Today is day 22 of the Israeli offensive into Gaza. Yet again we see in this mornings news that ANOTHER UN school has been hit by Israeli rockets, 19 killed and 100 injured, as well as a busy city market, killing 15 and wounding dozens. So far, since this attack began there has been more than 1,200 deaths in Gaza, over 200 children killed, while 3 people have died in Israel. Is that proportional? So many children have been injured and killed that Jon Snow, a reporter with Channnel 4 in the UK, has gone as far as asking: Is this a war on children?
The photo above is of 3 of the 4 Bakr family, just seconds before being killed on the beach in Gaza on the 15th of July. However Israel may try to justify their actions, their hollow words are not being accepted by the Irish people. More and more “normal” people are standing up to voice their anger against Israels onslaught, including many people who, as they say themselves, supported Israel in the past. Of course there are those who will defend Israel to the end and who are not going to waver from their pro Zionist position (examples of endless dialogue on Brazil forum here and here), but what is of interest to me, are the millions of normal people who are seeing the reality from Gaza and from that taking a stand for Justice.
The nature of how we receive information has changed radically. Of course the main ways are still there: reading the newspapers, listening to the radio, watching TV. But now people are also getting news via their social media networks; they see disgusting images and videos in their Twitter and Facebook feeds of the reality from the ground. Not only do people see this, but they are also quickly passing on this information on their social media to friends and family in their social networks, little by little the critical dissemination of the truth is unfolding.
It has been claimed that Israel always fight their wars on two fronts; the actual battle ground but also the “communication war”, whose purpose is to sway public opinion to justify their actions. Many commentators have said we are witnessing a critical juncture; it seems that as the ground war goes on further, with all its death and destruction, that Israel is quickly losing the war for hearts and minds. We are seeing much of mainstream media, in the past absolute defenders of Israel, now allowing critical voices and opinions to be expressed. For more on this I would direct you to Paul Mason’s excellent article; “Why Israel is losing the social media war over Gaza” and “Why Israel Is Losing the American Media War” by Benjamin Wallace-Wells.
In regards to the Irish dialogue on Gaza and the shifting of public opinion, I would like to direct you to two very important radio shows that happened last week on the national radio station RTE, both on Liveline. For those not accustomed to Irish ways, it is the show where the nation phones in to “talk to Joe (Duffy)”, to moan about the problems of the day, air their grievances etc. Last week though much time was devoted to covering the reality of the suffering in Gaza, the reasons for the conflict and as to how peace can be achieved. Anyone who listened could find very very little credibility in Israel supporter spin and could only identify with the sheer horror being experienced by the people in the worlds “largest open air prison”; The Gaza Strip. Below are links to podcasts of both shows as well as some more background on the situation. So have a listen and make your own mind up.
Thankfully huge numbers of Irish people have already taken to the streets, are pushing at the government to take real steps in regards to diplomatic relations with the rogue state of Israel. Even Irish doctors have taken a firm stand in denouncing the criminal acts of Israel. In fact again Ireland is being recognized internationally for the high level of support it is making in solidarity with those in Gaza. Hopefully their actions will further inspire people in other countries to do likewise, like Brazil, where this Irishman finds himself, where he is still a little shocked to see so little commentary and support from friends, as well as the showing of actual solidarity in the streets.
Stop #GazaUnderAttack – No to Israeli war crimes – No the ILLEGAL siege of Gaza – Yes to a peaceful transition to the 2 state solution – FREEDOM FOR GAZA – FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE.