Zaharna Gaza Home Entrance, photo courtesy of author
July 14, 2014

How one scholar's understanding of the shared destiny of Palestinians and Israelis led her to the field of public diplomacy.

The Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry have been hard at work spreading Israel’s message in Operation Protective Edge for the last week in an effort that is mostly paying off, experts on public diplomacy in and out of the government said Sunday. “We see [public diplomacy] as a war front like any other,” Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Communications and Public Diplomacy Arthur Koll explained. 

Amid the spiraling bloodshed in Gaza, Turkey continues to send aid to the Palestinian enclave through the Kerem Shalom border crossing in coordination with the Israeli army. Turkish agencies have been flowing aid into Gaza worth a total of $2.5 million and most of the assistance is based on local procurement, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News. 

Israel's practice of 'roof knocking' before leveling buildings in Gaza is being documented by local residents, with examples being uploaded to YouTube.  The practice involves the Israel Air Force firing a small mortar shell onto the roof of a building it has designated for destruction. Residents then have a few minutes at best to clear out or face being caught in the rubble.

Despite several statements by world leaders condemning rocket fire on Israel and calling for restraint, the international community currently doesn’t really care about Israel’s conflict with Gaza, a senior diplomatic official said Wednesday. “The international community is totally disinterested. Yes, there were a few press releases from [UK Foreign Secretary] William Hague and a few others, but generally the world doesn’t show any particular interest in this,” the official told The Times of Israel. 

Over the past week the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has been used hundreds of thousands of times, often to distribute pictures claiming to show the effects the airstrikes.  Some of the images are of the current situation in Gaza, but a #BBCtrending analysis has found that some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Suha, the mother of Mohammed Abu Khudair, calls him a “good boy,” often showing journalists photos of him on her phone playing in the neighborhood, or helping the family around the house. Her family was stunned when Hebrew media outlets began running stories just hours after his death claiming that he had been killed because of his sexual orientation, or because her family was involved in some sort of nefarious feud.

At a time when Israel is continuously bombing the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a 28-day film festival in Bangalore, jointly organised by the Israeli consulate, the Suchitra Film Society, and Bangalore Cultural Partners from Thursday to July 31, has raised the hackles of a section of the culturati across the country. They have taken to Facebook asking academia and culture circles to boycott and condemn this film festival.