Israel’s Power of the Camera: Gaza’s Power of Gaza

by: Refaat Alareer


But what is their reason. We are Gazans?


The Gaza Crisis in Gaza is no crisis. The poverty of Gazans is not poverty, their ailment is not an ailment, and their need is not a need. Everyone in Gaza is living happily. Gazans whose houses were bombarded by the Israeli war machine and could not build new ones due to the Israeli tightened siege do not sleep in ragged tents under the clear skies of Gaza, clear sky if you do not count for the Israeli drones and warplanes. And those tents are first class: in the summer mosquitoes can’t get in from the holes made by the sun shining on them for the past two years, no, neither water in the winter. For Israel’s propaganda machine, Gaza is the ‘Roots’, a fancy restaurant that serves very expensive meals that even some Israelis can’t afford. The Roots, though very few Gazans know it or ever heard of it, is the destination of hundreds of thousands of Gazans who love to throw 50 bucks on a meal. 70% of the people in Gaza, for the Israelis, do not live under the poverty line but are soaked in sumptuousness and comfort. That the majority of Gaza people live on a dollar a day is a viciously fabricated lie.


In the previous aggressive election (I mean military) campaign on Gazans, Israel did not kill 1500 Palestinians. It certainly did not destroy hundreds of houses and for sure did not injure thousands. The Israeli Camera and IDF official clips showed us the trucks loaded with humanitarian aids allowed, by Israel, into the Gaza strip. We saw pictures and videos of the Israeli warships targeting places they claimed were weapon caches. Although the clips had so many cuts and so many big question marks about their authenticity, the Israelis as well as peoples of the world are fooled into taking them for granted. For the Israelis, Gaza was floating on weapons. One clip on YouTube shows an Israeli missile targeting a gas tank. In the aftermath of the explosion fire erupts. That is taken as a clear-cut proof. The target was a weapon store. Period. The clip soon hits over 200000 views and ZERO comments. IDF desk has disabled comments. No one has to ask why the IDF YouTube channel disabled the comments. Just take it as it is served to you. And say Amen.


The Israeli hermetic seal imposed on the Strip for the past four years is not a siege. It is self-defense. This act of self defense, guaranteed by international law, enabled Israel to deprive everything and everybody of the main traits they possess. Students can’t travel to study abroad, fishermen can’t fish, farmers can’t farm, teachers can’t teach, merchants are not allowed to engage in trade, businessmen do no business, Gazans can’t live in Gaza. And what is their reason. We are Gazans?

 And now what is the Flotilla? It is a bunch of Turkish, Algerian, European, Jordan, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, Yemeni, American, British, Irish, Lebanese, Moroccan thugs on deck of a ship holding daggers and knives ready to stab, and kill, the Israel commandos. We have not seen how the clashes started. We have seen an Israeli soldier beaten and kicked. We have not seen tens of peace activist shot dead or injured. We have not seen pictures of Israeli soldiers attacking but being attacked. We have not heard the Israeli machine guns, but heard the people on board shouting ‘Allah Akbar’. We have seen the activists holding broomsticks, yet did not see the Israeli army soldiers holding electronic stick. We have seen the Israeli soldiers very gently escorting the activists out of the ships but have not seen them attacking the participants smashing the cameras, breaking the limbs, or confiscating the cameras and tapes. We have not seen the bodies of the unarmed dead activists stacked on the deck, but rather we have seen the injured ones, very carefully and benevolently, taken by Israelis to the hospitals. We have been following no news agency but the Israeli Army Radio and press releases. We actually do not know how many were killed. 7? 10? 20? The press release is both accurate and elusive (yes you have to be accustomed to flagrant contradictions when depending on Israeli media): “the dead are more than 10″!

 Commenting on videos and pictures is not generally allowed by Israeli media. No one has to question IDF clips. No one has to ask about, for instance, the doctored pictures of the Yemeni Sheikh holding a long dagger that even haaretz posted as a proof that the people on board started the fight and violated Israeli sovereignty. One is not supposed to comment on the picture either. Even if the dagger, which seems transparent, is not fake, he is a Yemeni after all. A Yemeni’s dagger is like the air he breathes. A Yemeni without his dagger is like an Israeli soldier without his mini M16. A Yemeni not holing a dagger is as unfathomable as an Israeli soldier not shooting at unarmed innocent people. Also they claimed the picture was taken during the clashes! What kind of clashes when people are sitting, calm, cool, and collected, and some are even smiling and posing for the picture? Was it a chessboard clash?

 Israel’s storming of the Freedom Flotilla came as a shock to everyone except for the Palestinians particularly the Palestinians who have been living in Gaza for the past four years. It is no wonder when Gazans remember Israel as the Israel that bombed, destroyed and/or bulldozed Gaza bridges, schools, universities, thousands of houses, mosques, farms and fields, trees and greenhouses. Israel, for Gazans, killed thousands and inflicted injury, pain, deprivation, poverty, and disability on tens and hundreds of thousands. No matter how many clips they post, no matter how many pictures they claim to use as evidence, no matter how many millions of dollars they spend for the cover up, and no matter how many arrogant spokespersons, who by the way have a habit of never answering any question, appear on TV.


Israel swots up on its homework to be done in Gaza. It spends billions of dollars on propaganda and thousands of hours of meetings and preparations. However, In Gaza and only by Gaza, Israel’s true face is revealed in a blink on an eye. There is no homework done well for Israel in Gaza.


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