Friday, February 20, 2009

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land -- Part 2

New World Notes News
Volume 2, Number 8 -- February 24, 2009

This week in New World Notes, #53 -- February 24 & 27:

"The best, least biased presentation we have of all the
issues involved. A must-see documentary."

-- Chalmers Johnson

"Painstakingly stripping away the myths and inaccuracies
regularly passed off as truth by the U.S. media
, this
film not only reveals the motivations and methods of
those responsible for skewing the picture
, but also
manages to present the most concise and accurate account
of the history and implications of the Israeli/
Palestinian conflict
and the role that the U.S. has played
in the continuation of that conflict
that I have seen.

"This is a very important piece of work that challenges the
viewer to think twice before accepting a version of the
world that owes more to the special interests of a
powerful elite
than to any notion of freedom of the press."
-- Donna Baillie, filmmaker

New World Notes continues its radio adaptation of this fine documentary film. Although made in 2003, the film is--unfortunately--still timely and relevant 6 years later. (They missed the "Separation Wall"--of which more, below.)

If you missed Part 1 and wish to hear it now, you'll find a link at the top of this page. For a general introduction to the documentary, page back to the blog entry for Part 1.

Not auspicious: militant Zionist Rahm Emanuel--now White House Chief of Staff

Here's a handy outline of the whole shebang. (I was hoping that shebang was an Arabic word, but no such luck.) Original section titles are in boldface.

Part 1 (3 weeks ago):

1. Introduction to the Israel-Palestine conflict (since 1968)

2. American Media: Occupied Territory. The U.S. media's pro-militant-Zionist bias--it's not fair to the Israeli people to call it a pro-Israel bias--has several causes, including the economic interests of the U.S. media owners and the business elite they serve. Another cause is the very effective public-relations machine set up by the Israeli government in the 1980s.

3. P.R. Strategy #1: Hidden Occupation. U.S. news coverage routinely refuses to acknowledge that since 1968, Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank) has been under a harsh and illegal military occupation by Israel. Events in Palestine ought to be seen in that context.

Dalia says: "I drew my house, a tree, a Palestinian flag, Israelis, jeeps, two people,
a martyr and a sun." She wrote: "The sweetest flag is the Palestine flag, we hope
the situation is fixed soon, inshallah" (note by photographer Moomin13,; photo taken June 2006).

Part 2 (this week):

1. P.R. Strategy #2: Invisible Colonization. For decades, the government of Israrel has been illegally settling its own citizens in the Occupied Territories. The "settlements" it builds--modern suburban housing developments--claim an inordinate share of Palestine's scarce water and disrupt Palestinians' lives. A huge network of Jews-only roads, connecting the setttlements, destroys farmland, truncates property, and makes life even more difficult for Palestinians. All this is almost never reported in America.

CNN instructed its reporters to cease using the term "settlements" and to use the term "neighborhoods" instead (as in, “a neighborhood near Jerusalem”). When Secretary of State, Colin Powell instructed U.S. diplomats to say “Disputed Territories” instead of “Occupied Territories.” In the West Bank, the occupying authorities (with massive funding from your tax dollars) are imprisoning whole communities of Palestinians behind a huge Berlin-wall replica--later called a "security barrier" and now a "fence" (see photo, below).

2. P.R. Strategy #3: Violence In a Vacuum. A small percentage of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories see violence against Israelis as their only option in fighting oppression. While rightly condemning violent attacks against the innocent, the U.S. media never consider the causes of such behavior. So far as we're ever told, suicide-bombers (for instance) are motivated only by inexplicable neurotic hate laced with “anti-semitism.” (In quotes because Palestinians too are semites.)

Furthermore, the occupying military's frequent gratuitous violence against innocent Palestinians--for instance, killing people in urgent need of medical care by preventing ambulances from reaching hospitals--is never reported in U.S. mass-media. When an occupying soldier shoots--or calls in a rocket-attack upon--a citizen of the territory he is occupying, the event is commonly described as Israeli "self-defense" against Palestinian "aggression." (Noam Chomsky says, "Call it what you will, it's not 'self-defense.'")

Two views of Ramallah. Top: A woman protests. The building in the background
appears to be part of an Israeli settlement. Bottom: A Palestinian neighborhood,
January 2008 (photo by Moomin13). The North-Pole-y cap makes me wonder if
the snowman celebrates Christmas. Americans often express surprise when
informed that a sizable minority of Palestinians are Christians. I don't know where
the hell they imagine Bethlehem is located. Fifty miles east of Rome, maybe.
Maybe we should encourage TV news to report the religious preferences of
casualties. "Israeli warplanes attacked Palestinian targets, killing seven Moslems
and four Christians including a nun." Imagine! One hates to think that the average
U.S. TV viewer values Christian lives more than Muslim. One hates to think of
of things that are obviously true.

3. P.R. Strategy #4: Defining Who Is Newsworthy. When an Israeli occupying soldier is killed in Palestine, U.S. news often shows his picture; tells his name, age, and home town; shows his funeral; interviews his grieving family; etc. Nothing wrong with that, in itself. Meanwhile, "Israeli warplanes attacked Palestinian targets, killing 11 people" [real U.S. TV news report, from this week's installment]. The weather up next. . . .

At least they said 11 "people"! You gotta admire the astute word-choice, though. “Palestinian targets” sounds much more appropriate than “Palestinian homes, soccer fields, and houses of worship.” And “attacked”--perhaps conjuring images of the charge of the light brigade or of freedom-loving Yanks attacking the beaches of Normandy--sounds much more heroic than “dropped high-explosive bombs upon defenseless . . . ."

Note to “anti-semitism” hunters: The device on the dictionary’s cover represents the
national flag that represents the U.N. member-state of Israel. The balding figure
is a good likeness of that nation-state's former head of government, Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert (resigned September 2008). Next time I criticize Norway's
whaling policies, somebody remind me to patiently explain that--contrary to
appearances--I don't hate either Lutheran Christianity or the Nordic people!

Coming up in Part 3 (3 weeks from now):
1. P.R. Strategy #5: Myth of U.S. Neutrality
2. P.R. Strategy #6: Myth of the Generous Offer
3. P.R. Strategy #7: Marginalized Voices
4. Is Peace Possible?

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern) . . .

Up in the sky! It’s a wall! . . . It’s a separation barrier! . . .
No! . . . it's . . . Superfence! (Poster by Eric Drooker)

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