Photo: Palestinians stand atop the remains of their house after returning to it in the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City August 5, 2014 (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)
The crimes of the state of Israel, and its ruthless assault on Gaza have over the last few days and weeks have been laid bare for all to see on social media.
Alongside the unrelenting attacks on the Gaza strip, and the cold-blooded murder of an entirely innocent and defenseless people, runs a particularly distasteful strand of propaganda, the kind of falsehoods that make people think the unjustifiable is justifiable.
The words and language used by many in the media, to describe the war on Palestinians, is the key in perpetuating a certain kind of mythology in people’s minds, cementing the kind of stereotypes in the subconscious which makes people think that murdering civilians is OK. It breeds a kind of passivity and acceptance in people’s minds. Repeat a lie over and over, and people believe it. And all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.
In spite of the fact that we are witnessing the kind of brutality and cold-blooded killing of human beings, that would not be accepted anywhere else, people still cling to the same out tired dogma and lies, which are repeated as talking points by the media, and reflected in the casual everyday justifications you hear apologists for Israel make.
You know what I am talking about. We have all heard people ask, or simply state “What about Israel’s right to defend itself?”
To clarify: Israel is bombing schools, hospitals, mosques, beaches, killing women, children and men and remaining completely non-partisan in who they kill. Clearly it does not matter who the Israeli military kills whether it is Hamas or civilians, as long as they are all Palestinian?
The sickening spectacle of Israel’s drinking beer and exchanging high fives watching the bombs reign down on Gaza as if they were witnessing a firework display reflects just how much the rest of the world has stood by claiming passivity and ignorance, all the time supporting the oppressor. Again, the language and phrases used in the media and then repeated and internalized by the public tell a story.
Fighting for existence
Israel claims that they only target Hamas. This is not true. As one of the smallest countries in the world, but with one of the biggest and most sophisticated armed forces in the world, with the kind of technological capability other nations strive to emulate, only a fool would believe that Israel is unable to distinguish boys playing football on a beach, from a ‘threat to security’, or a Palestinian baby from a Hamas ‘militant’.
At the time of writing this, more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli militant extremists, the IDF, more than 300 of them children. The IDF kill civilians indiscriminately.
Israel attacks those who attempt to rescue the injured, countless acts of terrorism seen plain and simple, on a daily basis now acknowledged by the world, the United Nations, and even by the United States which funds Israel to the tune of billions of dollars each year. Dozens of Palestinians are being butchered every day. Even a US president too cowardly to stand up to AIPAC, and whom we know learnt the truth about the Holy Land from Edward Said and who therefore cannot plead ignorance has been forced to acknowledge the despicable crimes committed by Israel.
“What about Israel’s right to exist?” you hear people say, when the Palestinians are the ones fighting for their existence, facing annihilation.
The state of Israel does exist. Not only does it exist, but it is expanding, continuing to steal Palestinian land while demolishing Palestinian homes, in addition to strangling the life from the Palestinians and keeping them in an economic choke hold, while all the time conveniently labeling any resistance as ‘terrorism’. Hamas are not terrorists, they are the elected government. End of story. The opinions people in the West might have about the leadership the Palestinians choose, should be saved for a nice comment piece in one of the pages of one of the usual suspects.
If resistance to occupation is “terrorism” then how exactly should we describe the ever growing list of civilians who have been murdered by Israeli bombs? Collateral damage while the Middle East’s one true democracy flexes its muscles?
You’ll remember that they used to call the great Nelson Mandela a terrorist. The great Madiba, who helped lead the path in breaking the apartheid system in South Africa, and who once said, speaking about the apartheid system Palestinians are living in, “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Palestine is a country being occupied. Palestinians have every right to resist this illegal occupation of their land, a right that is enshrined in international law along with the right of the Palestinians in the wider diaspora to return home.
‘The cycle of violence continues’
We hear various versions of this one churned out, designed to give the impression that this is a “war” with two sides equally matching each other, oversimplifying things, and encouraging people to accept sound-bite narratives, ignoring the long and brutal history of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
The list goes on and on. There are the obscurantists of all stripes, who insist that certain interpretations of scripture are clear enough in their eyes to justify the “Nakba”, when Israel was established in 1948. This sort of extremist and fanatical thinking is key in propping up the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestine. There are the right wingers in the USA who want an end of day scenario to be brought about, and so support Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.
Despite all the nonsense we hear, more and more people are waking up to the truth of what is happening in Palestine and to the plight of the Palestinians.
More and more people have been making their voices heard, a tidal wave of protest, seen around the world, while more and more countries cut their ties with Israel.
Even the US, and some in the media, have been forced to alter, if only slightly, their coverage of the war on Palestine and to acknowledge the utter inhumanity shown by Israel.
Mass demonstrations have been reported around the world, with the media barely covering them, and certainly not reporting accurately the number of people attending them.
Arab leaders loyal to their Zionist friends have remained silent on the suffering in Gaza. It should tell people something that the two Arab nations which support Palestine, Syria and Iran are attacked and demonized in the Western press.
Political leaders and celebrities have been seen to trip over themselves in haste, after deleting pro-Palestine tweets or comments they made on social media, reflecting the reach of the Zionist lobby, people fearful of rocking the boat, preferring to stay on the fence as it were.
Except now there is no longer any excuse for not grasping the seriousness of what is really happening in the so called Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is not Israel’s right to exist which is under threat, but the very life and existence of the Palestinian people, neutrality and ignorance won’t cut it anymore. Apathy aids the oppressor. In Britain, we maybe have a special responsibility to speak out about what is happening in Palestine and to highlight the reality ordinary people there have to live with.
The idea of Israel was conceived in the British parliament, and many of our elected representatives, and certainly our unelected government acts on behalf of the Israeli lobby as friends of Israel.
We have a responsibility at home to get rid of governments and so-called leaders who declare themselves as loyal Zionists, because the pain being felt in Gaza is ultimately supported by our taxes, and worst still, supported by our apathy and inaction.
Richard Sudan for RT
Richard Sudan is a writer, political campaigner, and poet. He tweets@richardsudan