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News Tip: Social Media Playing Key Role in Israel-Palestine Conflict, Expert Says

Much of the violence now occurring in Jerusalem can be viewed on social media.•    Quote: “Many Israeli political leaders and pundits have blamed social media as the locus of Palestinian political incitement, while Palestinians counter that the structural violence of the occupation, not the social media sphere, is the root of the current political unrest,” says Duke University professor Rebecca L. Stein, author of the recently published book “Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age.”“Today, all players within this political theater have incorporated social media and mobile digital technologies into their political toolboxes: the Israeli military, the settler community, Palestinian activists and organizers, and civilians on both sides of the Green Line, most armed with smartphone cameras.  This marks a sharp divergence from the last two uprisings, when social media literacy and smartphone penetration was far lower, particularly within the Palestinian public.”“Today, the violence on both sides unfolds almost immediately on social media feeds. And these feeds, Israeli and Palestinian, are as divided as the societies themselves: the same video can be heralded as evidence of resistance on one side and terrorism on the other.”  •    Bio: Rebecca L. Stein is the Nicholas J. & Theresa M. Leonardy Associate professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University. She is co-author of the recent book “Digital Militarism: Israel's Occupation in the Social Media Age” (with Adi Kuntsman, Stanford University Press, 2015).•    Archive video interview: (•    For additional comment, contact Stein