Israel’s ongoing inhumane bombardment of Gaza and attempted genocide of the Palestinians is happening in plain sight for all to see. 1,400 Israelis have been died and over 3,000 Palestinians have been killed.
However, there have been several false claims and narrative spins produced by the media about the crisis. A crisis which academics and world leaders have condemned as an apartheid.
“To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid. What’s happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse.“Noam Chomsky
40 Babies Beheaded?
On the tenth of October, Israeli news channel i24 reported the alleged beheading of 40 babies by Hamas militants in the Kfar Aza settlement. This report later made headlines throughout major news media networks around the world and on october 11, Joe Biden publicly expressed that he had seen images of the beheaded babies of Kfar Aza.
“I never really thought that I would see, have confirmed, pictures of terrorists beheading children”Al Jazeera
However this report could not be verified and subsequent fact checkers from CNN and The Intercept found the report had no basis of evidence. By the time the facts had been checked, the report of Hamas beheading 40 babies had already gone viral around the world.
The report would be used by far right extremist groups on social media like TikTok and Facebook garnering millions of views.
Staging Palestinian Deaths
A video is also being circulated around social media which pro Zionist and extreme right groups claim to be the staging of Palestinian deaths.
A post on Instagram reads: “These terrorists are dressing up as JEWISH soldiers to create fake videos about Israeli soldiers! Faking Propaganda! PALLYWOOD IS REAL!!!”
Fact checkers have confirmed that the video is in fact behind the scenes footage of a Palestinian short film called “Empty Place” by director Awne Eshtaiwe.
Major news media publications have also begun a narrative spin campaign focusing on the heroism of IDF soldiers.
In a Fox News publication by Boaz Arbel is represented as the “Dad (who) leaves US to re-enlist in IDF to serve with four daughters”. In the video Mr. Arbel replies to the question “what is your motivation”
“I have to do something to protect my family, to protect my nation and to protect my four daughters who grew up in the Boston area and volunteered to go and take part in the IDF.”
Another article by The Australian writes “Aussie mum’s fervent plea to sniper son”. The article focuses on the heroism of Mr. Tzvika Gershowitz on call with his mother pleading for him to come back to Australia:
“He told his mother ‘this is what I’ve been training for. My day has come. I can’t let my boys go through without me.’
Such narratives completely dismiss the 75 years of apartheid history as well as the exponentially superior weaponry of the Israeli military. Is it really an act of heroism to use guns against spears? How can the people of Gaza fight against helicopter and fighter jet strikes?
And how would the news react if an Iraqi Australian were to leave Australia to fight against NATO during the 2003 invasion of Iraq? A war which caused 37 politics and international relations to come together and sign a letter, writing:
“The revelation that the government has tried to pass off outdated academic research as hard intelligence illustrates the weakness of its claims. As academics, we have a responsibility to challenge these attempts to distort the truth about the threat posed by Iraq”
In conclusion, it’s crucial to be vigilant consumers of information and collectively resist propaganda. In an era of rapidly spreading false narratives, fact-checking and critical thinking are our best tools to promote accurate understanding and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Stay informed and question what you see and hear to foster a more informed and just society.