In a new media structure dominated not by western media giants but by Instagram videos,热议资讯 TikTok videos and YouTube short films, Israel's ongoing war in the besieged Gaza Strip is not only televised.
For more than a month, audiences all over the world, especially young people, have been watching the damage caused by Israel's indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian enclaves in real time on their favorite social media platforms. Anyone who has access to the Internet has seen countless videos, including videos of babies being shredded by bombs, women being crushed under tons of concrete, and mothers holding their children's bodies.
Of course, Israel continues its consistent efforts-even more efforts-to control the narrative of its bloody war and decades of occupation.
Israel did not hesitate to call it a "terrorist" and assassinate Palestinian journalists who tirelessly told the world the truth about Gaza. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, in the latest war alone, Israel killed at least 53 journalists and media workers, most of whom were killed with their families in targeted air strikes. Wael Doukhi, a correspondent of Al Jazeera Arabic Channel in Gaza, lost his wife, son, daughter and grandson in such an attack, and he learned the news during the live broadcast.
Israel also does not allow foreign journalists to enter Gaza and freely report what they see. Fareed Zakaria of CNN recently admitted that the Israeli military currently only allows foreign journalists who agree to "submit all materials and footage to the Israeli military for review before release" to enter the war-torn Gaza Strip. Zakaria said that NN agreed to these terms "to provide a limited window into Israeli actions".
However, despite all these efforts, mainly due to social media, Israel can no longer hide the truth about its actions in Palestine. It can no longer control the narrative and public opinion about Palestine. As the mainstream media has lost the ability to determine the Palestinian situation witnessed by the western and, to some extent, global audiences, the cruelty of the Israeli occupying power has become public.
Now, social media users openly ridicule Israel's desperate attempt to control its narrative of the Gaza war and quickly expose the repeated Israeli lies in the mainstream media. On November 29th, a # wewontbesilended activity was launched on the social media platform, encouraging the publication of this picture, or a picture with one hand covering your mouth and the other hand writing relevant information or a poster. Since its launch, it has been displayed hundreds of thousands of times on various platforms, and it will continue to attract attention as social media accounts feel the impact of shadow bans, censorship and intimidation.
Not only Israel knows that it is losing this public relations war, but also its biggest financier and promoter knows this. The temporary ceasefire agreement announced last week is about to expire, which shows that the United States is as worried as Israel about changing the public's view of the conflict.
According to the Political Daily, senior Biden administration officials have been worried about how the temporary ceasefire "will allow journalists to enter Gaza more widely, have the opportunity to further clarify the damage there, and make the public change public opinion about Israel." In other words, U.S. officials are aware of the changing direction of public opinion since the bombing began, and are worried that the influx of journalists into the Gaza Strip may further expose the genocide committed by Israel there with their permission and support.
However, Israel and the United States did not lose this crucial narrative war just because of the recent war in Gaza. The current attack on Gaza will only accelerate the weakening of Israel's control over media narration and public opinion. In March this year, a few months before the latest round of violence began, Gallup released data showing for the first time that "Democrats in the Middle East are now more sympathetic to Palestinians than Israelis, and their support rates for Palestine and Israel are 49% and 38% respectively." This shift in the Democratic Party's sympathy shows that the monopoly of the mainstream media on Israel's narrative about Palestine is weakening. At the same time, many people in the Republican Party have begun to rethink the relationship between American and Israeli foreign aid. Former US President Donald Trump's "America First" creed has made many Republicans question whether supporting Israel through regular military assistance should still be the party's foreign policy priority.
Since October 7th, Meta's response to accounts and posts that raise people's awareness of mass killings of Palestinian civilians has been mainly censorship. It is reported that more than 90% of the contents supporting Palestine have been deleted. Now, people are worried about how X will deal with the public relations pressure in Israel.
This week, X CEO elon musk visited Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After he supported anti-Semitic posts on his platform, the visit was widely criticized as a form of "cleaning up". As part of the propaganda tour, the two sides reached an agreement that Musk's satellite Internet service "Star Chain" can only be used in Gaza with the approval of the Israeli government. The Israeli occupiers control the water, electricity, food, humanitarian aid and now the Internet service of Musk, but Israel still insists that it is not an occupier.
Israel's increasingly negative image in the international community can only be blamed on itself.