The Electronic Intifada: A Tool to Counter Israel’s ‘Propaganda’ and ‘Lies’

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The first thing that catches the eye on its X account is the bio. Five words summing up the very reason for its existence: “Palestine’s weapon of mass instruction.”

That, in a nutshell, is what The Electronic Intifada is all about – and that objective has taken on greater significance than ever before in the wake of Israel’s deadly ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

The independent online publication is playing a pivotal role in combatting disinformation and fake news, providing alternative perspectives, analysis, and firsthand accounts from those at the center of all the death, destruction and suffering – the millions of people trapped in Gaza.

“The mainstream US media and … the European media is extremely pro-Israel,” Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian-American journalist who co-founded and leads The Electronic Intifada, told Anadolu in a video interview.

“They take the Israeli line and they take anything Israel says almost as if it’s a fact, even though from the very beginning, most of what Israel said has turned out to be lies.”

He cites the example of numerous stories of imagined atrocities that have made global headlines during the ongoing crisis, like the one about beheaded babies “put out by (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu himself, that made it all the way to the talking points of US President Joe Biden, but “turned out to be totally false.”

As these were not being questioned in the mainstream media, Abunimah asserted that the importance and need for independent outlets like his own is more pressing than ever.

He emphasizes that his publication does not face the same constraints, censorship or even self-censorship that plague global mainstream media.

“We have seen our audience surging to record levels over the last few weeks because I think there is a hunger for information that is not just the propaganda given by the United States government or the Israeli government,” he said.

Writers in Gaza ‘determined to get their voice out’

The Electronic Intifada, according to its website, focuses on reporting “built on a foundation of documented evidence and fact-checking.”

It was founded over two decades ago in 2001 for exactly the same reason as now, “because Palestinians do not get fair coverage in the mainstream media,” said Abunimah.

There is a lack of opportunity for Palestinians to get fair independent coverage and give their analysis in a way that is not censored, which is why this publication was started, he added.

Since Oct. 7, Abunimah and his small but “very dedicated team” has been in “high gear … really working around the clock.”

“First and foremost, we wanted to support our writers and contributors in Gaza. The first concern was for their well-being and safety,” he said.

He narrated how one of their contributors, Huda al-Sosi, was killed in an Israeli attack, while another one, Ahmed Abu Artema, was injured when his house was bombed, killing his son and several other family members.

“That just goes to show how nobody in Gaza is unaffected by this situation,” he said.

It was for The Electronic Intifada that Abu Artema penned a moving piece about his ordeal – ‘Why did Israel kill my son?’ – a testament to the kind of platform the publication gives to those at the very center of the suffering being inflicted by Israel.

Abunimah reiterated that his team does not “ask anyone to go out and to expose themselves to danger for us.”

The relentless Israeli assault on Gaza has now killed almost 16,300 Palestinians, among them more than 7,110 children and nearly 4,900 women, while over 43,600 others have been wounded.

Despite the catastrophic death and destruction, many of The Electronic Intifada’s contributors in Gaza “continue to write and continue to insist on writing and contributing,” said Abunimah.

“Despite the difficulties and despite the frequent communication difficulties, they continue to send us stories, whether by WhatsApp, text message, voice message or, if they can, by email,” he said.

“They are determined to get their voice out and to tell the world what is happening, and our job and our privilege is to be a platform for them and to support them as they do that. That is,I would say, our main mission.”

Apart from those on the ground, the publication has journalists in different places such as the US, Europe or Jordan who “continue to write and publish analysis and news,” he added.

Audience ‘able to tell the truth from lies’

The Electronic Intifada’s coverage during Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza has focused on a range of aspects, from the crippling humanitarian crisis to the military situation on the ground.

“We have live streams a couple of times a week, where we give military analysis of what’s happening because, again, that’s not something that’s been talked about,” said Abunimah.

“The abilities and the strength of the resistance is a factor that needs to be discussed and understood and analyzed.”

Regarding the personal accounts they publish, Abunimah said they “provide a very important window into what people in Gaza are experiencing.”

“They are witnessing with their own eyes that everybody in Gaza is going through a catastrophe,” he added.

Many of the writers write in English “since there’s a very high level of education in Gaza,” said Abunimah, while some write in Arabic and their articles are translated to English.

Abunimah explained that the online publication has seen more readers coming in from all over the world.

“I don’t know if we can compete in terms of the mass audience with major corporate media, but we do reach a large audience and we particularly reach a younger audience that is much less likely to be watching traditional television channels, and who are very critical about what they watch and read, and who are therefore able to tell the truth from the kinds of lies that we see in the mainstream media all the time,” he said.

Source : aa