[Luxus Magazine] Israel on the verge of losing the image battle

Never before has a conflict and a terrorist attack produced so many violent images, sometimes in real time thanks to social networks. a veritable battle of images While Israel has not yet won on the military front, a veritable battle of images has begun between the parties to the conflict. While international opinion is feeling more and more empathy for the Palestinians caught in the pincers between Hamas and the Israeli army, the latter has released images of the October 7 massacre to the press. But even in France, the idea of full support for Israel, an ally, is not without controversy.


The conflict in the Middle East is not abating, and the alliance games have been set in motion. As with Ukraine, the stakes are too high not to take a stand. President Joe Biden had initially planned a series of meetings, first with the Israeli Prime Minister in Tel Aviv, then with Arab leaders in Jordan. However, following the strike on a hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday October 17, King Abdullah II of Jordan cancelled the planned meeting between the US President, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In the end, the US President was only able to meet the Israeli Prime Minister.



Following these events, demonstrations broke out on Wednesday in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iran, Libya and Yemen. Numerous rallies also took place outside the embassies of major Western powers, including the USA, the UK and France.


On Wednesday October 18, while Joe Biden was informing journalists in Tel Aviv that he had succeeded in convincing Israel to authorize limited humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid access to the Palestinian enclave. And Uncle Sam continues to send heavy weapons and troops to the region in support of Israel…


Western divisions


For the first time since the Hamas attack on October 7, France has taken a different position from that of its Western allies on the Security Council, voting in favor of the resolution proposing humanitarian pauses. In a press release, the French Foreign Ministry expressed its “regret” at the failure of the Security Council to adopt a text they considered adequate, according to their representative at the United Nations, Nicolas de Rivière.



At an emergency European Union summit on Tuesday, several leaders warned that failure to support the rights of Palestinians in Gaza could expose Western states to accusations of hypocrisy, as reported by the Financial Times quoting several officials. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was also strongly criticized for not explicitly calling on Israel to respect international law in its conflict with Gaza during her visit to that country the previous week.


Meanwhile, Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, publicly declared that the European Commission President’s comments “lacked balance” and insisted that she “did not speak for Ireland”.


“Europeans are beginning to worry about being perceived as not defending international law. Ursula von der Leyen’s stance of unreserved solidarity with Israel was seen as unilateral, making them lose their power of attraction in the South. Europe depends more on soft power than the United States, which often relies more on hard power, even if this is proving increasingly counter-productive”, analyzes Sarang Shidore, Director of the Global South Program at the Quincy Institute.


The question, however, is how long Brussels will continue to tolerate Israel’s repeated destruction of EU-funded infrastructure in Gaza. The 27 member states have long been divided on this issue, but until now the debate has taken place in private. If the EU decides to take this issue public and make it a political issue, it could certainly count on significant support from the countries of the South. As for the United States, its influence could continue to wane, giving way to the rise of Russia and China, two countries seeking to redefine the world order.


The war of images


The conflict between the Palestinian Islamist movement and the Jewish state is also taking place at a distance, through the screens. It has become a war of images. On Wednesday evening, an Arab channel broadcast a video presented as unedited, showing the liberation of a woman and her children by Hamas. In a statement, Hamas declared that it had released the three Israelis, without specifying the date of their release. The Israeli authorities described this as a communication maneuver. The scene is said to have taken place on Saturday, the day of the attack. The Israeli authorities identified the woman as Avital Aldjem, a resident of Kibbutz Holit who had already been interviewed on television on Monday.


This communication war began simultaneously with the attack. As soon as the attack took place, Hamas posted a large number of images on its social networks, seeking to demonstrate its professionalism through training videos. Hamas also uses images to inspire fear. Social networks have become a battlefield where Israelis discover the death of their loved ones taken hostage. In response, the Israeli army broadcasts almost hourly accounts of the violence committed on October 7 to win the battle of international opinion.



This battle of images is reminiscent of the information overload that accompanied the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022. The widespread use of cell phones and their cameras, combined with the massive use of social networks, creates visible conflicts in real time. Anyone can instantly share a photo or video, with no absolute guarantee of its veracity.



Click here to read the entire article on Luxus Magazine.


Featured photo : ©Press

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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