You must be living under a rock if you aren’t aware of the Israel-Palestine war. Every day brings disturbing reports of the ongoing brutal attacks that claim the lives of little children, women, and men alike. Humanity has been dying a slow death these past few months and it is excruciatingly painful to watch the civilians suffer to this extent.

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On Sunday the Israeli strikes hit the southern Gaza Strip, Rafah city, resulting in the death of 35 Palestinians. A couple of days ago, Israeli occupation forces told Palestinians in Rafah to move to an area Israel calls “Block 2371,” designating it a “safe area.” 1.7 million Palestinians moved there to reside in overcrowded buildings and makeshift displacement tents with the hope of escaping Israel’s relentless bombardment on Rafah.

Its strike set the overcrowded tent city ablaze resulting in major social media outrage. The United Nations‘ top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ordered Israel to “immediately halt its military offensive” in the Gaza city. Yet Israel bombed Block 2371 again over 60 times in just 48 hours, killing at least 45 Palestinians and injuring numerous others on Tuesday.

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What’s alarming is that the civilian casualty number is bound to grow in the coming hours and days. Israel labels every massacre it commits as a “tragic mishap” but seems to have zero interest in obeying international law or the laws of war. Israeli officials said that Rafah was the last place in Gaza with a powerful Hamas presence and they “don’t intend to end the war before every goal has been achieved.

Unless it is forced to stop carrying out its agenda against wiping out the Palestinian population, it will continue unabated. This is not a war, it’s a genocide where civilians pay the price every day.

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What Is Blockout 2024?

While this war has enraged those who choose to be aware of its tragic atrocities, the majority of the world is still oblivious or prefers being silent. Especially celebrities and influential personalities who have a voice. Ever since the Met Gala took place this month, the masses have been enraged which led to the Blockout 2024 Movement.

Blockout 2024 is an online movement that wants people to stop following/block celebs and other influential people on social media sites like Instagram and TikTok for not speaking up about the hellish situation in Gaza. They were pissed over the celebrities and influencers’ presence at the expensive Met Gala but were silent when it came to Gaza. Events like Haley Kalil (Haylee Baylee) lip-syncing “Let them eat cake” outside the Met Gala in her TikTok video led to increasing rage amongst followers.

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This movement has resulted in mass blocking and unfollowing celebrities and creators, resulting in a sudden drop in views. There is a whole list of names that has been curated basis those who have remained silent on this genocide. Like Blockout 2024, other types of consumer action, like boycotts against brands like Zara, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Airbnb, Amazon, and many more.

There is a Blockout website too which is a complete list of all celebrities, and businesses that support the genocide in Gaza together with their net change in subscribers over the past 7 days. “Let’s fight them back. Block them, tell your friends about what’s happening and share this website on your social media. Let’s make a change together, together we are strong,” says the site. It includes names like Beyoncé, Hailey Bieber, James Charles, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Ed Sheeran, amongst many others.

“All Eyes On Rafah”

You must have noticed that since yesterday social media has been flooded with “All Eyes On Rafah” stories. What is it actually about? The AI image depicts tents in the Block 2371 camp where dead bodies of civilians spell out “All Eyes On Rafah.” The aim of the post is to draw attention to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza. The story has received over 43 million shares since yesterday.

It serves as a call to action from activists and humanitarian groups. A number of celebrities in India like Varun Dhawan, Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhat, Swara Bhaskar, Richa Chadha, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Tripti Dimri, and more posted the story. So did creators and influencers like Prajakta Koli, Yashaswini Dayama, Ankush Bahuguna, Uorfi, and Dolly Singh, amongst others.

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The war-torn enclave is suffering from a humanitarian catastrophe nearly seven months after Israel launched a devastating offensive in response to the October 7 Hamas-led attacks that killed over 1,200 people in Israel. Social media movements like Blockout 2024 and “All Eyes On Rafah” highlight the collective online advocacy effort by Palestinian supporters. Let’s hope our voices reach the right people.

Why Is The Say Of Celebrities Important?

In this whole scenario of raising awareness of the repercussions of the war, the main debate that has erupted is of celebrities keeping mum on this issue. People demand public personalities to have political opinions and speak up or they get cancelled. The invasion of Gaza has become a kind of moral litmus test.

Some, like Joaquin Phoenix, Cate Blanchett, Quinta Brunson and more, have all pleaded to Joe Biden for an immediate ceasefire to be put in place. The stakes for public figures who are pro-Palestinian are high; they lose out on projects and deals just for having a valid moral opinion. Some might argue that it’s weird to expect celebrities to make political statements, but it’s not unusual for celebrities to take up a cause. Whether it’s #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, or Ukraine, they have spoken up before.

Their selective advocacy and silence is what doesn’t sit right with their audiences. Especially when they have the platform, the voice, and the ability to draw attention to the issue, given their following stands in millions. “We’re looking through the lens of celebrity and popular culture so we can understand a situation like genocide, which fundamentally, we don’t understand,” says writer Haja Marie Kanu.

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It probably isn’t healthy to revere these celebs or to give their words so much weight. But the fact still exists that their voices hold weight to not just their fans but also the political figures of the country. How do you feel about the Blockout 2024 and “All Eyes On Rafah” social media movements? Do you support it or find it useless? I believe in today’s day and age, you can’t not have an opinion regarding world issues like this. So, where do you stand?