There are two media narratives on Israel’s Operation Ethnic Cleansing, both holding considerable sway. They’re not competing narratives–except in idiocy. The first is that of hardline Zionism: Hamas is using Palestinian children as human shields. Reporters on main stream media treat this like a serious matter for investigative journalism & interview dipshits like the Miami-born Israeli ambassador to the US who claims this arrant racism is the gospel truth. It takes about five minutes of searching on the internet to learn Israel has been claiming this rubbish for several years to justify it’s genocidal military policies. It comes straight out of IDF press releases & reports from the official Israeli propaganda office (the Israeli Foreign Ministry).
It has been exposed as war propaganda by too many sources to count, including UN reports, investigations by Human Rights Watch, & international journalists. In fact, UN reports document that it’s Israel that uses Palestinian children as human shields & accuses Israel of torturing & abusing Palestinian children in the Israeli gulag, including with solitary confinement & threats of sexual assault. These are not Hamas accusations. They come from UNICEF & the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in reports issued just last year.
So why aren’t CNN & the rest of media interviewing the UN investigators who issued those reports or the independent journalists? Why are they talking to the blowhard from Miami who claims Biblical roots in Palestine & runs interference for ethnic cleansing? Why are they quoting Netan-psycho-yahu who said the difference between Israel & Hamas is “We use anti-missile systems to protect our civilians. They use their civilians to protect their missiles”?
The second narrative is that of hardline Zionism with a facade of noblesse oblige: liberal Zionists. Liberal Zionists believe in a Jewish-only state even though many of them haven’t been to temple since their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. But contrary to their political views on many other questions, they accept the cynicism & elitism of Zionism.
Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief for the NY Times, wrote the manifesto for this genre of war apologetics in a July 20th article entitled, “In Gaza, Epithets Are Fired & Euphemisms Give Shelter.” A committed Zionist, she tries to portray Israeli ethnic cleansing in Gaza & Hamas self-defense as having moral equivalence & equal blame. She wants Israel & Palestinians along with their supporters to cease the exchange of dehumanizing invectives. Apparently many Israelis object to Palestinians calling them monkeys & apes. We think such invective inappropriate too. Those who sit in lawn chairs cheering on ethnic cleansing are much more appropriately called psychos.
But the jig is up when Rudoren ends her article by quoting Michael Oren, the New York-born Israeli ambassador to the US before the Miami bozo took over. Oren demurs from calling hateful, racist invective against Palestinians dehumanizing “Because that’s a very loaded word–it’s benumbing. People are just, they don’t show it, but they’re in a daze.” And he went on: “In classic dehumanization scenarios, whether in Nazi Germany or in Rwanda before the genocide, you refer to the enemy as rats & cockroaches, & that enables you to kill them on a large scale. We’re not calling Palestinians cockroaches.” Still, he added, “It’s very difficult to feel compassion for the other when you have rockets aimed at your family.”
Well how does our man Oren explain those psychos sitting in the hills of Sderot, Israel cheering on ethnic cleansing? Is that what he calls “benumbed”? And what about the hundreds of photos of Palestinians weeping as they search rubble & morgues for the remains or bury their beloved?
When we hear that Palestinians use their children as human shields, we know we’ve entered another time warp–a time warp of time past & time present. Time past because such a repugnant imputation is straight out of 19th century colonialism where colonized peoples were considered less than animals; & time present in neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism where nothing is sacred, human life is expendable, & racist hatred is the ideology that prevails.
It cannot be said strongly or often enough: there is no redemption for Zionism, no part of that ideology is salvageable any more than the ideologies that justified Jim Crow in the US or apartheid in South Africa.
Grief is a private thing but Israeli war propaganda has made it political. We apologize for intruding on the mourning of the Abid Raboh family who lost a child when Israel bombed the UN refugee center near Jabaliyah yesterday. Nineteen others also died when (as the captions says) “what appeared to be four Israeli artillery shells hit the compound.” It could be the evil fairies but then again, if you do a forensic investigation of the massacre site, you’ll see Israel & “Made in the USA” written all over the artillery shells.
Palestine will be free. Long live intifada. Take it international in solidarity by joining one of the hundreds of protests across this globe, by honoring the economic & cultural boycotts of Israel.
(Photo by Sergey Ponomarev/NY Times)