Gruwel propaganda is zeer effectief

Édouard Boubat: Bethlehem, Palestine (1954)

Propaganda voeren was in Nederland steeds een overbodige zaak. Gewaakt werd dat alle schaapjes in het hen toebehorende hok bleven, de christelijken, de roomsen, de rooien. Regenten bepaalden de koers namens Van den Bergh, Philips, Deterding en hun geestverwanten bij industrie en handel. Zo heerste rust in het land, konden de lonen laag blijven en zelfs oorlog gevoerd worden tot behoud van onze koloniale macht. Onze rijkdom ging niet verloren, wel Indië, en we werden een onontbeerlijke pion in de Koude Oorlog die volgde. Waarin een klein land groot kan zijn, ging het heten.
Om deze toestand te bewerkstelligen en te behouden hebben de media een centrale rol vervuld. De grote leugens over het communistisch en het gele gevaar, dat van Rusland en China uitging, werden geslikt als zoete koek. Hilterman op de Algemene van Radio Hilversum, werd hun gids voor de wereldpolitiek. Hij kon alles verklaren en de luisteraars hingen aan zijn lippen. Deze voorgeschiedenis is zeer bepalend geweest voor wat komen ging tot in het tijdperk van de digitale media. Het fundament was gelegd voor de huidige meningsvorming, die van ik heb gelijk, wie doet me wat, we zijn superieur. Het is geldend voor het hele politieke spectrum.



BBC TV newsroom [Stuart Pinfold/Flickr]

Jamal Kanj

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” This quote was attributed to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi chief propagandist. Today, Goebbels would envy the Israeli disinformation prowess employing Western media to willingly market the Israeli Big Lies.

Claims of “decapitated Israeli children” persistently echoed across CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and other Western media outlets, perpetuating the Big Lie that eventually became a believable story. The US President even went as far as claiming to have seen (non-existing) images of decapitated Israeli children. Additionally, Western media propagated other Israeli falsehoods, including allegations of women being raped during the Hamas raid. Curiously, not a single woman came forward to support these claims. In reality, one woman who did speak on Israeli TV described respectful treatment by Hamas fighters. Her accounts, however, went unnoticed by Western media, since it contradicts the Big Lie gambit.

NBC and MSNBC joined the Big Lie when they flaunted a supposed NBC exclusive of a “Top Secret” document, ostensibly detailing Hamas’s plans to target elementary schools and youth centres. Note the connotation – elementary schools, implying, of course, the targeting children. The Arabic language document was given to NBC by the Israeli army.

It is perplexing how NBC missed the glaring inconsistencies in the Big Lie before disseminating it across all MSNBC news shows. One obvious oversight was that the attack, on the posts guarding the largest open-air prison, occurred on a Saturday when schools were not in session. Even if schools were not on holiday, the attack started at dawn when schools and youth centres would typically be closed.

The “exclusive news” and the “top secret” Big Lie was repeated by all MSNBC news shows, and picked up by a carousal of American and European news outlets. This could explain why MSNBC show host personalities such as Ayman and Mehdi Hassan, with the most knowledge of the region, and who could challenge false information, were absent from their weekend shows and replaced by tabloid news performers. Sadly, American cable news networks abandoned their ethical journalistic responsibility when they became an arm of the Israeli Hasbara and an extension to Israel’s Sayanim network.

It is undeniable Israeli civilians lost their lives as they were caught in the middle of the fight. This is mainly because Israel uses its population as human shields by encouraging civilians, through tax breaks and other financial incentives, to live in areas known as war zones. Furthermore, each of the Jewish only settlements that came under attack was located next to a known military base placing them within the immediate combat area.

Regarding the music festival, the event was held next to Re’im Israeli military base on Gaza’s borders. Re’im military camp and its nearby settlement, by the same name, was another post guarding the siege on Gaza. Following Hamas’s successful raid on the fortified military base, Israeli soldiers abandoned their positions, guns and uniforms and fled half naked to hide among festival goers and into the nearby Re’im settlement.  It is very likely that fighters were not aware of a music event in a war theatre, and, likewise, it was plausible as they chased Israeli soldiers, they could have reasonably suspected the large gathering of young men and women (military recruit age) as military conscripts and associated their presence with the business of the military base. In other words, they were caught in the fire, like the civilians in the nearby settlements who were used as human shields by the fleeing Israeli soldiers.

Meanwhile, much has been said and written that the success of the Hamas military operation was the result of an Israeli intelligence failure. Media security pundits, however, failed to connect the raid within the broader context of the Palestine conflict, not only when an Israeli is killed. Hamas’s success was not solely an Israeli intelligence failure, as suggested by the media pundits. Rather, it can be attributed to the long-standing suffering of 2.3 million people in Gaza, who for 18 years yearned for the day they could break free from their confinement. This determination and ingenuity took the world by surprise, even baffling the best military planners.

Another factor is Israeli arrogance. Empowered by international impunity, Benjamin Netanyahu belongs to the Zionist school of thought which believes that the more Palestinians are suppressed, the less there is a need to talk about peace. Despite some of the obvious signs, the Prime Minister did not believe that the people, who he came to believe are less than his chosen race, would be capable of breaking the jail and overcoming the jailer’s posts.

Having stated that, Israeli officials are united in dehumanising the Palestinians to justify their inhumanity. Throughout human history, dehumanisation was always a prerequisite to carrying out genocidal wars and oppression. We saw that during slavery, stealing the land of the Aboriginals and, most recently, in Nazi Germany. In this case, and to prepare for the onslaught on Gaza, Israeli Defence Minister announced several inhumane punitive measures against the Palestinians, such as cutting off water, food and fuel. To justify the Israeli savagery, he declared “We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

Alas, it is very unlikely the international community would have tolerated the slaughtering of animals as they have allowed Israel to blow Palestinian children to smithereens.

Meanwhile, the so called “moderate” Israeli President dismissed a question from a journalist regarding the death of civilians in Gaza,  where he suggested that  civilians in Gaza are legitimate military targets, saying, “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible,” 

As far as the Israeli Prime Minister is concerned, extending the inhumane war offers Netanyahu a political lifeline, moored to the charred bodies of Palestinian children. His war on Gaza guarantees the delay in discussing his abject failure in securing the Israelis under his “tough” racist coalition. Also, it ensures he remains in power and pauses the investigation into his corruption charges.

Netanyahu’s military response was both to avenge his incompetence, and save himself politically by killing as many Palestinians as fast as possible. In the latest count, close to 3000, including 800 children were murdered and ten thousand injured. The Israeli Prime Minister exhibits a diabolical character where the ends justify the means. In this case, every home, every school, every bank, every tower, every structure was the price Gazans must pay to save Netanyahu’s political future.

Therefore, it is not enough for Western officials to merely urge Israel to abide by the rules of war, while they supply Israel with the means to murder Palestinian children. This hypocrisy is further underscored by the international impunity Israel enjoys, even as it deliberately cuts off water and food to a population of 2.3 million people, and the fuel required to keep hospitals operational, and caring for the wounded.

The willingness of the US media to partake in the Israeli disinformation Big Lie is unprecedented in Western democracies. The brainwashing by the “free” media is even more pernicious than government-controlled media, with its semblance of objectivity as it normalises Israeli genocide. In short, Western media and professional political pundits falling in line with the state managed Big Lie would make the old “Pravda,” proud.

MIDDLE EAST MONITOR – 18 oktober 2023
A version of this article was published on Al Mayadeen TV.




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