Whether it is in Palestine or any other oppressed people, we support people’s right to stay in their homes and be free from the violence of occupation. We condemn the Israeli occupation of Palestine and stand in support of Palestinian resistance. Our movement for media justice is inextricably intertwined with the struggle for Palestinian liberation. From internet shutoffs to disinformation, to the same surveillance technology used by Amazon and police domestically deployed abroad in Gaza, to the silencing of dissent, we are seeing in real time the dangers of a media and tech environment that functions with impunity in the interests of settler colonialism. MediaJustice has a long history of standing in solidarity with Palestine by critiquing the news media’s ineffective coverage to organizing with Palestinian groups in the U.S. who have been subjected to surveillance. MediaJustice joins the call of Palestinians and others who are calling for an end to the unrelenting violence wrought by Israeli and U.S.-backed occupation.
Centralization of Media and Tech Ownership
The centralization of Big Media makes it difficult for us to shape the narrative and speak truth to the harm of Israeli occupation. Dominant media narratives that place Hamas, and by association all of the Palestinian people, as villains are flooding our media outlets. There is a long history of media failing historically marginalized communities, communities of color, and their stories of resistance. Racialized narratives of settler colonialism create the justification for the violence inflicted on Palestinians. We know our media and tech is this way by design. Big Media represents power, who gets to tell their stories, and who gets to represent their interests. For Palestinians, we are seeing violence justified while Palestinians themselves do not have the power to create, distribute, and own their media environments.
To take action, support the archive of Palestinian struggle so it is never forgotten through a resource from our MediaJustice Network member, Witness.
Corporate Complicity, Criminalization of Dissent, & Abolishing Surveillance
In June of 2021, Amazon Web Services and Google signed a $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government for a flagship project called “Project Nimbus,” to provide a cloud services “ecosystem” for the Israeli government. The project is designed to expand Israel’s artificial intelligence capabilities, including those used to monitor Palestinian activists, surveil the Gaza border, force Palestinians off their land, and operate Israel’s Iron Dome system. This is why we organize in solidarity with our comrades at Mpower Change and Jewish Voices for Peace on the #NoTechforApartheid Campaign, which has organized hundreds of students, tech workers, and activists to hold tech companies accountable for supplying technology for war and state violence. We have also worked on projects like our Department of Homeland Security Open for Business report we co-authored with partners to highlight the investment Big Tech has in supercharging local policing. Ultimately, the same high-tech policing deployed by Israel is used domestically in the U.S. by our local police, such as facial recognition, body worn cameras, and other forms of technological surveillance.
We know that moments of self-defense and insurgency are used to expand state repression and the surveillance of dissent here and abroad. Through our #ProtectBlackDissent campaign, we worked to end the Black Identity Extremist designation from the FBI in solidarity with several of our Muslim comrades who are targeted by the Countering Violent Extremism program (now rebranded as Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention). Now, we are hearing stories of journalists, filmmakers, academics, and comrades being silenced, approached, and intimidated by state agents for their public support of Palestine.
If you or someone you know is intimidated by a state agent, use this guide. If you are looking to divest from Big Tech services like Google join May First Movement Technology and other movement technologists who are building the framework for liberatory media and tech.
Disinformation and Platform Accountability
The anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian bigotry we are seeing is fueled by rampant mis/disinformation and the harmful framing of the occupation of Palestine from a corporate tech and media environment. Pro-Palestinian solidarity is being actively silenced through social media algorithms, media manipulation, the magnifying of racist rhetoric, and active doxxing of individuals and organizations who dare speak out. We will not stand by and let shameless politicians and their corporate allies in Big Tech and Big Media to continue dehumanizing Palestinians to provide cover for genocide and inciting Islamophobia in the U.S. and abroad.
If you or others you know are being doxxed or intimidated online for public support of Palestine, here are some digital self defense tools and guides you may find helpful:
- Online Harassment Field Manual
- Games Hotline Digital Safety Guide
- DeleteMe Personal Date Removal
- Digital Security Hotline
- Digital First Aid
- Online SOS Doxxing PDF
- Crash Override Doxed Crisis Hotline
- MediaJustice Resource Guide
Communication is a basic human right and central to the dignity of all people. To be denied access to critical communications infrastructure means that Palestinians cannot communicate what they are experiencing with each other, their families, their communities, and the world. We are being denied their experience, their analysis and their testimony. It also means that they can not utilize the internet to organize for their needs and to offer support to others who need water, food, medical care, shelter and more. And they cannot hear updates about their situation or even the support coming from around the world. Internet blackouts are a powerful way to silence the Palestinian people and their supporters. MediaJustice will always stand with Black, Indigenous, and people of color in their fight for reliable and secure internet.
In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” The settler colonial violence we are witnessing in Palestine is entwined with the policing, militarization, Big Tech, and Big Media forces we experience domestically and globally. We believe in a future where media and technology exist to meet the needs of all people and contribute to a liberated world. We stand with Palestinians and others who are fighting for a liberated world.
To take action:
- Find a protest near you here
- Write to Congress to demand a ceasefire now
- Participate in the general strike on October 20th