How Palestinian resistance is challenging the tech supremacy of war

Ideology that reserves advanced technology and firepower for western superpowers is troubled by non-western players laying claim to these technologies

An Israeli firefighter extinguishes a blaze caused by incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip on 9 May 2021

Ahmed D Dardir writes in Middle East Eye:

In its latest confrontation with Israeli occupation forces, and in response to continued Israeli aggression against al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem residents, the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance unleashed a fleet of incendiary balloons targeting the colonial settlements bordering the Gaza Strip.

As Israel’s aggressive actions in Jerusalem have not technically violated the ceasefire signed in May, the Palestinian response had to eschew military force; instead, it creatively weaponised the mundane. While embodying the spirit of resistance, the Palestinian response had to remain low-impact, so as not to constitute a pretext for a new round of Israeli hostilities.

Yet, Israel responded by launching air strikes against what it claimed were Hamas targets in Gaza, effectively violating the ceasefire. Still, a significant part of mainstream western media and public opinion views this Israeli violation as justifiable self-defence, while the balloons from Gaza are seen as purposeless, misguided and provocative.

The same attitude met the May confrontations. Although the Gaza-based resistance was able to use its missiles and drones – relatively primitive compared to Israel’s military capabilities – to maximum political effect, while minimising casualties and destruction on the Israeli side, they were still depicted by the mainstream media as misguided, chaotic or even desperate. On the other hand, Israeli missiles were portrayed as justifiable, with the state’s military power described as targeted and sophisticated.

This leads to a paradox, wherein the unguided missiles of the Palestinian resistance are guilty of targeting civilians, while the precise and targeted missiles of the Israeli occupation forces are innocent of the deaths of victims whom they “mistakenly” target. This paradox is maintained by racialised hierarchies of conflict that operate beyond the Palestinian context.

In a world fascinated by cutting-edge, slick, state-of-the-art technology – by buttons, screens and computerised processes – the advancement of technology on one side masks carnage on the other. The computerisation of the US war machine infamously turned American wars at the turn of the century into real-life video games…….

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