Rebecca Stein on War in the Smartphone Age

Rebecca Stein headshot and Screen Shots cover

After Israeli police entered Jerusalem’s Aqsa Mosque in early May, following rising tensions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, news consumers around the globe watched in real time as conflict erupted in the region once again, and social media followed.

Across Twitter, Tik Tok and other platforms, viewers shared videos of Israeli police firing rubber bullets and Palestinian protestors throwing rocks, as well as images of Palestinian rockets and Israeli airstrikes. The conflict unfolding on the ground was paralleled with this online media war, fueled by the proliferation of images captured in the midst of battle and occupation.

Understanding the impact — and limitations — of those images is essential, says Rebecca Stein, associate professor of cultural anthropology and author of the new book "Screen Shots:State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine."

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