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Op-Ed: Ugly lesson - A free ride for hate from Gaza internet coverage

By Paul Wallis     Jan 18, 2009 in Internet
The blogosphere has yet again proved it’s a sucker for propaganda and spin. The more rabid the position, the more hits that position will get. That’s the fuel for the hate which is making the world such a fun place to live.
Being opposed to the Israeli attack on Gaza doesn’t necessarily make you an anti Semite. A lot of Israelis aren’t too happy about it, and the Jewish community, globally, is very much divided. Being pro Palestinian doesn’t make you a member of Al Qaeda, either. As a matter of fact, Bin Laden was largely ignored in Gaza when he offered his support.
The internet, however, has become a hate festival, yet again. The original hate factory, American politics, has gone comatose after Obama’s stunning election win, but the same polarization process has roared back to life with Gaza.
With it has come the “normal” anti Semitism. The references to Gaza are like dredges, digging up references to the Holocaust, from people who read like they’ve spent a lot of time denying its existence, but are prepared to drop the soap box for a few extra shots.
Then there’s the anti Arab/anti Moslem approach, so handy for creating instant social polarization globally. It’s now endemic, and as useless as ever. A British Iranian comedian, Omid Djalili, said recently that equating fundamentalism with Islam is like calling the KKK representatives of the Free World, but who listens to the people?
Nobody, apparently, when there’s a political point or an atom of moral altitude to be gained. Peace, apparently, is now the pet poodle of everyone who wants to do some grandstanding.
Every ambitious cretin on Earth can now become a hero, simply by taking sides and yelling louder than anyone else, as long as they agree with someone else. Every ignoramus can be an expert, unquestioned in their own little niche market. Josef Goebbels would have loved it. The greatest communication medium in history is now the machinery for hate.
The Hate Factor was already becoming a form of careerism. In Eastern Europe, there’s a multi million dollar trade in Neo Nazi merchandise. Al Qaeda and other social engineers not only elected themselves leaders of Islam through hate media, but they do most of their promo work online.
All global hate now needs is a Nielsen category, and it’ll be a legitimate demographic. A bit of advertising revenue, something like discount offers from Genocide R Us, or counseling sessions from Xenophobes Inc, and who needs actual information, anyway?
Old media, as usual, did a relatively restrained version of its enchanting “Quick, someone’s bleeding” approach in Gaza. The net, however, simply cranked up the volume.
Israel didn’t really do too well in the PR war in Gaza. They were obviously trying to make points, but the waves in the bathtub of media were going the other way.
The lesson is this: There’s no shortage of people prepared to make personal gain out of the hate festivals online. The internet is acting as their AK47, blazing away at any target, destroying any trust or middle ground as fast as it can. That, folks, is basic politics, “divide and profit from the division”.
Ever see a starving politician?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Hate propaganda, Gaza, Media coverage