Archive for Propaganda

Palestine’s Guernica — Debunking the Zionist media’s Gaza myths

Posted in Media Watch with tags , on January 7, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

20090107165930382_1Al-Ahram Weekly (Egypt)
January 1, 2009

By Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative

The Israeli campaign of “death from above” began around 11am on Saturday morning and continues as I write these words.

The bloodiest single day in Palestine since the war of 1967 is far from over following Israel’s promise that this is “only the beginning” of their campaign of state terror. Approximately 400 people have been murdered thus far, but the body count continues to rise at a dramatic pace as more mutilated bodies are pulled from the rubble, prior victims succumb to their wounds, and new casualties are created by the minute.

What is occurring is nothing short of a war crime, yet the Israeli public relations machine is in full swing, churning out lies by the minute.

Once and for all it is time to expose the myths that they have created:

Israel claimed to have ended the occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

While Israel has indeed abandoned its settlements in the tiny coastal Strip, it has in no way ended the occupation. It remained in control of Gaza’s borders, airspace and waterways, and has carried out frequent raids and targeted assassinations since its “disengagement”.

Furthermore, since 2006, Israel has imposed a comprehensive siege on the Strip. For over two years, Gazans have lived on the edge of starvation and without the most basic necessities of human life, such as cooking or heating oil and basic medications. This siege has already caused a humanitarian catastrophe that has only been exacerbated by the dramatic increase in Israeli military aggression.

Israel claims that Hamas violated the ceasefire and abandoned it unilaterally.

Hamas indeed respected their side of the ceasefire, except on those occasions early on when Israel carried out major offensives in the West Bank. In the last two months, the ceasefire broke down with Israelis killing several Palestinians and resulting in the response of Hamas. In other words, Hamas has not carried out an unprovoked attack throughout the period of the ceasefire.

Israel, however, did not live up to any of its obligations of ending the siege and allowing vital humanitarian aid to resume in Gaza. Rather than the average of 450 trucks per day being allowed across the border, on the best days, only 80 have been allowed in, with the border remaining hermetically sealed 70 per cent of the time. Throughout the supposed “ceasefire” Gazans have been forced to live like animals, with 262 dying due to the inaccessibility of proper medical care.

Now after hundreds dead and counting, it is Israel that refuses to re-enter talks over a ceasefire. They are not intent on securing peace as they claim; it is more and more clear that they are seeking regime change, whatever the cost.

Israel claims to be pursuing peace with “peaceful Palestinians”.

Before the ongoing massacre in the Gaza Strip, and throughout the entirety of the Annapolis peace process, Israel has continued and even intensified its occupation of the West Bank. In 2008, settlement expansion increased by a factor of 38, a further 4,950 Palestinians were arrested (mostly from the West Bank), and checkpoints rose in number from 521 to 699.

Furthermore, since the onset of peace talks, Israel has killed 546 Palestinians, among them 76 children. These gruesome statistics are set to rise dramatically now, but previous Israeli transgressions should not be forgotten amidst this most recent horror.

This week Israel shot and killed a young peaceful protester in the West Bank village of Nihlin and has injured dozens more. It is certain that they will continue to employ deadly force at non-violent demonstrations and we expect a sizeable body count in the West Bank as a result. If Israel is in fact pursuing peace with “good Palestinians”, whom are they talking about?

Israel is acting in “self-defense”.

It is difficult to claim self-defense in a confrontation that they themselves have sparked, but they are doing it anyway. Self- defense is reactionary, while the actions of Israel over the past few days have been clearly premeditated. Not only did the Israeli press widely report the ongoing public relations campaign being undertaken by Israel to prepare Israeli and international public opinion for the attack, but Israel has also reportedly tried to convince the Palestinians that an attack was not coming by briefly opening crossings and reporting future meetings on the topic. They did so to insure that casualties would be maximized and that the citizens of Gaza would be unprepared for their impending slaughter.

It is also misleading to claim self-defense in a conflict with such an overwhelming asymmetry of power. Israel is the largest military force in the region, and the fifth largest in the world. Furthermore, they are the fourth largest exporter of arms and have a military industrial complex rivaling that of the United States. In other words, Israel has always had a comprehensive monopoly over the use of force, and much like its superpower ally, Israel uses war as an advertising showcase of its many instruments of death.

Israel claims to have struck military targets only.

Even while image after image of dead and mutilated women and children flash across our televisions, Israel brazenly claims that their munitions expertly struck only military installations. We know this to be false, as many other civilian sites have been hit by air strikes, including a hospital and a mosque.

In the most densely populated area on the planet, tons upon tons of explosives have been dropped. The first estimates of injured are in the thousands. Israel will claim that these are merely “collateral damage” or accidental deaths. The sheer ridiculousness and inhumanity of such a claim should sicken the world community.

Israel claims that it is attacking Hamas and not the Palestinian people.

First and foremost, missiles do not differentiate people by their political affiliation; they simply kill everyone in their path. Israel knows this, and so do the Palestinians. What Israel also knows, but is not saying publicly, is how much their recent actions will actually strengthen Hamas, whose message of resistance and revenge is being echoed by the angry and the grieving.

The targets of the strike, police and not Hamas militants, give us some clue as to Israel’s mistaken intention. They are hoping to create anarchy in the Strip by removing the pillar of law and order.

Israel claims that Palestinians are the source of violence.

Let us be clear and unequivocal. The occupation of Palestine since the war of 1967 has been and remains the root of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Violence can be ended with the end of the occupation and the granting of Palestine’s national and human rights. Hamas does not control the West Bank and yet we remain occupied, our rights violated and our children killed.

With these myths understood, let us ponder the real reasons behind these air strikes; what we find may be even more disgusting than the act itself.

The leaders of Israel are holding press conferences, dressed in black, with sleeves rolled up. “It’s time to fight,” they say, “but it won’t be easy.”

To prove just how hard it is, Livni, Olmert and Barak did not even wear makeup to the press conference, and Barak has ended his presidential campaign to focus on the Gaza campaign. What heroes… what leaders.

We all know the truth: the suspension of electioneering is exactly that — electioneering. Like John McCain’s suspension of his presidential campaign to return to Washington to “deal with” the financial crisis, this act is little more than a publicity stunt.

The candidates have to appear “tough enough to lead”, and there is seemingly no better way of doing that than bathing in Palestinian blood.

“Look at me,” Livni said in her black suit and unkempt hair, “I am a warrior. I am strong enough to pull the trigger. Don’t you feel more confident about voting for me, now that you know I am as ruthless as Bibi Netanyahu?”

I do not know which is more disturbing, her and Barak, or the constituency they are trying to please.

In the end, this will in no way improve the security of the average Israeli; in fact it can be expected to get much worse in the coming days as the massacre could presumably provoke a new generation of suicide bombers.

It will not undermine Hamas either, and it will not result in the three fools, Barak, Livni and Olmert, looking “tough”. Their misguided political venture will likely blow up in their faces as did the brutally similar 2006 invasion of Lebanon.

In closing, there is another reason — beyond the internal politics of Israel — why this attack has been allowed to occur: the complicity and silence of the international community.

Israel cannot and would not act against the will of its economic allies in Europe or its military allies in the US. Israel may be pulling the trigger and ending hundreds, perhaps even thousands of lives this week, but it is the apathy of the world and the inhumane tolerance of Palestinian suffering that allows this to occur.

“Evil only exists because the good remain silent.”
This article can be found at: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/928/re22.htm

Palestine’s Guernica — Debunking the Zionist media’s Gaza myths

Spinning Gaza — How the Jewish-run media justifies Israeli bloodlust

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on January 6, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

20090106231736279_1With Israel’s barbarous attack on the Gaza Strip now well into its second week, the Palestinian death toll has risen to almost 700, including large numbers of women and children. While Israel says its objective is to destroy the Palestinian resistance group Hamas — which was democratically elected in 2006 legislative elections — it is, in reality, systematically murdering the Gaza Strip’s civilian population.

Even before the assault, the Gaza Strip had been subject to an international “embargo” — supported by the Zionist-run US, EU and UN — that destroyed its economy and deprived its 1.5 million inhabitants of food, medicine and fuel. Now, the people of Gaza are being pounded from air, land and sea by Israel’s U.S.-funded war machine.

The Jewish-run “mainstream media,” meanwhile, has gone into overdrive, justifying the killing by doing what it does best: portraying “poor little Israel” as the blameless victim in an existential struggle with Islamic “terror.” The following January 5 article from the Associated Press (AP) — written by Zionist propagandist Arthur Max — is a case in point.

Israelis relieved as army moves to halt rockets
The Associated Press
January 5, 2009
By Arthur Max

SDEROT, Israel — Israelis bombarded by Palestinian rockets have begun to emerge from homes and shelters, regaining confidence after columns of Israeli soldiers moved into Gaza to crush the militants who have rained missiles on them for eight years.

[Notice the colorful, and highly exaggerated, imagery: “rained missiles.” The author does not mention that these “missiles,” better described as homemade rockets, have been largely ineffectual, and have more often than not come in retaliation for Israeli attacks on Palestinians.]

Towns near the Gaza Strip virtually shut down after Israel’s conflict with Gaza militants escalated into a showdown on Dec. 27. Israel launched an air campaign against the missile launchers and against Hamas, the Islamic militant movement that rules the territory, while the militants stepped up the barrage against Israeli towns and villages.

[The conflict did not “escalate into a showdown on Dec. 27,” as the author states. Rather, on Dec. 27, Israel began a series of hugely disproportionate air strikes against targets throughout the Gaza Strip that have continued until the present. According to Israeli officials, the air campaign — which killed more than 200 Palestinians on the first day alone, including large numbers of civilians — came in retaliation for the launch of largely ineffectual rockets from the Gaza Strip that had hitherto caused little or no damage.

As for the “barrages” that were “stepped up” by “militants” since the campaign began, they have, ten days into the campaign, killed a total of four Israelis. By contrast, according to the latest reports, almost 700 Palestinians have been killed — roughly 40 percent of whom were women and children — while almost 3000 have been injured. In some cases, entire families have been killed by increasingly indiscriminate air strikes.]

The ground offensive that began Saturday night brought cheer to Israeli civilians, convinced their government meant to end the missile terror even at the cost of what is likely to be heavy army casualties.

[Again notice the use of sensational and exaggerated phrases — “the missile terror” — to inflate the relatively limited threat posed by homemade rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.]

However, the armored and infantry assault brought no immediate respite from rocket attacks. At least 45 missiles fell on southern Israel on Sunday, wounding five people.

[Notice that, while five Israelis were “wounded” on Sunday, the author neglects to mention that, on the same day, scores of Palestinians were killed and hundreds more seriously injured in massively disproportionate Israeli air strikes throughout the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of Palestinians have also been killed in the initial phase of an ongoing Israeli ground offensive, featuring high-tech armored tanks.]

“It’s good that the troops went in. Finally we are doing something,” said Yamit Azulai, emptying a shopping cart full of groceries into her car. It was the first time in a week she had been to the supermarket in Sderot, a town just beyond Gaza’s northeast corner that has absorbed thousands of missiles since 2001.

“Until now, it was Hamas who decided when to fire missiles. It was always in their hands. Now we are taking control,” she said.

[The second part of this absurd quote gives the impression that Hamas’ limited ability to fire rockets from the Gaza Strip somehow translates into a military advantage over Israel. This is ridiculous. The respective military capacities of the Israeli war machine and the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip cannot even be compared.]

Moves toward normalcy were tentative. Some shops and cafes reopened in Sderot, but about half remained shuttered. Schools and nonessential industries stayed shut within a 25-mile reach of Gaza, the maximum range in Hamas’ missile arsenal. Some people like Azulai who ventured out finished their chores quickly to return home.

“I’m not letting the children outside,” she said.

[This paragraph is priceless. Compare the devastation wrought on Gaza to the mild inconveniences suffered by the residents of Sderot, where, the author tells us, half the shops and cafes “remained shuttered” and residents were forced “quickly to return home.” An existential threat indeed.]

The offensive brought a kind of vindictive satisfaction to Sderot, which had long urged the government to strike at Hamas and take out the missile threat. With only 20,000 people, many believed the authorities were unwilling to risk a major confrontation on their behalf.

“I’m glad Ashdod and Beersheba got hit,” said construction worker Zohar Shapado, referring to two large Israeli cities that were rocketed for the first time last month. “It was only then that they decided to act.”

[Here we have a fine example of Israeli camaraderie, and from an Israeli who appears to have been named after one of the nastier books of the Kabbala.]

Sderot has built up formidable defenses. Every bus stop has a small concrete hut to protect against the shrapnel and pellets packed into the warhead of homemade Qassam rockets. Homes and apartment blocks are built with windowless rooms with steel doors.

People are edgy, but resigned to being targets.

“We’re used to it,” said Shapado, calmly abandoning the coffee he was drinking at a sidewalk cafe and moving inside to safety as yet another rocket alert resounded through town. Seconds later, the boom of the rocket crashing harmlessly in a field outside of town was the signal for customers to return to their tables and resume conversations.

Police say 10 people have been killed in Sderot since 2004, including three toddlers. That compares with more than 500 Palestinians killed in Gaza in the last week, including about 100 civilians.

[Only here, way down at the bottom, are things put into perspective: a total of ten Israelis killed in Sderot — in four years — compared to more than 500 Gazans in a single week.]

But the damage often is psychological. Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where most casualties from southern Israel are brought, has treated 164 civilian patients since the Israeli air war began. All but 10 were “stress related,” Shlomi Cabish, the hospital’s deputy director, told The Associated Press.

[So while Palestinian civilians are dying by the scores — even hundreds — on a daily basis, Israeli civilians are being treated for “stress.” What does that tell you about the nature of the conflict?]

Not everyone is happy with the decision to send infantry troops into the narrow warrens of Gaza, where Palestinian resistance was fierce and dozens of soldiers were wounded and at least one was killed in the first 24 hours.

Sitting under a date palm in Beersheba’s Old City, Benny Fryand argued with his friend Amos Shem Tov over the advisability of a ground war.

“You want to send in the army like cowboys,” said Fryand, 59, arguing that the air war had been conducted with devastating effect without a single military casualty. Fryand, who splits his time between Israel and Brooklyn, New York, expected Hamas to take revenge by firing even more rockets.

Shem Tov, 61, voicing what appeared from several interviews to be the majority view, said the war against Hamas cannot be won from the air.

“What would Stalin say? You can’t have war without casualties,” said the veteran immigrant from the Caucasus region of Russia. “After that comes the victory.”

[It is interesting that the author chooses to conclude the article with an Israeli approvingly quoting Joseph Stalin — responsible for tens of millions of murders in the former USSR — on the inevitability of casualties. Insight, perhaps, into the value attached by Israelis to human life.]

This article can be found at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hhPPz3kGQIOIBxLW6FfdpIgYXS0AD95GSDN80
WARNING: This news item is blatant pro-Israel propaganda, and its author, Arthur Max, a Zionist propagandist. Although the Associated Press — run by well-known Zionists such as Rupert Murcoch and Sam Zell — is one of the more egregiously deceptive news agencies when it comes to Middle East reporting, discerning readers should take everything they read, see or hear in the “mainstream” media with more than a grain of salt.

We would also remind Mr. Max that — as a propagandist for one side of the conflict — he is indirectly responsible for mounting Palestinian civilian causalities. He should also be warned that — as a propagandist for one side of the conflict — he could become criminally liable if that side is found by a legitimate court of law to have committed war crimes, or to have employed illegal weapons against civilian populations.

Spinning Gaza — How the Jewish-run media justifies Israeli bloodlust