Israel has been bombing Gaza indiscriminately and disproportionately since Hamas conducted a surprise attack on the Israeli army’s posts surrounding the blockaded city. As Israel lost approximately 1,500 soldiers, a number higher than its casualties in the Six-Day War, it has been carrying out a massive murder campaign for vengeance.
Israel seems to have abandoned its compassion as it destroys houses, schools and hospitals, culminating in mounting numbers of Palestinian casualties. It also does not distinguish between Hamas militants and civilians. At least 3,000 children were reportedly killed in the first two weeks of Israel’s retaliation. Scenes on TV are indeed heartbreaking. Dismembered bodies of children, women crying over their killed children and dead bodies pulled out from rubble have become the new normal in Gaza.
Israeli officials also imply that they want to expel Gazans to Egypt (and Palestinians in West Bank to Jordan) but their last punishment among others is likely to end with occupying half of Gaza and pushing Gazans to the other half. In this way, Gaza, which is already an open prison, will turn into a prison cell where 2.5 million people will live not side by side but over each other. There is a human tragedy ongoing in Gaza, which probably was rarely witnessed in history. Yet, Israeli politicians, people and even the diaspora are complacent to cruelty and claim that Palestinians, including babies, deserve it.
Israel’s wild attitude is not surprising but there is much to say about Western states’ unconditional support for cruelty. The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and many other countries in the trans-Atlantic region declared their support for Israel with the infamous cliche words “Israel has the right to defend itself.”
If a country is under attack, it certainly has to defend itself by all means. However, for decades, Israel has been the attacker rather than the defender thanks to its military might and Western support. It wielded asymmetrical strength against Palestinians to kill them, occupy their lands and expel them from their lands, not to mention systematic oppression and the blockade isolating poor Palestinian people from the world.
Given that statistics have no bias, a comparison of casualties of both sides will clearly show that Israel attacks and kills more. While Palestinian groups kill one Israeli, Israel kills approximately 20 Palestinians in return. Moreover, Palestine’s reaction is mostly to resist occupation. Despite this fact, right after Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7 and before it, Western capitals sided with Israel, ignoring Palestinians’ decadeslong pain. One cannot remember when a Western politician condemned Israel for its crimes or stated that Palestine has the right to defend itself, too.
They are so silent against Israel’s atrocities that they did not say a single word when Israel cut electricity and water to Gaza or when it bombed a hospital, killing 500 people. Their attitude is so inhuman that it contradicts even Israel’s right to defend itself. Because no defensive action legitimizes killing children or leaving civilians to starve to death. Unfortunately, no Western leader underlined the limits and morality in warfare.
Besides Western governments, which also banned pro-Palestine protests and threatened to deport or arrest protestors, mainstream media was also on the front alongside Israel. From featuring pro-Israel footage to not publishing the tragedy in Gaza, they sidelined their governments to defend Israel. Occasionally, there were Palestinian guests on Western TV, but they were compelled to condemn Hamas rather than being allowed to talk about Israel’s ruthlessness.
However, the government plus media alliance in Western countries seems to have failed to convince people that Israel is the victim. More than ever in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people in the U.S. and Europe support Palestine against Israel. They took to the streets to protest Israel’s cold-blooded murders in many cities, among which London championed the number of protestors with at least 100,000 people gathering in the streets. There were square meetings in the past as well, but they were mostly faint and could not attract more people. Yet, ongoing protests are so large that some of them forced politicians to make balanced statements between Israel and Palestine. Protests are also unique in that it is a rare moment that a democratic system runs for a tortured people, namely Palestinians, as it gives the message of Western people to their decision-makers that if they continue to support Israel unconditionally, they may lose people’s support in elections.
Social media illuminating the truth
Obviously, such public support for Palestine would not be the case had social media not been widespread thanks to the internet. People no longer get news only from mainstream media but directly from individuals, including victims in Gaza. Thus, when giant media corporations show Israel as the victim or spread fake news, social media accounts respond with truths, immediately clearing the misleading propaganda. Mainstream has become so weak against social media that some personal accounts have more audience access than TV networks. Since such accounts are millions in number, classical media outlets can’t compete with them.
In this context, it can be said that the media column that collaborates with Western governments is experiencing a big and final defeat against social media. In other words, the mainstream media is battling in its Armageddon war and has already lost, which also means Israel’s defeat in information warfare.
The course indicates that people and governments in Western countries support opposite sides regarding recent clashes. While governments continue to be friends of Israel, people, including celebrities and bureaucrats, embrace Palestinians. Such dissociation between government and the public may even influence domestic politics in the long term and force governments to be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As stated above, democracy rarely and surprisingly works for Palestinians in the West though its impact on foreign policy is yet to be known.
This is not good news for Israeli people because when they pay a visit to other countries, they will probably not be welcomed as they will be reminded of the oppression of Palestinians. Not all Israelis defend their government’s ruthless policies but they will still be affected by them. Whether Israelis feel comfortable at home or not they may not be happy while abroad. In conclusion, Israel may occupy the entire Palestine in the future but its alienation by the world public may end in losing the hearts of the whole world, and having a bad image with characteristics such as selfish, merciless, unjust and hostile. One should remember that Jews had the same image in the past and it hurt them for centuries.
Source: Daily Sabah