by: Ilse Strauss
Wednesday, 13 April 2022 | The past three weeks have been the bloodiest Israel has experienced in over a decade. Israeli and international leaders alike have condemned the killings that have now left 14 people dead and dozens injured. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has also chimed in, denouncing two of the attacks. He was, however, a lone voice among the Palestinian powers-that-be. In fact, the majority of Fatah (leading secular Palestinian political party), Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders applauded the carnage, calling for more of the same.
Disturbing? Absolutely. Sickening? Most certainly. But perhaps the opinion of those who sit in office presiding over the everyday man on the street is the lesser of two evils.
Even more alarming is the flood of praise and incitement on social media, venerating the so-called martyrs and calling on Palestinians to sustain, even perpetuate the bloodshed. And in a society where the youth is enchanted by popular opinion and online renown, the call can be irresistible.
The Times of Israel sifted through the online hatred to compile a sample of the incitement that bombard the Palestinian youth. It is a sickening laundry list of graphic footage of the terror attacks set to rousing music, stirring songs revering the terrorists, graphics and images celebrating their supposed blood sacrifice, official statements, commentaries praising the attacks and so forth.
These Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts—some originating from official Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and channels—received multiple likes, hearts and thumbs ups, and were shared widely.
In one particularly disturbing post, actual footage of the terror attack in Bnei Brak and images of the terrorist’s victims—bloodied and slumped over in death—serve as the graphics for a jaunty song telling Israelis, “you will see hell and its gates will open on the Day of Resurrection.”
Another post that proved popular among Palestinian social media users is a song originally produced and shared by the Islamic Jihad’s Filastin al-Yawm channel, boasting, “God blessed the champions of Jenin [the hometown of the Palestinian terrorist who killed five people, including an Israeli Arab, in the Bnei Brak attack] with a Molotov cocktail and a knife.”
According to the Times of Israel, the Hamas mouthpiece Falastin also uploaded a number of videos featuring children expressing their joy, delight and admiration for the terrorists—all receiving hundreds of likes.
Then there are, of course, the countless posts featuring pictures, posters and placards of the terrorists, singing the praises of their bloody exploits and venerating them to the point of national heroes worthy of emulation.
And therein lies the rub.
The vast majority of the terrorists responsible for the bloodiest three weeks in Israel in over a decade were teenagers, youngsters, lone-wolf operators. Scrolling through the sickening social media glorification of murder, I recalled a conversation I had with an 18-year-old boy a few months ago. As we discussed role models and the people he looked up to, he whipped out his phone, opened his Instagram account and proudly pointed out his heroes: other teenagers or young men or women who had somehow climbed the oh-so-desirable pedestal of online notoriety.
“If I could just be like them,” he breathed, his eyes shining with admiration.
Yes, therein lies the rub. Scrolling through the sickening social media glorification of Palestinian teenagers, youngsters and lone-wolf operators who had climbed the oh-so-desirable pedestal of online notoriety by shedding innocent blood, I couldn’t help but wonder how many other Palestinian teenagers and youngsters are scrolling through their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok feeds, their eyes shining with admiration, breathing, “If I could just be like them.”
Posted on April 13, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 13, 2022)
Photo Credit: Today Testing (For derivative)/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. All other materials are property of Bridges for Peace. Copyright © 2022.
Website Site Design by J-Town Internet Services Ltd. - Based in Jerusalem and Serving the World.