UPDATED 9/10/23 [Skip]
- Head of IDF announces “complete siege” on Gaza.
- Experts cast doubt on “intelligence failure” narrative.
- Fake news – video game footage passed of as real. Again.
- Domestic and international political reactions.
Earlier today, Hamas launched a “surprise attack” on Israel, allegedly killing dozens. Israel has already struck back at Gaza.
According to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel is now “at war”. You can almost hear the glee in the words of the Atlantic Council’s experts.
It started this morning (the Washington Post has a handy timeline) with Hamas launching rockets at several Israeli cities including Tel Aviv.
After that Palestinian fighters broke through the Southern border, “taking over Israeli towns” and kidnapping civilians to use as hostages. We know this because they helpfully recorded themselves doing it and uploaded it to the internet.
Then came the insurgents on motorised hang-gliders:
The Israeli response has been as hard as you’d expect. Two hundred civilians are said to have been killed already.
Exactly 50 years and one day since the Yom Kippur war, we have a new war to talk about.
…and talk they are. Already the hot takes are flying around. Social media is the ultimate fog of war machine, and misattributed clips and photos are already being passed around. Just like the early days of the Ukraine “special military operation”.
This gels neatly with Todd Hayen’s column from this morning, reminding us in the age of technology visual evidence is not the touchstone it used to be.
Consider our banner image of war-torn Palestine…
…it was made with a generative AI. (A handy tool for any war photographers who don’t feel like visiting a warzone). How many images and how much footage of this war – or others – is produced this way? Who can say.
There’s already talk that, like in 1973, it could cause an energy crisis. Definitely something to keep in mind.
The most surprising thing about this attack is, well, that it was a surprise.
After all, you’d think an over-funded Israeli military would be well capable of both monitoring and countering any attack from the comparatively small and ill-equipped Palestinian forces.
Smart work considering it only happened this morning. A quicker autopsy on a fresher body you will not find.
For those wondering why Hamas, who comfortably held the moral high-ground and the sympathies of Western leftists, would not only kidnap young women from “peace festivals” but also record themselves doing it and publish it to the internet – well, we have explainer pieces for that too.
So that’s how it happened and why it happened all explained before anybody can even be sure exactly what has happened. Very neat.
Nevertheless, other questions arise:
- How long will the “war” last? Who will win?
- Will it cause energy prices to increase?
- Will we see further increased military spending from NATO partners?
- Can we expect “terrorist attacks” in the West too?
One thing is certain, there will be a huge amount of social pressure on everybody to pick a side – to cheer and clap and boo and hiss. We would suggest holding back on that for now.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has promised a complete siege of Gaza, with plans to cut off all water, food and electricity supplies.
Several (self-proclaimed) intelligence experts and IDF veterans have taken to social media to claim there is no way the attack was a genuine surprise.
This video was posted to Twitter labelled “Hamas fighters downing an IDF helicopter”, and received over 2.5 million views. It is footage from the ARMA 3 video game.
There are signs we’re already seeing “blowback” in the UK, where prominent Jewish celebrities and journalists shared “concerning videos” of people waving Palestinian flags. The Mayor and Met Police have responded by promising increased “reassurance patrols”. How long before a ULEZ camera prevents a “terrorist attack”?
In the US it’s become a campaign issue overnight, with both Biden and Trump being blamed in various ways.
Global sides are being picked, with both Russia and Iran being blamed for enabling Hamas, while their weapons are said to come from Ukraine or Afghanistan or Russia pretending to be Ukraine. Nobody is quite sure. Zelensky, clearly knowing who signs his checks, has already compared Hamas to Russia.
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