The problems with distilling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a social media post

It’s become more than just a little cliche to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “complicated,” but the truth is… it is.

Israel and the Palestinians have been back in the news cycle and with everyone from pundits to celebrities to your cousin weighing in, it’s hard to tell who to trust.

Let’s be honest. No one is above their own biases, including us at Unpacked. So first, we wanted to ask three questions about how to be a conscious consumer of content and then suggest our 5 most important videos that address the very complicated history in Israel.

  • Is it over simplified? Boiling the conflict down to short slogans and simple cartoons is irresponsible. At best ignorant and at worst manipulative. If a cartoon or meme piques your interest, always make sure to dig deeper and question the motives of the creator. Singing Jalebi baby and inserting poop emojis on Tik Tok is for sure entertaining, but when it comes to addressing what many view as the most intractable conflict of the day, let’s try to elevate the conversation.
  • Is the source giving the perspective of multiple sides? It’s easy to dehumanize the other by ignoring multiple perspectives, but that won’t really solve anything. Understanding of the other is the path to peace and as much as we want that for the Middle East, let’s model it in our own discourse.
  • Is it giving enough historical context? It’s not enough to say: Too much conflict has started with setting fire to history books. In order to understand the present we must learn about what brought us here. The story of the Jewish connection to the land matters, and of course, the history of the Palestinian connection to the land matters as well.
  • With those in mind, here are five of our most important videos that go through some of the accusations against Israel and some broader historical questions to be aware of.

Does Israel practice apartheid?

This is a question that we’ve seen all over tiktok and instagram.

Is Zionism colonialism?

This is another idea many people have been throwing out there.

Is Israel an occupying power?

The word “occupation” is loaded. What do people mean when they use this term? Different people seem to be using this term differently.

What is the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Who is Hamas and what are they all about?

If we’re going to opine on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s important to know who the key players are.

It’s become more than just a little cliche to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “complicated,” but the truth is… it is.

In a world where social media makes information more accessible than ever before, let’s utilize social media for good, ensure we take the time to learn more complete stories, shun misinformation and disinformation, and as a result, this will hopefully lead to more constructive conversations.