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Selective outrage of low IQ Bollywood exposed with ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ campaign: What happened in Rafah and why learning all sides of a story is important

IDF has stated that they had launched a precision strike with a limited amount of explosives at an area 1.7 km away from the civilian zone. However, secondary explosions might have been triggered because Hamas has a habit of storing explosives and munitions in civilian areas, often using civilian compounds as cover.

On 28th May, several celebrities from India shared stories on Rafah. An AI-generated image with the text “All Eyes On Rafah” was shared on the social media platform Instagram over 33 million times. Here are some of the celebrities who shared the image or a similar story.

Actors and actresses including Malaika Arora Khan, Zareen Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Kriti Kharbanda, Nora Fatehi, DQ Salmaan, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, tripti Dimri, Rakul Preet, Rahul Dua, Varun Dhawan, Nitanshi Goel, Urfi Javed, Swara Bhaskar and Ahsaas Channa were among those who shared the same story on social media. On the other hand, Huma Qureshi and Kareena Kapoor shared a post published by UNICEF calling for a ceasefire in the region. Here are screenshots of the stories published by these celebrities.

Screenshots of stories by Urfi Javed, Swara Bhaskar and Ahsaas Channa. Source: Instagram
Screenshots of stories by Malaika Arora, Zareen Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Source: Instagram
Screenshots of stories by Kriti Kharbanda, Nora Fatehi and DQ Salmaan. Source: Instagram
Screenshots of stories by Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Tripti Dimri and Rakul Preet. Source: Instagram
Screenshots of stories by Rahul Dua, Varun Dhavan and Nitanshi Goel. Source: Instagram
Screenshots of stories by Huma Qureshi and Kareena Kapoor. Source: Instagram

Rohit Sharma’s wife Ritika Sajdeh, vetern actress Madhuri Dixit and some other celebrities also shared stories but deleted after immense pressure from the public. Here are screenshots of their now-deleted stories.

Stories on Instagram that were deleted after pressure from the public. Source: X

Retaliating to the propaganda campaign, pro-Israel accounts have started sharing social media posts asking those who have “eyes on Rafah” to help Israel in finding the hostages that Hamas has not released since 7th October 2023.

What happened in Rafah? IDF says civilian casualties may be result of Hamas explosive warehouse inside civilian area

Rafah is the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. It shares a border with Egypt and the Rafah crossing is presently the only way Gaza residents can leave the area. However, Egypt only allows humanitarian aid inside. Egypt has refused all requests for evacuation and does not allow Palestinians to enter their nation.

At least that was what the world thought, because, recently Israel’s military operations in Rafah exposed several tunnels extending from Rafah to Egypt, allegedly allowing Hamas terrorists to enter Egyptian territory without anyone noticing. Israel has claimed at the ICJ hearing that Egypt’s government knew about those tunnels.

On 26th May (local time) Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas launched rockets at the Tel Aviv area in Israel. Sirens were heard across the region warning the residents to take shelter immediately. Hours after the rocket strike by the terrorist group, Israeli forces launched an airstrike at Rafah, an area that is the southern most part of the Gaza strip, where currently many Palestinians have taken shelter.

Notably, it is on the border with Egypt. During the airstrike, Israel accidentally hit a tent camp where reportedly displaced Palestinians were living. Media reports have claimed that around 45 people including children and elderly lost their lives and 200 were injured in the strike. However, Israel has denied it, saying they had hit a terrorist shelter away from civilian area.

IDF has stated that they had launched a precision strike with a limited amount of explosives at an area 1.7 km away from the civilian zone. However, secondary explosions might have been triggered because Hamas has a habit of storing explosives and munitions in civilian areas, often using civilian compounds as cover.

Also, Hamas has been successfully running a misinformation campaign. They have earlier made misleading, sometimes totally false claims amplifying victimhood, while using Palestinian civilians as human shield throughout the conflict. One such attempt was the desperate efforts to claim “hundreds of civilians killed in Shifa hospital“. Soon enough, images and videos exposed their lies. The fire incident in a parking lot was amplified as mass destruction, with active help from international media.

The attack by Israeli forces was aimed at killing Hamas operatives hiding in the area and they successfully neutralised two of them. United Nations and the World Health Organisation condemned the air strike on Rafah. Israel has expressed regret over the death of 45 people in the fire and explosions and launched an investigation in the matter.

Displaced priorities: The hypocrisy of selective outrage

The recent surge in such posts by numerous Indian celebrities has brought to light a troubling trend of selective outrage. A particular image was shared over 33 million times worldwide on Instagram which appears to be an attempt to create a negative narrative against Israel. These celebrities collectively amplified the message which reminded of the “I am ashamed” placard campaign during the Kathua incident. Instead of trying to get into the depth of the incident to find out what happened, Hindus were targeted with selective outrage. However, their conspicuous silence on other pressing issues reveals a stark hypocrisy.

The social media onslaught of the ‘All eyes on Rafah’ campaign has again exposed how celebrities are detached from ground realities and the bigger picture. Dozens of hostages taken away by Hamas after the October 7 massacre are yet to return home. Recently released videos show how brutally young girls were raped and tortured by Hamas terrorists, but none of that was enough to incite concern from these celebrities with millions of followers.

Ignoring the plight of Hindus

While these celebrities come out in support of international matters, their deafening silence on the atrocities faced by Hindus in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh raises several questions. The persecution and suffering of Hindus in these countries are severe. Yet not even one of these celebrities has ever raised their voice in their support or used their mass followership to shed light on their plight. The indifference not only highlights their selective activism but also questions their commitment to human rights and justice.

Silence on domestic atrocities

Their hypocrisy is not limited to the international issues. They fail to raise their voices for victims of love jihad in India. The merciless killings of Hindus during riots, growing instances of love jihad where Hindu women become victims of Islamists and other such grave injustices the thrown under the rug by these influential figures. Have you ever seen any one of them raising their voices for the likes of Kanhaiya Lal? These celebrities who were vocal in the Rafah campaign, have failed to address these significant concerns, thereby exposing their selective moral compass.

Coordinated efforts and virtue signalling

The uniformity of the posts shared by these celebrities suggests that there might be a well-orchestrated campaign behind them. There is a possibility that some or all of them were paid to participate in the campaign. The way these celebrities prefer to engage with international narratives while neglecting the issues closer to home shows how their actions are limited mostly to orchestrated campaigns rather than advocating for all victims of injustice.

No one is stopping these celebrities from earning money or indulging in international campaigns. However, selective outrage and targeted virtue signalling are problematic and need to be addressed. Celebrities often influence millions of people on social media. Many of them form a narrative without getting into details of the incidents. In such cases, victims often get painted as the perpetrator.

7th October Hamas terrorist attack on Israel

On the 7th, Hamas launched a terrorist attack on Israel killing at least 1,300 people including foreigners. They abducted hundreds of civilians from Israel and took them to Hamas-controlled areas in the Gaza Strip. In retaliation, Israel launched a military action against Hamas to finish the terrorist organisation. Though Israel requested the locals in Gaza to move out, many of them stayed resulting in thousands of deaths in Israeli attacks. During the military action, Israel revealed how Hamas was using a well-established tunnel system under residential areas. Schools and hospitals in Gaza had tunnels under them housing Hamas terrorists. Furthermore, Hamas was exposed for using UN vehicles and aid for their benefit. The Israel-Hamas war will enter its eighth month in June 2024.

India’s stand on Israel-Palestine conflict

India considers Israel a friend and strategic partner. However, India’s stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict has always been clear. India advocates for a 2-state solution and has always stood for peace. India has repeatedly voted in favor of a 2-state solution, allowing the Palestinians their rights to a defined, viable, and independent state side by side with Israel, while advocating for the end of terrorism and civilian casualties.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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