A mourner reacts near the bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes during their funeral, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 31, 2023. Image Credit: Reuters

As the conflict in Gaza persists, the progression of time is marked by an unrelenting storm of bombings that continues to claim more victims.

Observers keenly note a growing level of consciousness and counter-consciousness, significantly influencing the discourse around the Palestinian cause.

This shifting consciousness serves as a notable indication of a gradual transition in the perceptions held by individuals, institutions, and media outlets in the Western world.

Previously characterised by staunch support for the Israeli position with an unwavering approach that allowed for little alternative opinion, there is now a discernible shift towards a more reasoned evaluation of the Palestinian cause.

A counter-awareness

The prolonged conflict is increasingly compelling Western political entities to consider the roots of the conflict more rationally, should it persist. Concurrently, a counter-awareness, advanced by certain Arab factions, diverts attention towards peripheral issues that risk undermining the central cause itself.

The events of Oct. 7 were a catalyst, triggering a ripple effect among Western politicians who, in a show of solidarity, flocked to Israel to offer their support.

The immediate perception, bolstered by the fact that Israeli society is partially Western, with a number of Israeli soldiers and civilians holding dual nationalities, initially positioned Israel as the oppressed and the opposing party as the oppressor.

However, over time, as news continued to circulate, shedding light on vengeful measures taken by Israel against unarmed civilians — including depriving them of vital resources such as water, electricity, food, medicine, and the means of communication — a reassessment ensued.

This evolving situation prompted the Western media, civil groups, and some politicians to re-evaluate their initial stances, leading to a deepened discussion on the core reason behind the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the Israeli occupation.

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Impartial media channels

This re-evaluation coincided with UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ condemnation of the Oct. 7 events, highlighting the core problem as the occupation and the deteriorating humanitarian conditions experienced by the majority of Palestinians under occupation. Guterres’ stance drew severe backlash from Israel, with demands made for his resignation.

The landscape within the Western sphere seems to have undergone a substantial change due to the accessibility of accurate information on the background of the Palestinian cause through unbiased media. This resurgence of consciousness appears to stem from Israel’s perceived disregard for universal human values. The Western public has transformed as they gained insights into the underlying conflict through impartial media channels.

Conversely, there is a growing false consciousness within the Arab community, diverting attention to peripheral matters that do not serve the central cause.

For instance, a campaign against the Egyptian President following his implication about the relocation of Palestinians from Gaza to the Negev sparked a furore. These reactions, while symbolic, overlook the considerable sacrifices the Egyptian people have made for the Palestinian cause over the decades.

Palestinians work among debris of buildings that were targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. Image Credit: AP

Characterised by uncertainty

Moreover, many individuals have condemned Hamas and its methods, attributing the massive destruction in Gaza to this particular faction. However, it is essential to refocus on the entire Palestinian issue, emphasising that the ongoing conflict transcends the activities of Hamas or any other faction.

Explicit counter-consciousness from certain Palestinians and Arabs has unfortunately redirected anger towards other Arabs, particularly those from the Gulf region, leading to a misplaced focus on the cause. Expatriate Gulf citizens, using questionable media platforms, emotionally manipulate the narrative and contribute to a negative portrayal of the Palestinian cause.

Furthermore, regional powers intervene in the conflict, not with a genuine interest in justice but to further their own agendas.

For example, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister, suggested at a United Nations session that Tehran could broker a deal for the exchange of prisoners between Hamas and Israel. This opportunistic approach is not unique to Iran; other countries have also become entangled in the situation, using the Palestinian cause as a pawn for their own interests.

The current context is characterised by significant uncertainty, with all parties attempting to capitalise on the Palestinian cause for their personal gain, disregarding the plight of the Palestinian victims — men, women, and children.

Their just cause is being overshadowed by a misleading narrative and false consciousness, perpetuating a cycle of suffering and deprivation in the region.

Mohammad Alrumaihi is a thinker, author and Professor of Political Sociology at Kuwait University