Online Game Calls Attention to Blocked Movements in Gaza

Gisha, an Israeli not-for-profit organization with a goal of protecting the freedom Palestinians to move freely around Gaza and the West Bank, has created an online game designed to call attention to the impact restrictions of movement are having on commerce and families in the area.

SafePassage offers three different scenarios to play:  a Gaza businessman looking to sell his wares in the West Bank; a young Gaza woman who wants to study in the West Bank or the married father of a seven-year old who used to live in the West bank, but was moved to Gaza by Israeli authorities and forced to leave his family behind.

As the game unfolds, real documents pop up to illustrate the case against your player. In the case of the married father, upon being removed to Gaza, a document appears which states (PDF) that “Family ties are not considered a humanitarian reason which justifies the unification of families,” which is taken from Article 3 of the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities.

Gisha’s Director Sari Bashi, said about the game in a MediaLine piece:

We chose animation to encourage people to put themselves in the shoes of ordinary Palestinians, to help viewers understand how the restrictions affect people they can identify with. A cartoon character can help people overcome stereotypes and see the humanity in the real people.

Once the game ends, never happily we might add, players are urged to take action in the form of a letter, which expresses "concern over the ongoing violation of the rights of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip." Activists are urged to send the letter to their own elected representative, no matter what country they reside in.

Players are also encouraged to explore read about the real people being affected by the movement restrictions.

The game’s animator, Gilda Baker, described overcoming one challenge, how to make military documents accessible to the public, “Our solution was to integrate them into the personal stories of real people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, to help people understand the policy."

Dr Noam Lemelstrich-Latar, Director of Israel’s Asper Institute for New Media Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, called the game “very clever,” adding, “Israel is really lagging in its online cyber advocacy and I don’t know of a good game that has come out of the Israeli government.”

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  1. 0
    Monte says:

     If i recall, before israel there was thousands of jews living in palestine, along with christians and muslims. Things only turned problematic when they decided to turn most of palestine into a jewish state; THAT’s what seemed to set off the muslims. Considering the land is sacred to them aswell, claiming it as land for the jews is pretty bad; not to mention i’d imagine thousands of arabs had to be relocated in the process.

    There is a reason why many of those radical muslims use the term "Zionist" instead of "jew"; it’s because they don’t have an issue with the jewish faith, only the establishment of a jewish state, israel… I recall hearing that there are plenty of jewish communities within muslim countries; really so long as they don’t support israel (and not all jews support israel), then the muslims have no quarrel with them. granted, much like how some americans treat all muslims like terrorists, decades of dealing with israel is bound to breed some anti-semitism in muslims towards jews (guilt by association)

    And also, as things go on, i grow more skeptical about the claims of wanting to use nuclear weapons against israel… first, it’s been made very clear that nuclear weapons are against the religion. considering how seriously religion is taken there, to try and change the rules later would probably earn them a hell of a lot attack from the clerics and general population for manipulating and lying about the religion… Second, the muslims view that land as sacred, that makes me doubt that they would go so far to damage and scar it with nuclear arms… third, israel is a small country, the fallout radiation from a nuclear weapon could very easily spread to the neighboring arab countries. 

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

     Well, that is kinda how they got elected.

    You had a government that was advocating peace and was making little progress.  Both groups were still firing rockets into civilian areas, people were still being killed on both sides, and settlements were still expanding.  From the perspective of the people in Gaza, peace talks felt a lot like ‘stop fighting so we can defeat you once and for all, and then maybe we will give you some land back and will stop assasianting people if we feel like it.’… which was frustrating.

    It is often said that terrorists only understand force, but in this case, it is a bidirectional problem.

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    It’s kind of hard to say that "peaceful measures fail" when the elected officials had vocally supported anti-Israeli terrorist activity.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    By "shoe-horned in there," you mean "lived there for almost a thousand years and were kicked out by the same radical Muslims that are making nuclear weapons with the intent of destroying Israel for no other reason than they’re Jews," right?

    Or do you not know a damned thing about Jewish history?

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  5. 0
    ShayGuy says:

    ‘Least things are getting better in the West Bank.


    Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

  6. 0
    Monte says:

     Sad but true. People believe they deserve what they get because of hamas but don’t really seem to try and understand the situation… like try to ask WHY they would support a group like hamas… well i don’t know for sure, but i’d imagine that when a country like israel starts pulling shit that the locals hate like building settlements, they tend to get pissed off… the initial palestinian elected officials try to stop israel peacefully, but after peaceful measures fails, the people grow desperate and become more welcoming to parties that will use more violent methods(which they fail to realize usually make things worse) … not to mention that hamas was first elected into power with less than 50% support (the democracy is a non-two party system), if i recall correctly; so you can’t even say that most of the palestinians supporting using such methods

  7. 0
    Neeneko says:

     Would be nice if that were true, but sadly I see people commenting that the Palestinian civilian population should be removed perminatly or simply killed off.  Many feel they simply do not have the right to exist as a people or nation. 

  8. 0
    ShayGuy says:

    The one thing that pretty much everyone can agree on about this whole mess is that the Palestinian public is and has been getting royally screwed over.


    Lord, grant me the strength to finish what I

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