Gaza Flotilla Sparks Social Media Debate

Soldiers on FlotillaA day after the Israeli Navy clashed with pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla, en route to Gaza with supplies, debate is being sparked all over the social web. Pro-Palestinian activists and Israelis alike are turning to sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to make their opinions heard and share news, videos, images and views that aren’t necessarily being shown by the mainstream press.

The truth of the matter is that at this time nobody is really sure what happened two nights ago on the international waters of the Mediterranean. Pro-Palestinian activists will tell you that Israel had no right to board the ships in international waters and tout the Israelis as heartless killers, insensitive to the need for humanitarian aid in Gaza. Pro-Israel activists will tell you that the Navy warned the flotilla to divert their ships or face the consequences, and that the flotilla not only refused to do so but incited violence, using clubs and knives against soldiers who boarded the ship. Right now the whole situation is nothing but a blame game, and the debate has come to a head on social media sites.

The Twitter Debate

Yesterday on Twitter topics like Flotilla, Gaza Flotilla and Freedom Flotilla were trending throughout the day, and continue to be garnering a lot of tweets today. The bulk of Top Tweets about the incident are leaning towards the Pro-Palestinian side. However, Israel supporters have been spreading the word on Twitter as well.


The Facebook Debate

On Facebook, groups started springing up as soon as news of the flotilla clash was released. On the Israeli side two main Facebook groups have formed. The Truth About Israel’s Defensive Actions Against The Flotilla already has more than 20,000 “likes” and Gaza Flotilla – the world should know the truth has more than 27,000 “likes.” The first group calls on all members to post links every hour to help spread the Israeli case, which many Israeli’s believe has not been represented fairly in media coverage. The group is sharing links supporting the Israeli cause, including videos that show footage of Israeli soldiers being attacked on the ship without provocation.

Israeli Facebook Group

On the other side of the debate, pro-Palestinian groups have been created over the last couple of days as well. Outrage over the Freedom Flotilla Massacre is currently at just over 25,000 “likes”. This group encourages members to protest and says that all pro-Israel comments will be deleted. One MILLION Strong To Condemn Israel’s Attack on the Gaza Flotilla has just over 10,000 members so far. The group’s description reads, “A Facebook group to condemn Israel’s assault on an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. Ghandi and King are spinning in their graves.”

The YouTube Debate

On YouTube, videos are being shared that tell both sides of the story as well. One video depicts passengers on the ship in question violently attacking soldiers trying to board the ship. In the footage the soldiers do nothing to provoke the attack, but are beaten with metal poles, chairs and even thrown from the side of the ship.

A Pro-Palestinian video shows the story on the ship from the other side. Footage shows panic on the ship as casualties are announced and injured people are seen lying on the ground. The video has just over 143,000 views so far. A reporter says, “We are being hit by tear gas, stun grenades…we are being attacked from every single side.”

With all of this debate going on and so many mixed views and opinions and little information, who’s to blame? Until we have more information, you be the judge.