LONDON: A quick search of Palestine on Google displays headlines and images of protests, war, human rights violations and the latest Israeli attacks against Palestinians. A similar search on social media tells a different tale.
Away from the destruction, forced displacement and politics lies a particular segment of society: The elites of Palestine. Their stylish clothes and lavish cars paint an almost unrecognizable image of a country scarred by years of conflict.
Such images draw a negative reaction from many social media users, who say that this is the side of Palestine the media does not want to portray. Some comments were accompanied by the hashtag Palestine is not my cause or #فلسيطن_ليست_قضيتي
The tweet reads: “Honestly I was expecting to see wars, famine and persecution but I saw these beautiful pictures, good cars, stylish clothes and safe cities. I am happy for you Palestine #فلسيطن_ليست_قضيتي”
Another response to the tweet said: “The Palestinian is currently living a better life than the Iraq, Syrian or Lebanese whose countries were invaded under the pretext of liberating Quds, or the Quds road.”
Many disagreed, jumping to Palestine’s defence and reminding everyone that not too long ago Palestine was being bombed and raided by the Israeli forces.
A similar phenomenon is mirrored by many Lebanese influencers whose Instagram accounts showcase luxury, beauty, shopping and travel, all the while the country is battling its worst economic and political crises.
It is not uncommon for these Lebanese elites to share social media posts showing themselves wearing expensive clothes, partying away in luxurious venues and tucking into sumptuous meals. Looking at their posts, one can almost forget that they are in Lebanon — the same Lebanon that has been going through successive crises for the past two years.
We cannot ignore the presence of socialites in society, especially if their pictures are splattered all over social media, but we can wonder which reality their pictures depict.