Israel has always had the military upper hand when fighting Hamas, says Alex Ward in Vox, but the country’s control of the “public narrative” is slipping. It’s down to social media: the “TikTok intifada” has seen countless young Palestinians making and sharing videos, from footage of crying children in Gaza to beauty bloggers painting their faces the colour of the Palestinian flag. This content has spread around the world like wildfire, especially in progressive American circles. Supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, have been constantly posting pro-Palestine messages to their combined 120 million social media followers.
Israel’s online counterattack has stalled: Israeli actress Gal Gadot had to disable comments on a tweet saying her country “deserves to live as a free and safe nation”, such was the vitriol she received. Last week Israel’s official Twitter account posted a series of tweets containing 3,168 rocket emojis, representing all the missiles launched by Hamas. It backfired: the emojis looked like warplanes at first glance, unintentionally evoking the “overwhelming” bombardment of Gaza by Israeli jets. But there are no real winners from the social media battle. Just as propaganda videos have gone viral, Jewish and Arab mobs, organised online, have run amok in Israel, beating up those from other religions.
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