Terrorist Fugitives and the Social Media War

Reactions in Israel to the capture of escaped Palestinian terrorists

By Edy Cohen | | Topics: palestinians
Social media and its role in the Israel prison break
Photo: Flash90

The fight for public opinion has in recent years become an important facet of war on terror. Beyond bombs and missiles, today there is another battlefront. It is the media, and especially the social networks, with their dominant influence on the younger generations, both in Israel and beyond. Each side wages a war to justify its own actions. Last week when six Palestinian terrorists escaped from an Israeli prison, we reported on the first volleys of the ensuing media war, including the rampant celebratory caricatures and political cartoons.

I now bring you the second volley of responses from social networks in Israel after the recapture of four of the six terrorists.

Israeli citizens breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday morning after hearing of the arrest of the dangerous escapees. The humiliating episode has caused Israelis to lose sleep – both prison officials and citizens living where the fugitives were still at large. The social networks and TV panels covered the escape extensively, bringing up related issues such as a need for comprehensive prison reform and the comfortable conditions terrorists receive in Israeli prisons – which many believe facilitated the escape.

In any case, the public in Israel was relieved when it saw the terrorists handcuffed in police custody again.

A photo published by a famous Israeli activist who writes in Arabic mocks the kitchen spoons that became a symbol of Palestinian “hope” following the escape:

In response to the spoon, another Israeli activist posted a picture of a fork, hinting that Israel would hunt down the fugitives one-by-one.

A satirical video in English showed the four captured terrorists singing.

In conclusion, the Palestinians celebrated the escape for several days on social networks; but then after most of the terrorists were recaptured, Israeli activists began creating cartoons and videos against those terrorists. This is another front in the war over public opinion.

The Palestinians want to get the world involved in their cause, but they only manage to get the sympathy of the West. The importance of the Palestinian issue among the Arabs countries and especially in the eyes of Arab leaders, has waned. The peace processes and contacts between Israel and the Arab countries prove this. Posting on social media is another attempt by the Palestinians to get free attention, but it only works on naïve Europeans.

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