In Gaza, a child dies every 10 minutes due to the ongoing siege by Israel. The siege, which has been in place since October 7, has resulted in the deaths of around 4,000 children. However, the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza is now facing a critical situation as it has been without power for over a month because of the siege. Tragically, this has led to the death of premature babies who rely on incubators for survival. Recognizing the potential international backlash, Israel is searching for new ways to justify the killing of children and targeting of medical facilities.
Previously, Israel would simply deny allegations of committing atrocities. However, its latest tactic involves attempting to shift blame onto Hamas or other Palestinian armed groups for the deaths of Palestinian civilians. In an effort to justify their actions, Israeli officials are directly associating Palestinian children with Hamas, depicting them and the places they seek shelter as legitimate targets.
One example of this propaganda campaign occurred in November when Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared a fabricated video on its official Arabic account. The video featured a nurse who claimed that Hamas had stolen fuel and morphine from al-Shifa Hospital, hindering medical treatment for injured children. However, the video was quickly exposed as fake. Hospital staff couldn't recognize the nurse, and her accent and dialogues were suspiciously aligned with Israeli military talking points. Moreover, the presence of a Palestinian Health Ministry logo and the remarkably pristine appearance of the nurse raised further doubts about the video's authenticity. Eventually, the Foreign Ministry deleted the post without providing an explanation.
Despite the implausible nature of their propaganda, the benefits of controlling the narrative outweigh the costs for Israel. The rapidity and sensationalism with which false information spreads often surpass the time it takes for fact-checking to occur. Studies have revealed that a large majority of individuals do not verify news they encounter on social media. Once false information goes viral, the corrected version seldom reaches the same audience. Israel's target audience for such propaganda includes English-speaking Western viewers who may overlook inaccuracies and have no cause for skepticism towards the information they receive.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of propaganda does not rely on sophistication; rather, it hinges on being expedient and sensationalist. Social media platforms provide the ideal vehicle for disseminating such propaganda.Israel is being accused of portraying children who read Mein Kampf and have been exposed to anti-Semitic propaganda as viable targets for termination. The discovery of Mein Kampf in a child's room in Gaza is being exploited by Israel to paint Palestinian children as brainwashed anti-Semites and potential terrorists. This strategy aims to propagate the narrative that older Palestinian children cannot be rehabilitated. Furthermore, Israel is employing propaganda tactics to justify its attacks on children, such as sharing videos alleging the existence of Hamas bunkers beneath children's hospitals and juxtaposing childlike artwork or baby bottles with firearms to dehumanize Hamas as terrorists who exploit children as shields. However, these efforts are evidently aimed at influencing public opinion, as exemplified by the misinterpretation of a handwritten table as a roster of Hamas combatants. Critics assert that Israel is undertaking this approach to redirect blame onto innocent victims and rationalize their killings, as the undeniable fact that Palestinian infants are among the casualties can no longer be denied.