This is a very old colonial game, at least we should understand this. In 1937, when the Arab revolt happened in Palestine, as the Jews who were fleeing Europe should be stopped, Churchill rejected the Arabs’ demands and spoke in favour of colonisation.
I quote Churchill, “I don’t admit that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians, black people of Australia. Nothing wrong has happened. A higher grade race has come in and taken its place”. Same Churchill said that “Indians are animals and their religion is like animals”.
Churchill killed 25 lakh (2500,000) Indians with his man-made famine, but look at the narrative and power play. Hitler did the same and he is the biggest villain of this era, Churchill did the same thing, but he became the biggest hero (though I am not supporting Hitler in any way, this is just to showcase the contrast in spectrum). India understands colonial games. That’s why India has always supported Palestine.
In the tumultuous span of 40 days between Israel and Gaza, a complex web of narratives has woven its way through the harsh realities of conflict. The quest for truth amidst the chaos becomes increasingly challenging, especially as harrowing reports emerge. Yet, amidst the fog of war, questions arise about the veracity of the information.
At the forefront of these reports is a grim statistic, ‘atrocities’ committed by Hamas: 40 children whose innocent lives were tragically severed from their bodies. Concurrently, women endure systematic abuse, painting a devastating picture of the toll conflict takes on civilians.
Amidst this backdrop, allegations surface of a massive tunnel network maintained by Hamas beneath hospitals, leading to the ominous claim of a Global Jihad Conspiracy.
Assertions are made that Palestinians are not dead but rather victim to inaccurate reporting. Children, it is argued, remain unharmed, while horrific images are dismissed as mere puppets in a grander narrative.
This narrative, we are told, is not forged in the crucible of missiles, guns, and swords but is rather a product of ideology, thought, and a carefully crafted storyline.
A lesson drawn from history is invoked, pointing to the precedence set by World War and the Cold War, where the battle for hearts and minds played out in the realm of information.
The importance of information warfare is conspicuously clear in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The landscape has evolved with modern communication technology, thrusting narrative into a position of unparalleled significance.
The notion that victory or defeat is not solely determined by weaponry but by the shaping of perception becomes a central theme.
As we navigate this narrative, a pivotal moment on 7 October emerges—an attack by Hamas labeled a heart-wrenching act of terrorism. Global outrage and media coverage reach a zenith, particularly surrounding an incident where Hamas is accused of beheading 40 children.
Front pages carry the story, and even US President Biden expresses disappointment. However, subsequent revelations cast doubt on the accuracy of these claims, highlighting the perils of unchecked reporting.
Israeli army has said that Hamas eats people’s hearts. They put children in ovens and cook them. They have killed old people. But these claims are proving to be false.
Now, it is clear that Israeli military killed many Israeli citizens on 7 October. They were not able to understand the situation, shooting blindly. Tuval Escapa, the security coordinator of Be’eri village, set an emergency hotline between the residents and the Israeli army.
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Haaretz, he said, Israeli commandos had to take some difficult decisions, like dropping a bomb on houses in villages, which would kill both terrorists and hostages.
After 40 children’s story was proved wrong, almost no one, even a small one, published a correction.
The reporters and sane civilians, facing the accusation of being labeled anti-Semitic for questioning the narrative, showcase great strength worldwide in numerous historic demonstrations.
The focus shifts to the broader question of who is winning the narrative in the Israel-Palestine war. It is asserted that the outcome hinges not solely on bombs but on the battle for public opinion.
During the first three weeks of the current round of hostilities, ACLED records approximately 4,200 demonstration events related to the conflict in almost 100 countries and territories, accounting for 38% of all demonstration events reported globally.
Both Israelis and Palestinians are depicted as engaging in a narrative warfare, utilizing different methods with the shared goal of presenting their truth to the world.
The landscape of disinformation is then explored, tracing its roots to historical events such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003, where claims of weapons of mass destruction proved false.
Specific instances in the current conflict are to be examined with careful details, such as the alleged command and control center under Al Shifa hospital in Gaza.
The collateral damage, in the form of premature deaths and destruction, is laid bare, raising questions about the true costs of war. As the new reports surface and videos of Israelis soldiers are made available we can see the true lies getting fabricated at exponential rate.
For example, On the wall of Al-Shifa’s room, they got a paper on the wall with names. Israeli military showed that this is the name of Hamas terrorists which looks like an attendance sheet.
But later we come to know that it is a calendar. It is so stupid that it can be a joke that it is not a name, but it is written in Arabic on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. But it is Arabic, could be terrorism…?
The narrative serves three purposes:
1. to discredit the target,
2. dehistoricize the context, and, most dangerously,
3. dehumanize the opponent.
Drawing parallels to historical atrocities, it is evident that this tactic has been used to justify genocides. These three points were expressed subtly in the statement by UN Secretary General said on 24th October that the attack on Hamas on 7 October has a context which we have to understand the context of Israel’s occupation and atrocities which have been going on for 56 years.
Examples from apartheid South Africa, the Algerian conflict, Vietnam, and Irish history should be referred to see the colonial playbook of discrediting, dehumanizing, and attacking those who question the prevailing narrative.
We see that the new GenZ is awakening to the legacy of lies spread across and solidified with almost all media platforms, including entertainment industry.
There is a huge upsurge in people reading Quran and eventually accepting Islam (on online social media platforms) as a response to the discovered lies.
In a global context, the narrative extends beyond the Israel-Palestine conflict, showcasing a recurring theme of manipulation through disinformation. This is same as the age-old colonial game.
This narrative climaxes with a call to understand the power dynamics at play, urging people to critically assess the information they consume.