posts about or somewhat related to ‘israel’

Mapping Online Reaction to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Al Jazeera has an animated timeline map of prominent hashtags used on Twitter during the ongoing Gaza conflict.

The map runs from June 17 to July 17 and covers hashtags such as #BringBackOurBoys (when three Israelis disappeared while hitchhiking), #MohammadAbuKhdair (when a Palestinian teenager was killed in Jerusalem) and, of course, #IsraelUnderFire and #GazaUnderAttack.

Select to embiggen and view the color key for the screenshots above, or, better, read through to watch the timeline unfold. 

Some context: We’ve written before about PR and propaganda surrounding the Gazan war. Here are a few more:

  • New York Times: At Front Lines, Bearing Witness in Real Time.
  • The Economist: Us and Them — The pummelling of Gaza has cost Israel sympathy not just in Europe, but also among Americans.
  • Quartz: Twitter hashtags are finally neutralizing the Israeli government’s propaganda.
  • CNN Reliable Sources: Red News/Blue News — the Middle East PR war.

Geek notes: The timeline map was put together with CartoDB’s Oddyssey.js.

#Propaganda
Via The New York Times:

Propaganda wars have unfolded alongside the battlefield for generations. But analysts said the latest flare-up between Israel and the Gaza Strip has brought a new level of dehumanizing, hateful language and a muddying of official talking points with incendiary threats, as social media broadcast an explosion of voices, an onslaught of unreliable information, and creative mash-ups of pop-culture icons with war imagery.

And so we learn that the Israel Defense Forces has a  social media team of 40 that publishes on 30 platforms in six different languages while a team of 400 Israeli students volunteer to counter “false representation(s) of Israel in international and social media through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Across the way, Hamas offers a list of do’s and don’ts: Don’t post images or videos of missiles fired from cities, avoid close-ups of masked gunmen and where possible begin your missives with something along the lines of, “In response to the cruel Israeli assault.”
All of which makes for a tidy trove of photos, videos and graphics prepackaged for the rest of us to share across our networks.
To which Andy Carvin, formerly of NPR, told CNET earlier this year, “I don’t know if that’s going to change the hearts and minds of people who already support you or already hate you. There aren’t exactly undecided voters in this particular conflict.”
Somewhat related, Part 01: The Verification Handbook, released by the European Journalism Centre earlier this year, guides readers through verifying “digital content” during emergency situations.
Somewhat related, Part 02: A 1985 study explored a concept called the hostile media effect where people with opposing views are exposed to the same news programming and each side comes away claiming that the same show is biased against them (PDF).
Somewhat related, Part 03: In 2009, the BBC published an “Israel-Palestine” glossary with entries ranging from “cycle of violence” to “outpost” to “assassinations” in order to explain how the BBC uses them.
For those keeping social score at home: On Twitter, #GazaUnderAttack has been used over 4.5 million times in the last month; #IsraelUnderFire about 216,000 times.
Image: Because Hitler, via The New York Times. In Gaza, Epithets Are Fired and Euphemisms Give Shelter.

#Propaganda

Via The New York Times:

Propaganda wars have unfolded alongside the battlefield for generations. But analysts said the latest flare-up between Israel and the Gaza Strip has brought a new level of dehumanizing, hateful language and a muddying of official talking points with incendiary threats, as social media broadcast an explosion of voices, an onslaught of unreliable information, and creative mash-ups of pop-culture icons with war imagery.

And so we learn that the Israel Defense Forces has a social media team of 40 that publishes on 30 platforms in six different languages while a team of 400 Israeli students volunteer to counter “false representation(s) of Israel in international and social media through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Across the way, Hamas offers a list of do’s and don’ts: Don’t post images or videos of missiles fired from cities, avoid close-ups of masked gunmen and where possible begin your missives with something along the lines of, “In response to the cruel Israeli assault.”

All of which makes for a tidy trove of photos, videos and graphics prepackaged for the rest of us to share across our networks.

To which Andy Carvin, formerly of NPR, told CNET earlier this year, “I don’t know if that’s going to change the hearts and minds of people who already support you or already hate you. There aren’t exactly undecided voters in this particular conflict.”

Somewhat related, Part 01: The Verification Handbook, released by the European Journalism Centre earlier this year, guides readers through verifying “digital content” during emergency situations.

Somewhat related, Part 02: A 1985 study explored a concept called the hostile media effect where people with opposing views are exposed to the same news programming and each side comes away claiming that the same show is biased against them (PDF).

Somewhat related, Part 03: In 2009, the BBC published an “Israel-Palestine” glossary with entries ranging from “cycle of violence” to “outpost” to “assassinations” in order to explain how the BBC uses them.

For those keeping social score at home: On Twitter, #GazaUnderAttack has been used over 4.5 million times in the last month; #IsraelUnderFire about 216,000 times.

Image: Because Hitler, via The New York Times. In Gaza, Epithets Are Fired and Euphemisms Give Shelter.

Q: Today you saw the children lying on the beach. What was it like to see this but be unable to help?
Tyler Hicks: It was clear that these children were beyond help. I was very close to three of the four children who were killed and it was clear that they had been killed instantly. Had there been some way to help them I certainly would have. Because Gaza is so small ambulance crews arrive almost immediately when something happens.
Image: A civilian carries one of four Palestinian cousins killed by an Israeli air strike while playing on a beach in Gaza, by Tyler Hicks via The New York Times. Read the Times’ interview with Hicks about reporting from Gaza. Select to embiggen.

Q: Today you saw the children lying on the beach. What was it like to see this but be unable to help?

Tyler Hicks: It was clear that these children were beyond help. I was very close to three of the four children who were killed and it was clear that they had been killed instantly. Had there been some way to help them I certainly would have. Because Gaza is so small ambulance crews arrive almost immediately when something happens.

Image: A civilian carries one of four Palestinian cousins killed by an Israeli air strike while playing on a beach in Gaza, by Tyler Hicks via The New York Times. Read the Times’ interview with Hicks about reporting from Gaza. Select to embiggen.

History of Israel/Palestine, Animation Edition

Nina Paley, copyleft advocate and creator of the ever lovely Sita Sings the Blues, takes on the history of Israel/Palestine in this animated short.

Starting with with the first human settlers of the region to the Egyptians, Assyrians and Romans who each controlled it throughout the millennia, she navigates her way down to current day Israelis and Palestinians while focusing on a a fairly simple theme: it’s a perpetual and ongoing battleground.

Confused who’s who? View Nina’s Viewer Guide to her cast of characters.

Run Time: ~3:30

In comparison with other areas on the globe, the West Bank and Gaza might seem to many to be “flooded” with media. This is true in a sense, but it also misses a point. Traditional media, including local outlets, tend to go to the most expected places, and film the familiar shots over and over again. Both Israelis and Palestinians are tired of hearing the same news, and media outlets are less inclined to send crews to film an “occupation.” This leaves a great deal of space for citizen journalists, and the West Bank contains many of them.

Our model of citizen journalism is based on working with the “regular” local population, rather than with activists, and many of the videos we publish are filmed from windows, balconies and roofs rather than by someone involved in the incidents. This, I think, gives the videos a special quality, and helps the Israeli audience see the reality from the eyes, or camera lenses, of ordinary Palestinians. It is also important in terms of access, and allows us to monitor and document incidents that occur daily in Palestinian streets and fields.

— Yoav Gross, Video Department Director of the Israeli citizen journalism organization B’Tselem to Witness.org. Citizen Video for Journalists: How One Israeli Group Became a Trusted Source for News.

We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, ICANN, ISO and other international organizations

Nathan Tyler, a Google spokesperson, to the Huffington Post. Google Recognizes Palestine.

FJP: Watch the HuffPo interview with Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Palestine Center, about why this is significant.

World Press Photo of the Year 2012 contest winners
newsflick:

Paul Hansen of Sweden, a photographer working for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 with this picture of a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City taken on November 20, 2012. Jury member Mayu Mohanna said about the photo: The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget.

Picture: REUTERS/Paul Hansen/Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo

World Press Photo of the Year 2012 contest winners

newsflick:

Paul Hansen of Sweden, a photographer working for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 with this picture of a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City taken on November 20, 2012. Jury member Mayu Mohanna said about the photo: The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget.

Picture: REUTERS/Paul Hansen/Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo

(Source: newsflick)

Instagramming Propaganda and the Speed of Experiencing War

One, via Michael Shaw:

[W]elcome to a media space in which we are consuming hostility and processing raw data and raw propaganda almost as quickly as the war correspondent, the fighter pilot, the governments, the diplomats and the antagonists themselves.

Two, via John Edwin Mason:

There’s always been more to war than bombs and bullets. Words and images are weapons, too. They’re the raw material of the propaganda that’s designed to strengthen friends and undermine enemies.

Propaganda has been a part of every war that history knows anything about, and creating and disseminating it has largely been the job of professionals — war doctors, priests, reporters, photographers, politicians, bureaucrats.

Social media and smart phones have let amateurs in on the action.

Three, via Stephen Mayes:

On trust and credibility, it is key to educate ourselves about what we are looking at. I triangulate. I read a bit of information here and there I try to find it elsewhere to validate it. As we saw with Syria, you can fall into a trap. You can read information on 10 blogs but it is all coming from one source. Unless you really dig, it is hard to validate. In the main I think we are all learning that right degree of belief and skepticism in how we treat text and image online. We may be fooled, we may make stupid decisions but we are educating ourselves about what to trust and what not to trust.

It’s not something you can teach.

Images: Selected images from Instagram gathered by searching Israel and Gaza hashtags by John Edwin Mason. Select to embiggen.

NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin said it’s a “completely different dynamic” reporting from Gaza now than it was four years ago, given both the unrestricted access for journalists and widespread use of social media.

In late 2008, Mohyeldin was based in Gaza City, when the Israel Defense Forces launched a three-week aerial bombardment and ground invasion that killed 1,400 Palestinians. At the time, the Israeli military restricted foreign journalists from entering Gaza, leaving Mohyeldin and his Al Jazeera English colleague Sherine Tadros to cover the war with little competition.

While the pair received high marks at the time for their coverage, Mohyeldin, speaking by phone Monday from Gaza City, said “there was a dearth of information and pictures” as a result of so few journalists on the ground. “We couldn’t be everywhere at the same time,” he said.

Four years later, that’s not the case. News organizations have flooded Gaza over the past six days of a conflict that has killed 104 Palestinians and three Israelis, along with wounding 860 Palestinians and 68 Israelis, according to CNN.

“I think it’s a testament to how important journalism still is in having real journalists on the ground in Gaza,” Mohyeldin said.

Widespread social media use is the other significant change in Gaza coverage from winter 2008-2009, with citizens uploading their own videos and journalists engaging over Twitter, Reddit and Google+.

In covering the war in Syria, news organizations have often relied on raw footage from areas where no journalists were present. It’s a different situation now in Gaza, where numerous journalists are reporting each major strike throughout the day in real time on Twitter, often adding context and details as soon as they are available.

Take Monday’s strike on a media center in Gaza City, an event quickly covered on Twitter.

BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar tweeted around 8:30 a.m. EST that Israel struck a building used by some outlets. “I’m standing in front of it,” Danahar tweeted. “It’s on fire. Smoke billowing out.”

There is something grotesque and disturbing about two parties with a long history of conflict live-narrating the launching of bombs that kill civilians and destroy communities.

The Israeli military and Hamas are livetweeting their war, including images of killed and wounded children. This certainly raises some questions, including for the companies whose platforms they’re using.

(The linked articles notes that the Israeli army’s Twitter account was briefly suspended. However, this is based on a report in the Daily Dot that does not cite sources for its claim, so I would treat it with caution.)

The Washington Post has more, including on a Youtube video from the Israeli military that was briefly taken down but has been reinstated.

(via curiousontheroad)

FJP: Agreeing with the next sentence: “There is no empowerment or revolution here: just a dark, sinking feeling as we watch the bloodshed unfold in real time.”

And in the things they didn’t teach you in school department, to delete the content or suspend the accounts “is not a decision a couple of hundred engineers in North California want to be making.”

Jessica Roy, BetaBeat. Social Media Companies Have Absolutely No Idea How to Handle the Gaza Conflict.

Tweeting the Gaza Strip and Tel Aviv: Andy Carvin at It Again
One of the most immediate and useful news spaces of this age will have to be Andy Carvin’s Twitter feed, originally put to such good use during the Egyptian Revolution and greater Arab Spring last year.
He’s at it again from Istanbul, following the developments between Israel and Palestine on Twitter, retweeting the people nearby and anywhere else, so long as they have something meaningful to say.

Tweeting the Gaza Strip and Tel Aviv: Andy Carvin at It Again

One of the most immediate and useful news spaces of this age will have to be Andy Carvin’s Twitter feed, originally put to such good use during the Egyptian Revolution and greater Arab Spring last year.

He’s at it again from Istanbul, following the developments between Israel and Palestine on Twitter, retweeting the people nearby and anywhere else, so long as they have something meaningful to say.

Much of the criticism of the American media during the height of the Iraq War focused on its role repeating White House talking points and propaganda. But using the tools of social media, as Israel is doing, reveals there’s no longer a need to rely a media middleman, or to filter the raw feed of war through an “embedded” — and, military officials hope, captured — journalist’s mouth or keyboard. The military can broadcast exactly what it wants to, directly to its citizens, allies, and enemies. The IDF even appropriates the language of news, prefacing several tweets with “BREAKING” — and native social media, at one point saying “in case you missed it” before pointing to a YouTube video of it killing Ahmed Jabari in a missile strike. And unlike any propaganda machine before it, it’s inherently viral. It’s designed to spread. So the IDF spokesperson provides posters and YouTube videos and a constantly updated Flickr account; they’re more shareable than plain text. Its tweets are a mixture of documentation, saber rattling, sober reminders of the reality of war, and upbeat updates on the advanced state of its technology. All delivered direct to you. Please RT…

…Most importantly, though, consider this: A country can declare that it is at war with Twitter. If that doesn’t make the internet real, I don’t know what does.

— Matt Buchanan, Buzzfeed. How to Wage War on the Internet.

Currently on the Israeli Defense Forces Twitter Feed

Live blogging its attack on Hamas.

Images: Screenshots from @IDFSpokesperson. Select to embiggen.

Assange TV Launches with Interview of Hizballah Chief
Via Radio Free Europe:

The mystery first guest on the new television talk show hosted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah. 
Assange said it was Nasrallah’s first interview with Western media since 2006.
"I want to know: why is he called a freedom fighter by millions and at the same time a terrorist by millions of others?" Assange said.
"This is his first interview in the West since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. His party, Hizballah, is a member of the Lebanese government."
Nasrallah, who is considered a terrorist by Israel and the United States, spoke via computer link from Beirut in the interview.

The episode can be watched on the Russian-backed, English-language RT news channel.

Assange TV Launches with Interview of Hizballah Chief

Via Radio Free Europe:

The mystery first guest on the new television talk show hosted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah. 

Assange said it was Nasrallah’s first interview with Western media since 2006.

"I want to know: why is he called a freedom fighter by millions and at the same time a terrorist by millions of others?" Assange said.

"This is his first interview in the West since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. His party, Hizballah, is a member of the Lebanese government."

Nasrallah, who is considered a terrorist by Israel and the United States, spoke via computer link from Beirut in the interview.

The episode can be watched on the Russian-backed, English-language RT news channel.