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Did Israel Lose the ‘Media War’?
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Shubham S Atal | Date:31 May , 2021 1 Comment
Shubham S Atal
is Strategic Communication Expert.


(A canard after the Gaza conflict. Palestinians succeeded in sending out a centralized message to Muslims world and unifying them against Israel.)

New Delhi (23 May, 2021): After 10 days of bloodbath, the conflict between Palestine and Israel was announced to be ceased. Both the countries have been in constant conflict over Al-Aqsa Masjid scuffle.Rockets were fired ceaselessly between the two nations that led to a mammoth life loss. Both the countries presented figures of human casualties that are difficult to validate.

Post the Gaza attack, Hamas claimed victory,but It is difficult to give a verdict whether it is a triumph or not, but Israel’s Information and Media war has declared it to be a defeat.

How did Israel lose the Information war?

I have been following the information and media trend since the very first day of the war. The information coming from Israel had been very decentralized since the beginning of the war. IDF was busy showing their iron dome off to the world. Whereas, Hamas and Palestinians had been sharing the images of attacks being inflicted on their civilians. Visuals from Gaza were being edited with religious music and more provocative photographs. These were strategically shared with other Gulf countries,probably running under a single roof of war room management.Social media proved to be a major instrument in modulation of perception. It helped to invoke Muslims from all over the world. Whereas, the Israel side of the story harped more on the issues of terrorism. The Israeli population seemed to be split amongst themselves. The Israeli Government kept fighting the war for absolute power. On the other hand, Palestine appealed to the Muslim community to mitigate all differences and co-operate with them.It became their Holy War. They initiated protest campaigns against Israel globally. The Middle East lobby, and considerably liberal Government in America and Europe helped run massive protests. They way it was being managed in the short term, left the message for many.

IDF attacks on Media –  The Truth Behind

The attack on the media tower under the leadership of the Netanyahu Government was proved wrong. This only evinced the aggression in the proceeding of the present Israel government. This sent out the information to the world that IDF is bombarding the media. Whereas, in reality, the media tower was vacated before the shelling, and hence, there are no casualties after the attack. The news of this bombardment, which portrayed the one-sided picture, put Israel in the bad books of the media. Story of the protest against Israeli was covered enormously by global media. World’s leading news apparatus from Europe & America ran it in their prime time. It transposed the narrative.

Attacks on Israel – A rather Misleading Image

After the Gaza attack, the Jews too started facing atrocities from all across the world. Arab as were also lynched that drew criticism from PM Netanyahu himself.Nonetheless, the media seemed substituted with the latter section of story.

Even the Hamas attack was followed by the myriad fatality among kids and civilians. However, Israel failed to show the real picture of the impact of the Hamas attack on the world. The distorted message floated across the world – that lots of kids and civilians were killed singularly by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). This raked resentment among people all over the world. And eventually, with the help of media organs, the pressure was created on Israel.

Modern Warfare and How it is Influenced by Information, Cyber and Media:

On 11th May, 2021, PM Netanyahu said in his press conference “We are in the midst of a major campaign – Operation Guardian of the Walls. Yesterday and today, the IDF attacked hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. We have eliminated dozens of terrorists, including senior commanders. We have bombed Hamas command centers and toppled buildings that serve the terrorist organizations. We will continue to attack with all force.”

From his words, it seemed that despite internal-opposition, Netanyahu’s Government was well prepared for the war, however, as the war proceeded, the army was seen to be rushing into it mindlessly without proper planning ?

Modern warfare might have expedited the process of initiating the war, but it also calls for a quick resolution. The war patents these days have to be strategized to be brief, intense, and detailed. With modern and upgraded weapons and precise strategy, the force needs to be braced with modern management tools too. As opposed to history, today’s method is more of psychological warfare where information, cyber, and media plays a vital role. The dreadful impact of the same is evident in ISIS and all the ongoing  conflict that has plagued the Middle East including Afghanistan and now Israel-Palestine. Even before the short term war commences, attacks and counter cyber attacks are planned and executed by the cyber team. You need to prepare a well-strategized formula and a team that is prepared to respond to the negative propaganda by your opposition or enemy. Your media messages should be closely watched and centralized so that they can create a wave as per your plan. You also need to measure the scale of probability of internal fighting and destabilization, contingent upon time and  preparation.These are the areas in which backtracking algorithms get intricate.

Taking opposition and global fraternity in confidence is key.These are where Netanyahu lacked.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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One thought on “Did Israel Lose the ‘Media War’?

  1. In my view, Israel is winning the media war handsomely. The previously secular Palestinian cause is being transformed into a jihadist one, thereby slowly but certainly reducing its support among non-Muslims. While leftists are very vocal about the cause, centrists and right-wing opinion is increasingly uninterested – or indeed, pro-Israeli.

    The rise of channels like Hananya Naftali’s are also notable in this regard.

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