The folly of social media

The issue with activism, particularly of the super woke variety, is that many people excrete manufactured outrage and peddle fiction — even if unknowingly, or with good intentions. Those who shout the loudest get the most attention. Followers yell from the rooftops, cogs in an Instagram-industrial complex, reposting as a reflex, advancing the agenda of malign or misinformed actors. Internet celebrities posting about complex issues know nothing of the facts. They are merely masquerading as agents of social change — but their misinformation and disinformation is dangerous in that it is convincing to their millions of followers who blindly trust it.

Social media can make any fashion influencer seem an expert in history and politics. When Bella Hadid posts blatant lies on Instagram, she activates her 40 million followers — indeed, she incites them. The democratization of information and influence has benefits on its face, but lurking beneath the surface is carelessness and callousness that is quite dangerous.

The BDS Movement has weaponized social media. It has embedded itself within the American left, persuading millions to think that the Palestinian cause — and those leading it — are righteous reformers seeking freedom. The BDS Movement’s motto is, “from the river, to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The slogan is tailor-made for social media, for the hordes of followers who scroll through Instagram and make one-second conclusions based on content from those weaving politics with fashion advice and self-indulgent photos on the beach. “From the river to the sea” connotes the destruction of the State of Israel. It is not a message of peace; it is a call to war. The BDS Movement is after the destruction of State of Israel — but its good marketing has built a thin but persuasive veil of social justice. Those on the left have fallen for the scam.

Many on social media express outrage about a supposed attack by Israeli police on peaceful Muslim worshipers. Jews are not allowed to worship at the Temple Mount for fear of Muslim reaction. And the Israeli government allows Jordanian police officers to assist in patrolling the area. An attack was staged from within Al Aqsa; worshipers threw stones and rocks on Jews standing at the Western Wall. The Israeli police, thereby, had no choice but to respond. This is a common terrorist tactic: to wage an attack from within a holy site or other civilian compounds, so as for any response to be perceived as an attack. The role of attacked and attacker, at least in the eyes of the world, thus would be turned upside down.

Indeed, children have died in Gaza — as they have in Israel. Everything has context. First, at least six children, as of this writing, have died in Gaza due to the malfunction of rockets launched by Hamas. Some estimate that about a third of rockets launched from Gaza land within the Gaza Strip. Further, Hamas operates from civilian neighborhoods and residential buildings so as to put Israel in an impossible situation — purposefully commingling civilians with military targets. History shows that Arab leaders have used their people more than they have served them. Hamas is no exception. They use Palestinians as expendable pawns in their media manipulation. And so it goes, this Instagram-industrial complex of outrage and wrath in which misleading content and anger circulate and simmer.

Bandied about, almost casually, are accusations that Israel is a colonialist entity taking on a project of ethnic cleansing. Any serious analysis of history, context, and facts will lay bear that these accusations are removed from fact - misinformation at best, disinformation at worst.

Ethnic cleansing, however, is encapsulated in the Hamas Charter, which, in Article 7, says every Jew in the world must die — and provides a religious justification for it. That is nothing short of incitement to genocide. Starkly contrasted with Israel’s Basic Laws, written to protect the rule of law and rights of man.

Hamas is a violent terrorist group committing to the death and destruction of Israel. And we find ourselves in a peculiar reality, driven by social media, where those on the left purporting to be agents of peace and wokeness actually empathize with a violent Islamist group that not only promotes and executes violence against Israeli civilians, but also subjugates its own people.

I witnessed, on Instagram, a gay man offering support to Hamas’ struggle. A bizarre spectacle. Let’s tell it how it is. If that man ventured to Gaza, he may very well be thrown from the roof of a building.

No history, no facts, but strong opinions.

About the Author
Daniel Dolgicer is a native of New York City, and an alumnus of Cardozo School of Law and Reichman University. He's had a lifelong connection with Israel and Zionism and commentates mainly on American and Israeli politics. He lives between New York and Tel Aviv. He once won $100 for knowing the capital of New Zealand.
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