How to deal with terror images from Israel


Christian Life

Swanhild Brenneke, PRO

Comrades of French-Israeli soldier Eli Valentin Ghenassia, who was killed in combat at Kibbutz Beeri during an infiltration by Hamas militans, mourn during his funeral. Photo AFP, Ronaldo Schemidt

Deeply disturbing images of Hamas terror in Israel are floating around on the Internet. They are easily accessible. How do users deal with this?

Bloodied adults and children. Blood-soaked baby cots. People who are brutally being abused by Hamas. Loading platforms with corpses or severely injured people. The cruellest images of Hamas terror in Israel are going around the world. Especially on social media, they can often be found unfiltered.

How many of the horror pictures should one look at? Isn't it good to be as informed as possible? And actually, one can hardly look away when one encounters such images - similar to the effect of horror films. Informing oneself is one thing; exposing oneself to images that go beyond the purely informational level and are simply shocking is something else.

Of course, it is important to inform yourself about the current situation in Israel. Serious media are particularly well suited for this because they usually choose carefully what they want to expose their audience to. It is also helpful not to follow just one newspaper or news medium. Of course, this applies in general to reporting on current world events. If you inform yourself broadly, you also broaden your own horizons - as long as they are reliable sources.


Some news-related social media channels also prepare the information well without spreading unnecessary horror images. Many media and also some individual accounts provide good, newsworthy content on social media.

Bodies of Hamas militants are covered in plastic sheets as they lie on the ground in Be'eri. Photo EPA, Martin Divisek

Nevertheless, caution is advised with social media. Sites that only disseminate horrific images without any explanations or background information are quite likely to be dubious. On the platform "X", formerly Twitter, there are particularly many of them because the network is now less regulated. It is easy to come across horrific images shared there by Hamas itself.

In general, if images, alleged information or claims cannot be verified, for example, if they cannot be found on any other reputable or established news site or platform, then the truth content is probably rather low, and it is propaganda or similar. At the very least, they must then be considered "unconfirmed" - it is the task of journalists to check this.


Back to the pictures: Of course, journalists have to show what is happening. The media have the task of fulfilling the public's interest in information. It must be clear, for example, that Hamas terrorists are brutal. But when you show dying or suffering people, it sometimes goes beyond the public interest. Then, people become objects of sensationalism.

Good advice can also be found in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 10:23: "All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up."


For Christians, in particular, it is important to deal responsibly with the opportunities offered by social media and the like. Through these media, it is possible to consume information and images completely unfiltered. In the past, before social media existed, journalists and media companies were the filters through which all material passed. Thanks to Instagram, TikTok, X and the like, this boundary often falls away nowadays.

That can have advantages, but it also means that users themselves have to take much more responsibility for their own consumption behaviour.

It is helpful to ask oneself in individual cases: What does it do to me when I see images like the horror scenarios mentioned? Do I get any added value from it? Can I process it at all? Does it do me any good? One person can take more, the other less. Images that simply spread horror are rarely useful. You don't have to look at everything.

This article was translated by CNE.news and published by PRO on October 11, 2023



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