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IDF's online campaign as an expression of colonial violence

The IDF's Twitter campaign continues to reinforce speculation as truth. As the missing teenage settlers become a propaganda tool for invoking violence against Palestinians and retribution against Hamas, another offshoot of the campaign attempts a regurgitated effort to brand Palestinian resistance against settler-colonialism as terrorism.

Commencing with a slideshow depicting the IDF's encapsulation of "Operation Brother's Keeper", the Israeli army boasts of having apprehended 190 alleged suspects in connection with the missing settlers. Furthermore, the media attempts to portray "kidnapping" as a constant threat to Israeli security by citing five cases spanning 17 years.

Accompanying the initial paranoia, a series of posters depicts Israel's obsession with the deconstruction of Palestinian resistance. Pictures depicting small clusters of weapons, explosives, Molotov bombs and rocks are used to illustrate the alleged "terrorist" threat, divested from the ramifications which Zionist settler-colonialism has imposed upon Palestine. To spread the illusion further, statements such as "#Palestinian terrorists shoot with one goal in mind, to kill Israeli civilians and #soldiers" reinforce the disassociation between colonial violence and Palestinian resistance as legitimate and necessary defence.

Emphasising the crude material used by Palestinians in their struggle against settler-colonialism, the detachment also seeks to portray Israel as a responsible state coerced into retaliation – the missing settlers providing a suitable context to the misinformation relentlessly churned out by the IDF. Deftly eliminated from the scene is an overview of daily, premeditated violence that Palestinians have endured for decades and which is continuously refined into actions which the international community has no qualms about condoning as an extension of pervasive abuse.

Only recently Netanyahu justified the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike on the premise that such abuse is already rampant at the US military-occupied base Guantánano, Cuba. Netanyahu's assertion is reminiscent of the necessity to perpetrate abuses in order to ensure the validity of imperialist institutions such as the United Nations, which has persevered in protecting Israel since its illegal inception through the condescending charters and resolutions that have allowed interpretation to take precedence over justice.

Away from the basic weaponry which Palestinian utilise in legitimate resistance, imperialist violence is reflected in Israel's colonial savagery, glorified within the international community that has unequivocally supported the Zionist state's latest lament. "Israel's reality", a term coined by the IDF in relation to the missing settlers, is best reflected by the military sophistication, precision strikes, targeted assassinations, routine torture and murder inflicted upon Palestinians to achieve further territorial conquests.

While the IDF seeks to internationalise the online campaign by evoking an accumulation of empathy, military rigour and hatred, Palestinian resistance should take precedence over any imperialist-supported settler-colonial scheme. The danger comes from statements such as those uttered by Mahmoud Abbas who, in expressing the universal values of humanity, attempted to equalise illegal settlers with the indigenous population. Even in this situation, Abbas's loyalty has been divisive, oblivious to Palestinian history, the inscription of violence as outlined in the Plan Dalet and its gradual refinement into an integral part of imperial violence, as well as the motivations behind a magnified campaign that has distorted the permanent incarceration of all Palestinians.

 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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