May 28, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM 
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM Sports Media Index – Perfect for Fantasy Sports Fans.
Sponsor:  QWIKET.COM Sports Media Index – Perfect for Fantasy Sports Fans. Track media mentions of your fantasy team.
NY Post
New York Post
21 Oct 2023

NextImg:The media war that could harm Israel most

Since Israel fell victim to unimaginable jihadi terror two long weeks ago, people have been wondering what they can do. They feel helpless. Well, I’ve got news for you. You’re doing something already. You’re doing it with your brain, with your thumbs, with your eyeballs. But what is it that you are doing? What are you reading, sharing, posting? Who are you influencing?

The phrase “homo digitalis” is often attributed to the futurist thinker and New York Jew Alvin Toffler. He used it in his 1980 book The Third Wave, in which he predicted many of the technological advances that have come to define our age, including cell phones and the Internet. The idea is that modern homo sapiens have spheres of existence that well exceed the physical. The footprints of our lives are digital.

Let’s talk about Hamas. The YouTube provocateur Jackson Hinkle, who has 1.2m followers on X/Twitter, recently ran a poll on the platform in which he asked his audience: “Who do YOU think bombed the Gaza Baptist Hospital?” This was no scientific study, but the results were sobering. Of more than 710,000 respondents, 91% blamed the Jewish state.

The hospital in Gaza bombed earlier this week in an attack initially attributed to Israel but later declared by Pres. Biide as a consequence of an errant missile launched from within Gaza.
AFP via Getty Images

Sure, this was mainly a cross-section of Hinkle’s followers, most of whom will be relatively young. But it is backed up by more reliable evidence. A Quinnipiac poll found that while nearly two-thirds of Americans approved of sending weapons to Israel, this number shrank to 39% among the 18-34 age group.

Similarly, in Britain, where I live, support for the Palestinians runs at 39% among 18-24 year olds, compared to a pro-Israel contingent of just 11%. Among seniors, however, 37% supports Israel and just 11 % stands for the Palestinians.

Across the western world, the younger you are, the more you are likely to turn a blind eye to the type of brutality exhibited by Hamas earlier this month. It is no coincidence, I think, that the young are more likely to spend more time online. Ladies and gentlemen: I give you Toffler’s much-predicted Homo digitalis.

A pro-Palestinian protestor in France chants against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Let us be clear. Israel did not bomb the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City. We should value the word of an accountable, democratic government far above that of any terrorist group, let alone one that has just committed acts of the most despicable savagery. In addition, all the technical analysis and evidence gathered by the international media and experts points to the fact that it was a misfired Palestinian rocket, probably by Islamic Jihad. Online, however, none of this matters. The important thing is to reinforce the narrative.

Social media is where the worst stuff happens, but the mainstream media is also complicit. When the hospital was first hit, most of the 24-hour news channels reported that it was an Israeli strike, attributing it to Palestinian officials. Wait: Palestinian officials? You mean representatives of the terror group Hamas? The same guys who beheaded the babies? Surely it would have been better to do a little checking before parroting their lines.

Palestinian protestors in the West Bank march following the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
AFP via Getty Images

We’ve been here before. During the Israel-Hamas conflict in 2021, the New York Times ran a searing front page headlined “They Were Only Children,” with pictures of the 64 Palestinian minors said to have lost their lives. It later emerged that several of those pictured had actually been terrorists in their late teens, killed in combat. Several others had perished via their own misfiring rockets, while one was an unidentified girl from 2015 that had been circulating on the Internet. Where the Jewish state was concerned, America’s paper of record appeared to take leave of its journalistic standards.

I’m talking about propaganda. Due perhaps to the old socialist idea that the oppressed are always worth supporting regardless of their brutality, Hamas has won a kind of Che Guevara aura amongst western liberals. OK, so they kidnap en masse. but aren’t they really freedom fighters? Aren’t they, like, kind of cool? These people are the useful idiots of jihad.

Foreign media have long history of promoting false accusations against Israel when it comes to covering their tussles with Hamas in Gaza.
AFP via Getty Images

In reality, of course, Hamas is no resistance movement. It sprang from an Egyptian group called the Muslim Brotherhood, which distilled a toxic blend of Nazi and Islamist ideology developed during the Second World War. Other groups that came from the Brotherhood include Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. This should come as no surprise, given the brutal tendencies among members of all three. But when the victims are Jews, liberals give Hamas a free pass that they would never offer the other terrorist groups.

Where does all this lead? To the street. If social media is the warped consciousness of the nation, placards and banners are how certain segments make themselves heard. 

Across the democratic world, we have seen mass rallies in support of the Palestinians, in spite of Hamas’ atrocities. This creates political pressure. For the moment, governments of the free world have united behind Israel, which is, after all, tackling the jihadi menace that threatens the entire West. Remember what Al Qaeda did to New York in 2001? 

A foreign journalist reviews blood-stained floors in Kibbutz Nir Oz following the deadly attack by Hamas on Israel.
AFP via Getty Images

But how long can our leaders withstand the pressure of the mob? And if they crack, will an emboldened Hezbollah enter the war? Will the US Congress become compelled to withdraw aid? Could the posts, likes and shares of homo digitalis contribute towards the destruction of the Jewish state? And, most crucially, how can they be stopped?

Let’s face it: we are all already involved in this war. It’s being fought in the battlefields of our brains, our thumbs and our eyeballs. The struggle against jihadism and its useful idiots is shaping up to be the defining moment of our age. We need you to swipe right.

Jake Wallis Simons is editor of the Jewish Chronicle and the author of Israelophobia: The Newest Version of the Oldest Hatred and What to do About It.