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With Palestine, Social Media Has Seriously Changed Perception

Social media has seriously altered the way we comprehend war.

I'm not going to relay any of the pictures of the children murdered by the state of Israel in this article - all of the ones I have come across have been posted in the Radical Second Things Facebook page. I encourage everyone to look at them and I'm not opting out because of the sort of cowardice exhibited by pro-Israel tools who can't handle the reality of what they support - I just don't think it'd be appropriate for this context.

The Middle East has been immersed in war for a long time and this is not the first time Israel has launched missiles and bullets at Palestinians. Both bombing raids and suicide bombings (inflicted by the other side on Israeli civilians) have occurred for a long time. What is the difference now? Why are we suddenly so profoundly disturbed?

Only ten years ago, social networking and digital technology was nowhere what it was now. Digital cameras existed but were much more complex than the iPhone, more expensive and nowhere near as available. MySpace was in its infancy and Facebook had yet to surface.

The iPhone is an absolutely incredible device as it allows one to take a picture instantaneously and then post it to a social network like Facebook or Twitter, making it available for the entire world to see. We have seen gruesome pictures of war before - but they nearly allows had to work make it through press or state channels. There's a pretty stark lack of pictures of the atomic bombings in Japan, for instance, and scenes of that horror have usually been recreated in films like Barefoot Gen. 

That lid on information surrounding war is over because of the iPhone, Facebook and Twitter: Not until now has such a powerful tool of expression been so easily available to so many. The Palestinian people have been able to take advantage of new technology in the midst of this tragedy to show the world the reality of their lives as it has been for quite some time and many people, especially those who supported it most staunchly, are understandably disturbed.

War is a sad fact of humanity and I don't think even a powerful instrument like the iPhone will change that. However, future Netanyahus will have to grapple with the fact that there no longer are any secrets and their carnage will be seen the world over. Hopefully it will make them think twice.


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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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