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Hugs, smiles were enough to take Israeli propaganda down

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on December 3, 2023 (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Dec 04, 2023)

Normal human interactions: handshakes, smiles, blowing kisses, and pats on the back. This was enough to shatter the Israeli propaganda into pieces in front of the entire world. During the now-expired truce, al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas Resistance movement, would release video footage of the prisoners-captives exchange deal daily.

With these videos, the Resistance movement became the center of attention for users on social media, who would take screenshots from the videos and comment on the footage, either by creating memes, praising the way Hamas has been treating the captives, or even expressing amazement over the idea of how the captives were bidding the Hamas fighters farewell with signs clear enough to prove that they were all in good shape and health.

The videos would show the captives waving goodbye with wide smiles while saying “thank you” to the Resistance fighters.

These smiles have driven the Israeli occupation crazy.

Going insane over a smile

Pro-“Israel” users on social media fell desperate. They should. After all, the billions of dollars worth of campaigns to try to demonize the Palestinian Resistance have just gone down the drain. Now, they should be seeking modifications to their propaganda. How? Attribute all that had happened during the exchange to the Stockholm Syndrome, pressure from the Resistance, and other made-up similar reasons.

They tried to edit videos to their preferences, take pictures out of their context, and fabricate news and pictures for the sake of pushing forth their false narrative.

A good example of this is a post on X by the former International Media Advisor to the Israeli President Isaac Herzog Eylon Levy.

He posted a 5-second part of one of Hamas’ videos of releasing captives with the caption: “Don’t mess with Jewish women.”

The video shows a mere 5 seconds of a woman talking with serious facial expressions to one of Hamas’ fighters. Levy seemed to have cut the part where the same woman was smiling and saying goodbye to the Resistance fighters.

Under the post, many debunked Levy’s footage, saying he had falsely framed and taken the footage out of context.

In an article in Israel Hayom newspaper, political analyst, Yaniv Peleg, admitted that publishing such footage on television “is detrimental to Israel.”

Another political analyst, Maya Lecker, wrote in Haaretz that “many pro-Palestinian influencers and social media users—most of them from outside Israel and Palestine—find the nightly hand-overs of hostages to be heart-warming public displays of humanity and morality by Hamas militants.”

For ‘Israel’, it’s all being forced

In a piece in Times of Israel, author Michael Bachner talks about how Hamas forced the captives to smile and wave to cameras. Not only this, but he also claimed that Hamas “appears to have forced” a hostage named Danielle Alone to write a letter thanking Hamas fighters for their extraordinary humanity in Gaza.

The writer does not even give one piece of evidence to back his claims. His entire piece resonated like an angry pro-Israeli propagandist.

Israelis are seeing Hamas winning the propaganda war, and they can’t do anything about it. The snowball effect is on a roll. Another reason for their infuriation is that this is not how they ever perceived treating prisoners, detainees, or hostages. Cruelty, inhumanity, savagery, and torture is their middle name.

The stark difference

If we take a moment and look at the conditions of liberated Palestinian prisoners and the conditions of Israeli captives, it is evident that the difference is striking.

Israa Jaabis was liberated with her face and hands fully burned. Several liberated Palestinian women spoke to Al Mayadeen about the endless torture they had endured during their imprisonment.

Did we get to hear anything from the Israeli captives? We only got to hear from the Israeli captive Yocheved Lifshitz, who was released by al-Qassam Brigades back in October. She explained how al-Qassam fighters were very friendly with the captives, took care of them, and provided them with medicine.

On the one hand, you have a party that is seen releasing its captives with smiles, hugs, and warm goodbyes, while, on the other, nothing is allowed or made available for the masses to see. Did “Israel” ever document a video showing how it treats Palestinian prisoners or any footage of it releasing one Palestinian prisoner? This never happened. Why? Because “Israel” is infamous for torturing and depriving Palestinian prisoners of their most basic rights.

Activists on social media started to question why “Israel” holds so many children in its jails with many of them held without any charge. Not only does “Israel” kill Palestinian children, but it also keeps a large number of them in its infamous jails without any charges.

Years and years of paying billions have gone in a handshake

In this war, “Israel” discovered that money cannot fix everything. At the beginning of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, journalist Sophia Smith, in a thread on X, pointed out that the Israeli government invested nearly $7.1 million exclusively in YouTube advertising. Using the analytical tool Semrush, which estimates ad campaign expenditures, along with Google’s ad transparency center, Smith’s research highlighted that the campaign specifically targeted countries like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

They released a total of 88 ads in a short period from October 7 to October 19. Delving deeper into the metrics, it was found that the campaign had a substantial reach, accumulating nearly a billion impressions. Approximately $1.1 million was allocated for targeting the United Kingdom alone.

Not only did money not work for “Israel’s” propaganda, but also all the rhetoric efforts that “Israel” has put on “influencers” and celebrities to voice their support for the Israeli genocide in Gaza have backlashed.

Social media users started to unfollow “infected” celebrities, forcing some of them to delete their posts or even explain their wrongful stance.

Screw up after screw up

While “Israel” continues to fail, both on the actual battlefield and in the virtual one, the Palestinian narrative seems to be winning among the masses. Just recently, Axios reported that the views of pro-Palestine content surpass by far the views of pro-“Israel” content. The report detailed that posts that use the hashtag #StandwithPalestine have significantly surpassed the posts that use the hashtag ‘#StandwithIsrael’ in the U.S. and globally in the two weeks leading up to the end of October (October 16 to 31)

Thanks to Israeli blunders and fiascos, people around the globe are now more aware of Israeli propaganda. Thanks to the efforts that are made constantly by the people of Gaza to convey to the entire world the real picture, people now can wipe their eyes clear and see the picture as it is.

The failed Israeli campaign to picture the Palestinian Resistance as “terrorist” is failing. The image of the “invincible army” is shattering. The millions and even billions of dollars spent to whitewash Israeli crimes are going with the wind, in vain. This is it. This is “Israel” losing. This is “Israel” being defeated.

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