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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Israel, Gaza, and the mass manufacturing of myths for mass media | Israel-Palestine battle

In the course of the latest “March for Israel” in Washington, DC, Al Jazeera interviewed a assured younger man from Connecticut in regards to the conflict in Gaza. Draped in an Israeli flag, Charlie appeared able to reply any query.

He made it clear from the outset that the continuing conflict will not be “Hamas vs Israel”, however “Hamas vs the entire world”. He stated he regrets youngsters’s deaths and prays for harmless lives misplaced. However he had little doubt about who’s liable for the demise of civilians in Gaza. Whereas Israel does the whole lot to keep away from civilian casualties, he stated, Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists bomb their very own hospitals, use civilians as human shields, and even place youngsters subsequent to rocket launchers. Iran and its proxies are the supply of all evil in Palestine and the area, he added.

Charlie has clearly executed his homework. He has studied the Israel Mission’s “World Language Dictionary [PDF]”, memorised its strains, and repeated them verbatim, not lacking a beat. The playbook was created in 2009 after Israel’s first conflict on the besieged Gaza Strip, to information Israel’s supporters on how finest to talk to the media in regards to the battle. Impressed by Israel’s main spin medical doctors, corresponding to Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s directed at younger activists, in addition to politicians, pundits, journalists and extra. It tells its readers what to say, and what to not say, alerting them to phrases that ought to be used and others that mustn’t.

Considered one of my favorite tidbits within the playbook, as I wrote again in 2014, goes like this: “Keep away from speaking about borders when it comes to pre- or post-1967, as a result of it solely serves to remind Individuals of Israel’s navy historical past. Notably on the left, this does you hurt.” And when civilian casualties mount throughout wartime in Gaza, the playbook recommends speaking empathetically alongside these strains of “All human life is valuable”, however emphasising that “it’s a tragedy that Iran-backed Hamas shoots rockets at our civilians whereas hiding in their very own” and that this “causes tragic deaths on each side”.

Sounds acquainted?

Like Charlie, I’ve additionally studied the spin playbook, albeit for various causes. The playbook helps me detect extra simply the spin in writings, speeches, and interviews.

Take the interview that Republican US presidential candidate Chris Christie gave to CNN the day after the “March for Israel”. He repeated the identical soundbites that Charlie invoked the day earlier than, albeit with much less tact. Having had forgotten to say “evil Iran” in his solutions, he clumsily rushed to insert it earlier than the top of the interview, as if he was being examined.

Like Charlie and Chris, Joe additionally loves the playbook. President Biden and his minions within the US administration have eagerly embraced its suggestion to focus on Israel’s “proper, certainly obligation, to defend itself” in opposition to the assaults of a “terrorist” organisation at each alternative. Since October 7, america president has repeatedly deflected criticism of US complicity within the killing of hundreds of Palestinian youngsters, by accusing Hamas of, you guessed it,  “utilizing civilians as human shields”, and even repeating false Israeli claims about Hamas “slicing infants’ heads off” and “burning ladies and youngsters alive”.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken went additional, insisting that US officers stand behind Israel‘s declare that Hamas is utilizing civilian amenities corresponding to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza as “command facilities”, and including that “What we all know throughout the board is that Hamas embeds itself in civilian infrastructure – in and beneath residence buildings, in and beneath hospitals, in and beneath colleges – and it makes use of folks as human shields”, and therefore, incriminating tens of hundreds of medical doctors, nurses, academics and others in conflict crimes.  All of which has to this point proved to be not more than propaganda utilized by Israel to justify its bombings of hospitals and colleges.

On Saturday, in an opinion article on the US imaginative and prescient for post-conflict Gaza revealed within the Washington Put up, Biden wrote to the spirit and textual content of the playbook. The president omitted any point out of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the siege of Gaza, or any single a part of the tortured historical past of Palestine in favour of an increasing number of of the empty outdated rhetoric about “shared future” and “two states” that obfuscates the truth on the bottom, and serves to justify the unraveling collective punishment and genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Thoughts you, the playbook actively encourages its readers to speak in favour of the “two state answer”, and repeat the mantra “two houses for 2 peoples”, as a result of, “given the overwhelming American help for a two-state answer, it is going to make help a lot simpler and sooner should you set the tone for all discussions by articulating Israel’s shared imaginative and prescient for the last word aim of two peoples, residing facet by facet in a long-lasting and safe peace”. However then once more, and right here comes the punchline: “Within the identify of gaining credibility for why you may later say that ‘a two-state answer isn’t achievable in a single day’, you must begin with language [that signals] how your objectives align with the general public’s”.

President Biden will not be the one world chief who seems to be following Israel’s 2009 playbook to a T. Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has additionally been very cautious to not sway removed from the rules issued by Israel’s spin medical doctors. Requested by an opposition MP whether or not he would urge Israel to finish its “collective punishment” of civilians in Gaza, Sunak responded:

“I truly imagine that we should always help Israel’s proper to defend itself and to go after Hamas and recognising that they [Israel] face a vicious enemy that embeds itself behind civilians.”

For his half, United Nations Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres didn’t toe the road as blindly because the US president and British PM, and was slammed for it. After condemning Hamas’s October 7 assault on southern Israel, he ventured to remind the UN Safety Council attendees that, “You will need to additionally recognise the assaults by Hamas didn’t occur in a vacuum. The Palestinian folks have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Oh! The nerve, the audacity! How dare the UNSG state the plain; “in what world” does he reside? He should “resign”, or so the Israeli diplomats shot again, in accordance with the Israeli playbook, which clearly states, “the first Palestinian public relations aim is to reveal that the so-called ‘hopelessness of the oppressed Palestinians’ is what causes them to exit and kill youngsters. This should be challenged instantly, aggressively, and straight.”

Historical past has no place in right now’s political spin relating to Palestinians. Their tortured previous – and current – is an inconvenience to the spinners that should be prevented in any respect prices.

In his warmongering Washington Put up opinion piece, President Biden doubled on his earlier harmful theological pronouncement about Hamas’s “pure, unadulterated evil”, which may solely be defined besides by its very nature. The truth that Hamas is a product of the Israeli occupation, established in response to Israel’s decades-long repression and disposition should be ignored and discounted, come what could.

In a nutshell, Israel has the precise, certainly the duty to defend itself and its racist occupation; the precise to defend its navy occupation and racist apartheid, in accordance with the cynics and spinners, however the Palestinians haven’t any such proper to defend themselves, not to mention resist their occupiers, by any means, even probably the most peaceable means, like boycott and divestment.

Luckily, the lies have lastly caught up with the liars, as an increasing number of Western journalists, pundits and officers began to doubt the spin and query the Israeli spinners, even ridicule them, for his or her poor performances, doctored proof, and vulgar lies. Quickly, they may begin to query the spinners’ general deception in regards to the conflict, its conduct and root causes.

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