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The Psychological War Against Gaza

Once again, hats off to Netanyahu for putting his foot down in “reaction” to on-going and legitimate Palestinian resistance. As Gaza bangs on glass windows for international outcry, Israel is wondering around the fort–how will it heal its paper cuts?
The spirit of the struggle has strengthened with every bomb and drone operation in Gaza. Despite pathetic Zionist campaigns on Twitter and Facebook, pro-Palestine and human rights individuals have destroyed each one with cunning and efficacy. It does not take much effort to post pictures of the mutilated bodies of Gazan children, one morbid snap shot and the deed is done–nothing to hide, no images photo shopped, nothing but the blatant slaughter happening before our eyes.

Dehumanization of Palestinians is still the number one action item on the Israeli to-do list. Gaza is another story, and always has been.

Although a popular Hasbara talking point mentions how Gaza is basically all Hamas, the rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) prove otherwise for the non-combatants. Among the Gazan population, reports since the early 2000s have indicted a rise in PTSD among youth, females, and elderly. Not surprisingly, also including high malnutrition in response to various economic stress and physical ailments. In reference to rise in PTSD, we know that basic behavioral psychology has been challenged by brave Palestinian youth, that although suffer from PTSD, continue to resist oppression by legitimate means, and means to which they had right even before being diagnosed. It is not their current condition that justifies or contributes to resistance, but basic human right.

Israel remains an omnipresent power in the Middle East, and now through social media, it is focusing its terrors on the psyches of youth everywhere in their favor. The lie has been repeated often enough, but as the record continues to play, Palestinians are still being referred to, and treated as subhuman. This is where rhetoric has and served as Israel’s greatest weapon. First, to dehumanize a people to win the war (although there is no “war”),  Now more than any other time, Israel’s impunity is crucial to dismantle–especially because it is the sole reason why a series of operations are cast on Gaza.

With “Operation Protective Edge” (a savvy name for a brand of razor blades, or a brand of awkward cologne), we see a compete massacre of Gaza.  The bombing is so devastating, it has become possible to be born an orphan while in the womb. On July 24th, a baby was brought into the world without her mother, for she was already killed by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Because IDF cut the power in Gaza and a newborn incubator is considered militant, baby Shaimaa passed away one week later. It is not enough for Israel to demonstrate its bloodlust on the living, but also the newborn, and even the dead.

What is sickening is that even though Gaza is an open-air prison, it has also been made into a free-for-all for the IDF in which places like the Al-Aqsa hospital, Al-Wafa rehabilitation center, and Al-Shifa hospital (let’s not forget the deliberate targeting of medical vehicles) have been attacked, leveled, and bombed as any other building. Either Hamas has gotten really good at hiding or the highly skilled IDF have lost their aim. The question is always “why?”

Among the tangible damages include hospital supply areas where basic supplies are also being treated as possible Hamas affiliated combatants. Oxygen, according to the IDF is great, but not for everyone, especially for lines of patients at al-Aqsa hospital, where a prime oxygen unit has been destroyed. This act of sheer terror is now a permanent detriment to, what is currently (if we think of Gazans as humans) all emergencies. As oxygen is essential for cognitive and physical development, this delicate resource is just one of many, including shortages in medicine that are subject to IDF terror.

Rami Almeghari writes that, “the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported a sharp increase in trauma cases in Gaza, noting that hospitals lack the resources to cope.” This had not only lead to obvious stagnant in patient care, but that “125,000 children required direct and specialized psychological help as a result of losing parents or their home.” We can only imagine how the children of Gaza are reacting to these nightmares, even though some say they are “used” to them. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, over 1300 Palestinians have been killed, while the injured have reached 7K. While the number of deaths increases by the minute, any children left retain lasting episodes of continuous death and despair.

In a recent video from Palestinian news source Sawt al Ghad, children of Gaza are speaking live during the destruction stating that they will continue to play, continue to enjoy life whether or not Bibi likes it. The implications of their current struggle, and strength will eventually increase resistance, as it rightfully should. The question here is, why should Palestinians have to undergo the horrors before things get better? The truth is, they never get better. Even with fickle ceasefires, Gaza cannot recover under constant siege, sixty six years is more than enough to prove this fact for all Palestinians. Yet, even with interviews of children who seem unaffected, we find that the light in their eyes has indeed been blurred. The sky in Gaza is not blue anymore and what children wake up to are bombs, not birds.

As images of mutilated bodies of Gazan flood Twitter and Facebook feeds, immense Zionist troll traffic has increased. Ever since the clouds of the conflict appeared, pro-Israel students have taken part in the newly computerized dehumanization process of Palestinians. Ben Lynfield of The Independent reported that in August of last year, the Israeli government revealed its plans for online warfare in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. What he was able to reveal stands true today as Zionists flood the mentions of human rights activists with racist comments and false information regarding the plight of Palestinians as a whole. The goal here is clear: Bibi wants youth to engage in media warfare and scripted debate to incite violence in Israelis, which recently has manifested itself in racist mobs and the return of the word “lynch.”

With no evidence to back claims and the false pretenses that Zionists usually exhibit, it was the honor of the hashtag that truly dented media constructs and challenged Israeli talking points in front of a global audience. Hashtags that reveal the inherent racism in Zionists can be found by searching “BringBackOurBoys” and “PrayforIsrael.” As the conflict continues, the pictures of children and videos of wailing mothers rise. But even with this fact, Zionist trolls have stooped to a new low, saying the photos are fake, and videos are edited. What is more dehumanizing than ignoring death in the face? Or screen?

As these pathetic excuses for media campaigns continue, so does the solid hashtag “PalestineResist.” And it will resist.

Photo by Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

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