection, there is nothing you cannot discuss. If the military were in charge of tweeting about other varieties of current acts, we would probably hear that deer attacked hunting rifles, that snorkelers ’legs attacked sharks, that chainsaws were victims of tree trunks, that mice were eaten by cheese, etc.

As for the role of journalists in the transmission of Israeli propaganda, which the Western corporate media has long been guilty of, it has been widely claimed that the Israeli army tricked the foreign press into reporting a ground invasion of Gaza on May 13 to push Hamas fighters into tunnels aimed at mass attacks.

Of course, there are also other options for dealing with the media, such as destroying their offices in Gaza, as happened on May 15 (imagine if it was Washington, Paris or London).

The Israeli army’s explanation on Twitter of the attack on the 11-story building, which destroyed the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press, as well as numerous civilian residences, was that it was “an important Hamas military intelligence operations base. “

Most prominent was the prominent satirical medium The Onion, which called on Israel to reduce The Onion’s international offices “to carbonize rubble as soon as possible,” so that “no Hamas agent would hide.” . The article urged Israel not to “warn tenants in these buildings in advance”, concluding that “if the carpet bombing the entire city where our offices are located ends this cycle of violence, it will have been worth any inconvenience.” .

Now, as the Israeli army continues to wage a physical and digital war – annihilating the truth in the process – it is time to reduce its narrative to rubble.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.

Source link