October 13th, a day I will never forget. Why? Because my varsity high school volleyball team won our first game of the season. Something we had worked so hard for was finally achieved.
A day to be remembered forever.
October 13th, a day Richard Lakin’s family will never forget. Why? Because, Richard was killed in a horrific knife and gun attack. The father, husband, teacher, brother, and friend was brutally, unjustifiably taken away.
A day to be remembered forever.
He innocently boarded a Jerusalem bus like any other day. But along with seven wounded and two others killed, Richard sustained a gunshot to the head and stabs to the chest. Unfortunately, we are all aware that this is just one of at least 200 attacks of anti-semitism on Israel in the past two weeks.
And what’s one big part in this war? Social media.
While people like Richard used social media for positivity by spreading ideas of peace or educating, his attackers used social media for the exact opposite- darkness.
Richard’s son, Micah Avni, researched his father’s murderers Facebook accounts, he noticed the abundance of gory videos.
“I saw the massive amount of incitement, of instructional videos that show people how to split stomachs open, how to cut veins… inciting people to do this. This is at the core of the current intifada.. incitement that is passed along and strengthened ed by social media,” he said.
With the click of a button, these horrifying videos are shared creating a hype and encouraging civilians to kill. Besides these videos, other types of propaganda are being spread all over the world.
News sites are posting phony pictures and headlines making it seem as if Israel is the problem. My heart breaks and stomach cringes when these headlines pop up on my facebook newsfeed. I decide to click and read more on the article, to only realize the news is about an Israeli civilian killed by a Palestinian attacker. While I read past the headlines, most Americans don’t.
A recent survey was done by the American Press Institute explaining that only 41% of Americans read any in-depth news stories. That means if 100 people see one of these misleading headlines, 59 people won’t bother to read what the article actually says.
In a recent post, a 13-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Manasra, stabbed two civilians before being neutralized by Israeli police. US Uncut claimed that Manasra was killed for no reason, and the report spread like wildfire. President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, also condemned the death, blaming Israeli police.
The report didn’t mention that Manasra killed two civilians or that he was alive and being treated in an Israeli hospital. False reports included a photo of a woman posing as Manasra’s grieving mother.
Social Media has become a new fad taking over all people’s lives. Though we can’t seem to beat this new reality, we might as well join and make positive waves in the normally negative social space of the internet. It’s easy to turn to hate during trying times as these, but that’s not the point. Let’s take to the internet with a positive message: That we will not succumb to anything less than serenity. We will fight as hard as we need to, but we will fight passionately and productively. Like Ghandi famously said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
As recently published on cteenconnection.com