Snapchat fantasizes Israeli occupation of Palestine
Snapchat has definitely been an entertaining application shared between friends. It facilitates picture and video interactions, while letting a person glimpse into someone’s day through their “Snapchat story.” However, Snapchat took it up a notch when it introduced the “live Snapchat stories” a few months ago and began to offer its users a tour of a typical day in different locations around the world through local user submissions. You could be on the red carpet one day and participate in bullfights in Spain the next.
Nonetheless, it is essential that we take a step back before thinking we know what a typical day is like in Japan, Cuba, or Dubai based on their respective Snapchat story. Though many people make submissions to these live feeds, Snapchat ultimately chooses which snaps make the cut. Snapchat highlights countries in a propagandist manner that only functions to highlight the areas’ tourist-pleasing aspects.
Tuesday, Snapchat had a live Tel Aviv Snapchat story on the one year anniversary of the start of the Gaza summer massacre when 2,200 Palestinians were killed by Israel during a 51-day assault. Palestinians were mourning their lost loved ones, still picking up the rubble left on their homes and trying to remember all they have to look forward to while dealing with their devastating circumstances.
Meanwhile, Snapchat insensitively compiled snaps of how wonderful life in Tel Aviv—approximately 90 kilometers away from the occupied West Bank—was. It highlighted the beautiful Mediterranean beach. It gave viewers a look into the art of baking Palestinian bread,the cultural drinking of Arabic coffee and eating dates. It put on display the markets abundant with goods of all kinds. For example, the produce of the land Palestinians had once cultivated. It highlighted the Palestinian culture Israel is trying to call its own. It showed Palestinians what they did not have access to because of the ongoing Israeli occupation of their land.
Wednesday, Snapchat released an update: “Heads up! West Bank is live tomorrow.”
I don’t know if this is Snapchat’s form of an apology, but it can’t alleviate the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people ethnically cleansed from their land. I try to think optimistically that maybe the world will get to see the hardship my people endure everyday. One day of a live Snapchat feed in the West Bank won’t let others experience a fraction of what Palestinian people go through, but it can be a glimpse.
I hope Snapchat doesn’t filter the occupation related snaps sent by Palestinians. I hope the whole world can endure the sight of seeing it, just as I had to endure the sight of Israeli snaps of a colony built on the stolen Palestinian city of Yaffa, where my family is from.