Israel is Losing The Propaganda War
If there is one thing that has become abundantly clear over the course of 54 years of occupation, war crimes and apartheid in the Palestinian territories it is that from the perspective of mainstream media and the liberal class, there are what Noam Chomsky describes as ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ victims. This is reflected not just in the actual coverage of the victims of Israeli aggression but also in the depth and quality of the coverage.
So, for example, there may be a 10-second clip on the devastation due to aerial bombardment in Gaza, but no interviews with the families of victims. Then an entire segment will be dedicated to the question of how Israeli’s are coping with having to live in constant fear of a Hamas rocket landing on them. Great effort is put into humanizing Israeli citizens in order to elicit a sense of empathy for their terrible plight.
Unworthy victims—Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Yemeni’s, South Africans, black people, indigenous peoples, Mexican immigrants—remain nameless, faceless ‘unpersons’. Worthy victims—Israeli’s, police, those who died on 9-11, American prisoners of war, are prominently identified as heroic figures whose death can only be described as tragic and unnecessary.
Of course, none of this should be surprising. We are, after all, dealing with empires, and self-proclaimed exceptional and indispensable political states who keep telling us that they have a 'right to defend themselves’,. With the help of mainstream press stenographers, they have been able to project a self-image of moral superiority and intrinsic goodness—the great defenders of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and justice the world over.
The problem is that their veneer of legitimacy has been wearing away over the last 20 years, revealing a racist, colonialist, grasping, greedy and insatiable military, industrial, carceral, surveillance complex that is the furthest thing from intrinsic goodness one could possibly imagine. Reporters and editors are finally beginning to push back. The propaganda that Israel has always acted righteously or ethically was demolished last Friday (May 28/22) when the New York Times did the unthinkable and published on its front page pictures and names of Palestinian children killed by Israel--overturning a long history of designating those considered unworthy into worthy victims.
The very idea of humanizing Palestinians by putting a face and a name to them was so shocking and atypical to rabid Jewish Lobby groups like the ADL (Anti-defamation League) that enraged Director Abraham Foxman declared:
“I am canceling my subscription to NYTimes. I grew up in America on the NYT - I delivered the NYT to my classmates - I learned civics - democracy and all the news ‘fit to print’ for 65 years but no more. Today’s blood libel of Israel and the Jewish people on the front page is enough.”
For those who are unfamiliar with the history of the term 'Blood Libel', it refers to the antisemitic superstition that Jews murdered Christian children in order to use their blood for ritual purposes. It appears then that the Director of the ADL thinks that showing actual child victims of Israeli war crimes is itself an example of barbaric antisemitism analogous to a 'blood libel'.
It is becoming more obvious every day that extremist Israel and its fanatical defenders are losing the propaganda war. The Israeli defense forces specifically targeted over 20 Palestinian media outlets and is currently holding 13 journalists in detention--all in an effort to suppress any news that might confirm the reality of Israeli war crimes.
It isn't working--after years of censoring and ignoring the brutal and appalling treatment of Palestinian people by Israel, politicians, and even mainstream news organizations like the New York Times around the world are using words like apartheid, occupation, colonialism, and racism to describe the Israeli state. (The disgusting exception is the CBC (see https://theintercept.com/.../israel-palestine-canadian.../)
That is why groups like Powell River Peace for Palestine are so important: they expose injustice, raise awareness, and press governments and media to finally end the conspiracy of silence around what is happening in Palestine, stop selling weapons to Israel and do everything possible to finally bring down a cruel, colonialist, racist, apartheid system.