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When Social Media muffle the cries of Palestine

Even amidst protests from the international community, it has been made clear at least indirectly, that Netanyahu's Zionist government plans to continue their manslaughter on the occupied land. Over a hundred Palestinians have been killed in the last five days in the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. One-third of them are children. Thousands have been gravely wounded. Tens of thousands are seeking shelter in refugee camps. The strikes are continuing even as this is being written. Now with Israel preparing for land strikes as well, the disaster in store for these people who have been constantly subjected to colonial occupation and racial attacks is beyond imagination. The huge tragedies that happened in 2009, 2014and 2006 might repeat yet again. The Palestinian resistance may continue to be a pang and tears in the world's conscience. Even as the colonial, racist politics of Zionism continues to try and soak the region in a bloodbath, the small strip of land and its people has put forth a mighty resistance that most international media outlets and giant social media companies are desperately trying to demonise. Their attempts at resistance are portrayed as a series of attacks while Israel's one-sided strikes with their new and state-of-the-art weaponry are met with silence.

This media discrimination can be seen as an extension of the long-standing racial discrimination of the Israeli state against Palestinians. This discrimination, however, is not new: those like Edward Said had pointed at this back in the 1980s. Several academic studies have emerged on the media's hushing of atrocities by Zionist forces and blowing up of the retaliatory moves of forces like the Hamas. The new media, generally perceived to be more neutral than traditional media, has overtaken traditional media in the matter. New developments have made clear how pro-Israel the popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Zoom are. A few weeks ago Zoom had stopped a live cast of an academic program on Palestine freedom held by a university in San Francisco. Later, YouTube and Facebook also did not allow posting the video. Now, with the attacks growing stronger, this digital media propaganda has also grown wider. Though several reports including visual proofs of the violence are emerging from regions under attack including West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and Gaza, these mainstream social media platforms are reluctant to publish them. If at all any such reports are indeed published by any mean, they are taken down within seconds. Some cannot bear with even one-line expressions of solidarity with Palestine.

Some platforms do not tolerate even a single line of solidarity written for Palestine. On the other hand, they put out everything from videos to images that the Israeli army releases. This is how live telecasts of first-hand descriptions of Hamas 'attacks' are circulating widely. One can also not ignore the reports that Facebook has even modified their algorithms to promote Israeli propaganda. This sort of 'journalism', better called 'digital racism', is starting to show on the coast of Kerala as well. It doesn't come as much of a surprise that the Sangh Parivar factions whose ideologies run knee-deep in racism have anti-Palestine stances. For them, this is basically a Muslim issue as much as it is their issue in India. However, even self-proclaimed proponents of democracy and humanism, the liberals and freethinkers, also fall to the new media propaganda and reduce it to a Muslim issue as exposed on social media which is filled with such posts and statements. They are willfully ignoring the historical lessons that bear this out as an issue of racism and colonial occupation.

Even the latest events that triggered Palestinian protests were started with Israel's attempts to evict Palestinian natives from Sheikh Jarrah, an Israeli occupied land. Stretching this out to Gaza and Masjidul Aqsa is a Zionist agenda. One can only pity those who ignore all such facts and focus only on Hamas' rockets.

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TAGS:Jerusalem Sheikh Jarrah Israel evicting Palestinians Hamas retaliation 
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