Pro-Palestinian Facebook Application Launched to Counter QassamCount Popularity

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have second thoughts about posting this article. I would also be lying if I said this issue isn’t close to my heart. My sister lives in Tel Aviv and her boyfriend has been called in by the reserves to go to Gaza at the beginning of next month. Personally, I pray that a cease fire has been achieved by then. Additionally, I have written heavily about how the Gaza war is taking place in social media, and Facebook happens to be one of the central platforms for conversation.

One of my readers emailed me about a new application called “STOP Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza“. The application is aimed to counter the amazing support for the QassamCount application that I previously wrote about. QassamCount has now grown to over 160,000 users and this new application is rapidly approaching 100,000 users. My guess is that it will surpass 100,000 by tomorrow if it hasn’t already.

It’s clear that a counter movement must be created and that was the motivation behind this application. What is unfortunate in this situation is that the counter argument is against Israel, not against Hamas who continues to use the Palestinians as pawns in their never ending war against Israel. It portrays Palestinians as the victims (they are most definitely victims) of only Israeli crimes but the crimes against Palestinians were present prior to the events which have materialized over the past couple weeks. The crimes also took place against Israelis by Hamas and against Palestinians by the same organization.

This site was not intended as a site for political discussion especially for political discussion related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. If you’d like to learn more about it, I’d highly recommend that you read the Wikipedia article about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What I would simply like to illustrate through this article is that there is clearly a strong social media effort (Facebook in particular) being organized by a less centralized Palestinian group which could soon equal if not outweigh the social media effort by the Israelis.

Additionally, there is a strong polarization which results from conflicts and the Gaza conflict is no exception. Individuals are turning to social media to express their feelings and beliefs as they should. I once hoped that social media would make the world more peaceful through direct exposure to the freedoms, capitalism, and individualism (Western ideals) present on social networks and in social media.

Unfortunately it appears that social media may in fact have a reverse effect: a deepening polarization as we are exposed to new cultures. I still believe that social media will help us to obtain a more clear view of the world but circumstances such as this one make the situation increasingly complex and even more polarized.

In the end the only thing that I hope will overcome is peace, and that’s something that most of us hope for. Then again can you have peace when one group is dedicated to eliminating you from the face of the earth? I’m somewhat doubtful but I hope social media will contribute to bringing peace to all. Peace.

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