Israel ‘losing PR war’ – expert

Lazy eyes listen


The Israeli government appears to have lost control of the narrative regarding its war on Hamas in Gaza, resorting to “preposterous” and “increasingly wild” deception online. Marc Owen Jones, an associate professor of Middle East Studies at Hamad bin Khalifa University and an expert on digital authoritarianism and social media disinformation, believes this.

Jones linked to a video broadcast by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Arabic-language account on X (previously Twitter) on November 11 showing a “Palestinian nurse” denouncing Hamas for taking over the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

“Everything about it smacked of high school theatre, from the stuttering accent that sounded like it was plucked from an Israeli soap opera to the perfectly scripted IDF.”

The nurse had a “pristine white lab coat” and “immaculate” makeup, but no one at al-Shifa had ever seen her before, he added. The video was mocked so much that Israel Arabic deleted it within a day.

Since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a war on Gaza after the October 7 Hamas attack that killed an estimated 1,200 Israelis, public opinion in the West, initially sympathetic to Israel, has steadily turned against West Jerusalem amid the rising death toll in Gaza. 

According to the most recent figures from local officials, approximately 11,000 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli airstrikes and ground operations, including 4,500 children. According to Jones, Israel is engaging in “increasingly desperate disinformation,” attempting to “dehumanise Palestinian children” as “worth killing” since it can no longer deny killing them.

Netanyahu has often stated that Israel is not targeting civilians and has accused Hamas of using them as human shields. Israeli supporters have also slammed online rumours that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) killed their own citizens, including Nova Festival concertgoers, during the October 7 Hamas raid, arguing that Israeli media reports to that effect were mistranslated and misattributed.

According to the Daily Beast, Israeli “desperation is evident in a seemingly unstoppable tide of ludicrous claims,” such as the “annotated and pristine copy” of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf discovered in a child’s bedroom in Gaza on November 12.

A day later, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed to be in the basement of Gaza’s al-Rantisi Hospital, where Hamas was holding some of the 200-plus Israeli hostages. The crucial evidence for his claim was a piece of paper with Arabic writing on it that he described as “a guardian list, where every terrorist writes his name, and every terrorist has his own shift, guarding the people who were here.”