The Media Line led over twenty years ago in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Look out for exciting new additions as we enter 2022.

We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.
The Media Line

Non-profit news needs public support.
Please support us with your generous contributions:
M16 T-Shirts Popular Among Palestinians, Israeli Arabs  
Detail of a T-shirt sold in Nablus in the West Bank. (Facebook)

M16 T-Shirts Popular Among Palestinians, Israeli Arabs  

The trendy item can incite terrorism and violence, expert says

T-shirts emblazoned with an M16 rifle have become a trend among Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. The T-shirts are being printed at a clothing store in the Palestinian city of Nablus in the West Bank.

The trendy T-shirt has sparked opposition by many on social media. One of them is Israel lawmaker Etty Hava Atia of the opposition Likud party. Atia claims that the images on the shirts incite terrorism and violence, and says she plans to enact a law against wearing clothing with such symbols.

“After we found the next government, we will enact the anti-terrorism law: ‘A person shall not wear in public an item of clothing with a painting or photograph that encourages or incites terrorism, murder, killing, violence or armed struggle.’ There will be a year in prison,” she tweeted.

It is not just shirts anymore. We have seen it expanding to many other objects, such as shoes.

Atia told The Media Line that, for now, she is not sure that such a law can be proposed. It is important to first run the idea through a legal advisor to see how it can be legislated since free speech is a very complex area and it is hard to draw a clear line between what does and doesn’t qualify as incitement.

However, Atia says she plans to fight this clothing phenomenon even if a law against it is not possible.

“We intend to act with all the parliamentary tools against this phenomenon. Either through legislation or through the Ministry of Public Security,” she said.

(Facebook)

She explains that, if legislation is not successful, she will try to turn the issue over to the Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the Israel Police.

“We will talk with the Minister of Public Security to see what the police is going to do with that issue because it is expanding, it is not just shirts anymore. We have seen it expanding to many other objects, such as shoes,” she added.

The lawmaker says that when speaking about a case “where people intentionally go around in times of a terror wave, with these T-shirts – which we know are fabricated in Nablus – to motivate youngsters to take part in an armed struggle, we want to stop that.”

The Nablus Trading Corporation produces clothing items with an M16 printed on them. The store advertises T-shirts and pants for adults and kids.

A store representative told The Media Line that “it’s just a print, nothing else,” but refused to answer other questions.

Just being upset may not be enough to trigger violence, but being upset in a room where there is a plastic gun on the table or a sword hanging from the wall may be all it takes to elicit a violent reaction

Professor Gilad Hirschberger, an experimental social and political psychologist who teaches at The Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology at Reichman University in Herzliya, Israel, told The Media Line that “a T-shirt with a picture of a weapon might encourage violence.”

He explained that dual-process theories that consider both explicit thinking and implicit processes suggest that cues depicting violence could trigger violent reactions for at least two reasons.

The first is straightforward, he said. “If in the context of an intergroup conflict members of one group meet with members of the other group while wearing a representation of violence (like a weapon) it could signal a threat and serve to intimidate the other group in a manner that is explicit enough but does not break any law,” he explained.

A second reason, Hirschberger says, is that research shows that aggression can be triggered by a combination of negative affect and a subtle cue of violence in the environment.

“In other words, just being upset may not be enough to trigger violence, but being upset in a room where there is a plastic gun on the table or a sword hanging from the wall may be all it takes to elicit a violent reaction,” he said.

 

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today.
Thank you!

We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics