The Israeli occupation is known for its intense propaganda machine. From the October 7 Hamas attack, Israeli and Western mainstream media have propagated a barrage of lies and intentional derivations of truth, based on no evidence.
Israel’s tactics are based on reaffirming the occupation of all Palestinian lands.
Al Jazeera has reported that Israel’s call to civilians to evacuate northern Gaza is propaganda – meant to instill fear, panic, and exasperation, as one million civilians in northern Gaza had no means of evacuation in less than 24 hours, the deadline the Israeli call gave. Then, when some Gazan civilians started to evacuate to the south of Gaza, Israel began bombing the roads civilians were evacuating on.
“The Israel-Palestine conflict is being fought not only between militaries and fighters on the ground, but also between media narratives on the air.”
Rami G Khouri, Al Jazeera
Another claim that the mainstream media ran with was that Hamas fighters beheaded 40 Israeli babies. President Biden expressed his own outrage at seeing photos of the beheaded babies. Only then, in a White House press release, was it explained that President Biden had never seen evidence or photos of beheaded babies. The false report originated by reporter Nicole Zedeck reporting for Israel’s i24News site. Media started disseminating this narrative, including CNN, evoking tropes of barbarians and ISIS. When the Israeli military was asked about the claim, they said, “We cannot confirm but you can assume it happened.” And thus is the disinformation campaign of the Israeli occupation – appealing to any and all narratives, tropes, and stories that dehumanize Palestinians, while humanizing the brutal and oppressive occupation.
Al Jazeera reports, “The babies story fed into a narrative that is common in US foreign policy – that Washington supports good guys with high national values, and fights bad guys whose actions are brutal, even savage, and must be eradicated.”
Other propaganda during this ethnic cleansing of Palestinians includes Israeli officials claiming to find an ISIS flag in one of the Zionist settlements (Hamas is an opponent of ISIS), a printed out plan that Hamas fighters allegedly had in their possession, and a manual on how to create chemical weapons that was in the possession of Hamas. All of these propaganda reports are meant to reinforce the story of Hamas as equal to ISIS, savages, and barbaric.
Electronic Intifada explains that the savage barbarian trope is consistently evoked as well as hatred of Jews by Palestinains. It says, “This is achieved in part by referring constantly to Hamas killing ‘Jews’ and portraying the situation as an ancient religious conflict, thus deliberately obscuring the reality of Zionist settler colonialism. Hamas’ position on this is clear, as the group proclaimed in 2017: The ‘conflict is with the Zionist project not with the Jews because of their religion. Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine. Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity.’”
Another leg of Israeli propaganda is that Israel constantly spins stories of Palestinian aggression, many of which are actually Israeli aggressions and brutality against Palestinians. For example, Israeli accounts on social media were claiming that Israeli children were being raped and abused by Hamas, when in reality, sexual abuse and torture is rampant in Israeli prisons, where Palestinian children are held without trial and accusation.
Recently, Israel posted the picture below with the caption, “This would have been a photo of a lifeless pregnant woman next to her beheaded unborn baby cut out of her belly by Hamas terrorists. Due to this platform’s guidelines, we can’t show you this.”
However, this is an exact retelling of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon in 1982, with the IDF.
For now, keep following and uplifting Palestinian voices. The Israeli occupation has the power to continue creating elaborate propaganda to dehumanize Palestinians and create false narratives, however, we must be able to look beyond these falsities to always call for a free Palestine.