Thursday, July 24, 2014

How to end the genocide

With each new atrocity, Israel loses the ability to control the media war. Too many people are hearing too much truth. Here's an example from Haaretz:
“The only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped.” This assertion was made by Middle East scholar Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University about three weeks ago on an Israel Radio program.
Israelis have become so insular that they've lost sight of the impact that such words have on the outside world.

Even the Washington Post had to publish a piece denouncing a recent Wall Street Journal editorial which denounced all residents of Gaza as subhumans deserving of death.

The Lancet, not normally a political journal, has published the following:
On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.

We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called "defensive aggression". In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.

We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.
Even though a (shrinking) majority of Americans still support Israel, that nation's blinkered defenders are losing the propaganda wars.

 Salon outlines the official Israeli guidebook on how to game the media. What you're about to read will seem very familiar:
This framework, developed in 2009, can be found in The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary. The Orwellian manual provides a detailed outline on how to “communicate effectively in support of Israel.”

One of its first instructions is that pro-Israeli propagandists need to show empathy. The manual insists that they should “show empathy for BOTH sides” (caps in original) as a way of gaining credibility and trust. To make sure that the point is understood, the manual repeats again (in bold, and underlined this time) the instruction “use Empathy”—the suggestion being that empathy is an important tool to be used in the propaganda war.

When innocent Palestinian children and women are killed, the first response should be to show empathy; the next is to reframe the issue stating that Israel is not to blame and that it is only defending itself and further that it only wants peace. Even when it is raining death and destruction on Palestinians, the manual is clear: “Remind people—again and again—that Israel wants peace.”
I'm reminded of a scene toward the end of Mars Attacks! Remember? The Martians would broadcast the words "We are friends!" even as they tried to atomize all the inhabitants of Las Vegas.

The pro-forma phrase "Israel wants peace" now evokes a similar response. Nobody can take it seriously.

Salon argues that the Ayman Moyheldin case has helped to break down the engines of propaganda:
Following Glenn Greenwald’s article on this at the Intercept, large numbers of people, primarily through social media, held NBC’s feet to the fire. In contrast to standard patterns where the only pressure comes from well-funded pro-Israeli groups, this time ordinary people who were reeling from the Palestinian death toll organized their dissent.

The result was that Moyheldin was reinstated.
The dynamic at work is as follows: First, independent media have played a crucial role in countering Israeli propaganda and offering alternative accounts. Second, social media have provided a forum from which independent journalism, as well as first-hand reports from Palestinian people in Gaza, are circulated. Third, in these spaces Israel is losing the propaganda war, despite its vast resources of misinformation experts. Fourth, grassroots activists using social media have been able to bring pressure to bear on the establishment media. Fifth, this climate has enabled establishment journalists on the ground to be more forthcoming about the horrors of what is happening in Gaza.
Translation: Blogs like the one you are reading have an impact.

Of course, this particular blog plays a vanishingly tiny role. And that's as it should be: We need to see hundreds -- thousands -- of little-known writers take a bold stand against Israeli racism and tyranny. We need to say the things that mainstream writers have been taught never to say, never to think.

Any one person who speaks up against Israeli racism can be targeted and smeared. But smears don't work against an army.

We need more people who are brave enough to decry Israel's institutional racism and its policies of genocide. We need people who are willing to tell the truth about Gaza -- that it is an open-air concentration camp, designed to make life unendurable for the rightful inhabitants of the land.

We need to admit out loud a simple fact which we all know to be true: The Jews who stole the land of Israel want the indigenous population to leave or die.

The Israelis who count on America's good graces tend to see matters in religious terms. They think: As long as we have support from John Hagee and his merry band of fundamentalist nutcases, what's to worry about? America is in the bag. What many Israelis don't understand is that an increasing number of Americans have had it up to here with the Christian right. Those freaks don't even believe in evolution. Why should normal people care about anything they say?

As the fundamentalists lose influence over the greater American dialogue, Israel's apologists will start to lost the propaganda wars. More and more people will find the courage to state the obvious: We need fundamental changes in the Middle East.

Israel, as presently constituted, must end.

From the start, Israel was a state founded on the racist principle of Jewish supremacy. That Israel must die.

The two-state solution may have been a useful idea at one time, but the dream was killed by religious zealots and their vision of Greater Israel. Now, there is only the one-state solution: All Palestinians must be granted full voting rights, full freedoms -- and a full right of return.

Many Palestinian refugees have gone to Syria, where they are now refugees twice over. Before its civil war broke out, Syria was the second biggest refugee host; now it is the second largest creator of refugees. These members of the Palestinian diaspora must be allowed to return to their ancient homeland.

If this expanded right of return means an end to the Jewish rule -- good.  Decades of Jewish supremacist ideology has created a form of fascism within Israel -- within the Israeli heart.

Fascism has no rights.

The fascist states of of Germany, of Italy, and of the Confederacy deservedly lost their sovereignty when those evil governments were destroyed by their moral betters.

I long for the day when the civilized world stands up to Israel and says: "Look, we're not arguing with you any longer. We are telling you. This is how it is going to be. For an indeterminate period of time, you will be ruled directly by us, just as Germany was directly ruled by outsiders. We will control the educational system and the media. Eventually, all of the fascism and racism will have been wrung out of your system. When that day comes, you and the Palestinians will be granted self-rule, and you will live together under a truly democratic government. You may not have any voice in how you are governed until you give up your delusions of superiority."

That's what we said to the Germans; that's what we said to the Italians. That's what we must say to the fascists of Israel.

That day can and will come. To make it come sooner, the writers working within the small and unfettered regions of the internet must exercise greater influence over the mainstream media.

That process has already started.

For those you still under the delusion that Hamas initiated the present attacks, here are two counterarguments: This piece tells the all-important, yet seldom-heard, story of what took place before the rockets were fired. And Norman Finkelstein counters the legal arguments we've heard, as well as a horrendously short-sided report by Human Rights Watch.
It was a terrible idea to begin with. Creating a cauldron of pain and hatred guaranteed to foment strife and destabilize the Mideast for generations, does not account for the holocaust. It is answering one crime with another. It's only foreseeable future is mass murder.

The public relations discussion leaves out the strategy of distraction. Any account of the atrocities against Palestinians is met with comparisons to other times and places... "it's just like the European conquest of the Americas, who are you to complain?" ... or "there are struggles constantly going on all over the world, why should you single out Israel?" Always make reference to "the other" to take the focus off the infection from this thorn in the side of humanity which will be the end of us all if it is not dealt with.
Beautifully said Joe. I gave up blogging a while ago as you well know but I have never stopped reading your writings! I only wish your "small" voice had a greater audience.

RD, I don't need a larger audience. All I ever wanted was to be one of many making the same plea for peace and justice.

So now that you're here -- where ARE you? Where did you go?

Amen Joe. You have given a voice to the unspeakable truth. It was more than a gust of fresh air, and may it turn into a hurricane!
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