The Palestinian Virus or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
On 16th of May 2018, the day the Palestinians refer as “Nakba (Catastrophe) Day” to commemorate their loss in their war against Israel (in 1948), at four minutes past ten o’clock in the morning, the prime minister of Israel’s security cabinet meeting was abruptly interrupted as a secretary barged in and asked for the ministers’ permission to turn on the television. Without waiting for their approval, she grabbed the remote and turned it on. A look of puzzlement spread across all the faces in the room, apart from the secretary that seemed to be in panic more than anything else. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the prime minister. “I don’t know sir, it’s on all the channels” she answered, as she switched between the different Israeli channels, all showed the same broadcast. The prime minister turn to look at the head of Mossad who sat next to him and was already on the phone. “It’s everywhere, sir… we cannot trace the source …. and we knew nothing about this… absolutely nothing”. The prime minister took a deep breath “We’re at war”.
After a couple of hours, that seemed to feel as eternity for everyone in the state of Israel, the broadcasts returned to normal. Special news reports tried to explain what just happened but no one really knew and no one had a clue. What they did know was that for the past couple of hours a presentation showed every Palestinian that died by an Israeli in the past year, in a descending order, most recent at the start. Each person had her (or his) name written in Hebrew and Arabic, her date of birth and date of death, a picture of her as a child and the title “A moment of silence in the memory of – “. Each person was displayed for exactly one minute before moving on to the next person.
But the hijacking didn’t stop at television broadcasts alone – radio stations were also hacked as well as news media websites. Even their twitter account were blocked during that period, twitting off the same information on a minute interval. All attempts to delete the hijacked accounts failed.
At 15:00 a special goverment meeting was summoned to update the prime-minister of any updates regarding this act of terror. “The truth is, prime minister, that we simply don’t know” reported the head of intelligence. The prime minister was outraged “how can this be?!”. “We don’t know, sir, every trace of the attack simply vanished”. “So far no one claimed responsibility nor made demands, sir. The Palestinians themselves are surprised as we are and mostly mumbling about a biblical-miracle” The prime minister took a deep breath and sat back down, talking to everyone in the room. “The ramification of this are horrendous. Clearly this was a warning shot by someone who will not be afraid to use this weapon again. Gentlemen, pay attention as when we’re hacked we have no way to broadcast anything. if someone decided to attack us at that moment, we’ll be blind and mute”. “Sir, the army-radio seemed to be working ok” added the chief of general staff. “This doesn’t help us to inform the public. We have to assume they can use this weapon whenever they want and for as long as they want”. “The only question we must focus on right now is how can we prepare ourselves against the next attack”, he summarized.
And indeed the second attack was soon the follow on the night of the very same day. A broadcast similar to the first was aired. only sharp-eyed were quick to notice is has been prolonged by one minute. A new name was added at the beginning of the list. A 37 years old person from East Jerusalem who failed to uphold the curfew laws that were imposed due to the recent state of war that has been declared in the morning and was shot on his way home. It was later reported by the Israeli news that he was a terrorist heading to attack in Israel but it seemed that the broadcasting didn’t differentiate between innocent Palestinians and terrorists. Once again, no responsibility was claimed nor demands were raised. But something new happened – any Israeli social media source that tried to report about the hack as it occurred was hacked as well, as if the infection was aware of anything viral. But as it became reasonable to assume that the attack will take place for every Palestinian death, the Israeli goverment has reluctantly decided to ease off the curfew laws to a reasonable limit.
After four more additional days of silenced dread, a Palestinian woman has allegedly stabbed a female Israel Defense Force soldier and was “neutralized” as the army phrase the fact she was shot dead. But this time, the Israeli’s army special unit of hackers were ready for the rogue broadcast and after two minutes they managed to scramble the communications and retrieve back the television signal. The prime minister who was updated on the phone sighed with relief, being certain that he had won this war and the Israeli people are safe from the cyber-terror threat that he personally believe originated from Iran (although even he never believed they hold such capabilities and therefore assumed they were aided by China). His victory would play a crucial card in the upcoming election, he was certain. He turned-on the television to see the news reporter gloating over Israel’s triumph in its battle against terror, only to be horrified again when the broadcast came back on a minute later. Only this time it wasn’t just a couple of hours cover the dead Palestinians from the recent year – it was a week long broadcast that covered the past ten years. And sure was it a long week.
The effects were catastrophic – the economy suffered severely as the trust of Israel’s digital capabilities was compromised; attempts to create peer-to-peer broadcasting alternatives failed as they were hacked as soon as their target-audience was too big. And the most disheartening effect was over the morale as more and more Israelis began to question about the pictures of dead children they are being forced to watch on every channel. True not all were actually children, as the right-wing extremists repeatedly pointed out, but many of them were and in the hearts of the Israelis the picture of justifiably dead terrorist was replaced with a child that might have been an innocent victim.
Attempts were made to stabilize the situation but eventually a random right-wing Jewish illegal settler got into an argument with a Palestinian which lead to physical violence and eventually to the death of the Palestinian. After about of month of quiet, the broadcast started again for a week, which forced the Israeli goverment to admit they simply cannot allow themselves any more Palestinian casualties and thus a meaningful peace process was ensued. A Palestinian terror attack on an illegal settlement was soon to follow, which lead to a similar “punishment” to the Palestinians as well, although some (Israelis mostly) might say it has been by far less affective as the Palestinians didn’t have as many broadcasting agencies as Israel have.
On the 4th of July, 2018, a month and a half after the first cyber-terror attacked that puzzled the world, a similar attack was brought down on the American people. Only it was to their horror that they victims displayed were everyone who died in the last year from an American weapon, world-wide – whether it be victims drone-attack, mass-shooting or simply gun misuse accidents. Later, this month was remembered as “The month the hijacked media forced the US to recall its war industry”.
Following suits, other countries’ national media were hijacked as well, crippling the world’s economy and toppling murderous regimes and their people learned about their atrocious ways.
And then I woke up.