World War 3 on the Brink! But not really.

Early in the morning on October 17th, a neighborhood in Beer’Sheba was hit by a rocket from Gaza, and the Israeli Defense Force retaliated with twenty rocket strikes of their own. Tensions peaked throughout the country, and residents were advised to avoid the southern borders until the situation was under control.

The following morning, the Daily Express — a United Kingdom based newspaper — published a story on their website with the headline: “World War 3: Fighter jets ATTACK targets in Gaza after rockets fired at Israel.” The story is part of a series of World War 3 posts. 

It’s clear the Express has no respect for journalism. A cry of ‘World War Three’ is an unfounded and intentional misuse of media power with a self-serving goal of greater viewership, and when news sources paint an inaccurate picture of reality, they can foster panic. They can incite hostilities where none should exist. They can even start wars. Global politics is heavily influenced by the public, and a misinformed — or worse, a terrified — populace has more incendiary potential than any rocket or artillery shell.

Right now, the world should keep a close eye on the state of Israel and Palestine, but the approach must be objective and unclouded by evocative sensationalism. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is already rife with enough misinformation, and the Daily Express has only succeeded in generating unnecessary fear.

Nobody can say for certain whether world war looms on the horizon, but if it does, it might not be Hamas or the IDF lighting the fuse.

About the Author
Ethan H. Smith is a teacher, writer, and alumni of the Yahel Israel social change fellowship. He studied Psychology and German and now works as an activist for communities throughout Israel.
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