Tag Archives: Israel hasbara

“What are Trump and Netanyahu afraid of?” — New York Times editorial board asks

iStock 20492165 MD - American and Israeli flags

America and Israel flags

The New York Times Editorial Board, so often an apologist for Israel’s brutal occupation of the Palestinians, opined (August 15, 2019) that Trump’s and Netanyahu’s actions denying two U.S.  Congresswomen the opportunity to visit Israel-Palestine was a sign of weakness.

There are not many traditions of decorum that President Trump has not trampled on since entering the White House. But to put at risk, so cynically, America’s special relationship with Israel solely to titillate the bigots in his base, to lean so crassly on a foreign leader to punish his own political adversaries, to demonstrate so foul a lack of respect for the most elemental democratic principles, is new territory even for him.

America’s special relationship with Israel” translates to $3+ Billion every year from US taxpayers to Israel; an unquestioning veto at the UN Security Council to prevent any measure critical of Israel’s occupation; a willful blindness to the undemocratic, apartheid state that flaunts its “successes” while shielding from public view its grotesque human rights violations; a mindless deference to Israel’s hasbara and security mantra; and a chilling indifference to the suffering, killing and dehumanization of the Palestinians barely surviving under Israel’s military occupation. The N.Y. Times Editorial Board asks: “What are Trump and Netanyahu afraid of?” My answer is simple.

The Truth

Anyone who has lived, worked, volunteered or spent any bit of time with the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem, or the occupied Gaza Strip knows that the State of Israel has been wildly successful at spinning a righteous tale of its victimhood, its struggle for survival and security in a “dangerous neighborhood,” and its “peace-loving” liberal values.

The State of Israel has succeeded in creating this mirage by carefully pushing its hasbara  (promoting its version of the facts) to the exclusion of contrary facts which undermine Israel’s preferred reality.  And the New York Times, as well as some other western media, have been complicit in this charade.

Israel has also succeeded in keeping the U.S. Congress duped by indoctrinating them into Israel’s version of the facts with carefully orchestrated junkets to Israel that highlight the “special relationship” between our two countries; by keeping AIPAC (Israel’s Washington lobbyist) in the offices of freshman members of Congress so they are honed to the “correct path” from the beginning; and by unseating those members of Congress who won’t follow AIPAC’s direction. (Read about former Congressman Paul Finley who died August 9, 2019).

There are so many examples, books could and have been written about it.  My first education about the myths and propaganda came from one of the new Israeli historians, Professor Ilan Pappe, which I wrote about here.

My correspondence with the editors of the New York Times in 2016 is one small example of trying to break through Israel’s alternative reality. When the editors refused to label the Gaza Strip as “occupied” territory, I challenged them.  I wrote about it here. After several communications back and forth, my query finally ended up in the deep, dark hole within the bowels of the New York Times. Even the Democratic National Committee has apoplexy with the term “occupation”, as I wrote about here.

The four congresswomen — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — the “Squad” as they’re known on Capitol Hill — are a threat to anyone who fears the truth. They’re challenging the powerful lobbyists, the accepted orthodoxy of the Democratic Party, and even the State of Israel’s hasbara.

I can only imagine that the New York Times Editorial Board must be sniffing the same scent that the Emperor who wore no clothes sniffed when it began to dawn on him that his reality didn’t match what everyone around him knew.

The truth — that’s what Trump and Netanyahu fear.

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Filed under Israel, Media, Occupation, People, Politics, Uncategorized, US Policy

The Occupation of the American Mind

“Over the past few years, Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world — except the United States. The Occupation of the American Mind takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S.”

“Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. media culture, the film explores how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. From the U.S.-based public relations campaigns that emerged in the 1980s to today, the film provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people in the face of widening international condemnation of its increasingly right-wing policies.”

Narrated by Roger Waters / Featuring Amira Hass, M.J. Rosenberg, Stephen M. Walt, Noam Chomsky, Rula Jebreal, Henry Siegman, Rashid Khalidi, Rami Khouri, Yousef Munayyer, Norman Finkelstein, Max Blumenthal, Phyllis Bennis, Norman Solomon, Mark Crispin Miller, Peter Hart, and Sut Jhally.

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Filed under Media, People, Uncategorized, US Policy, Video

Truly Tiresome Trolls

This week the Zionist trolls launched a concerted attack on my Facebook page. How do I know?

Trolls = unknown names with no profiles posting obnoxious Hasbara.

Concerted attack = multiple posts, one after another, over a period of several hours.

The solution!

This is a social media world, and I’m a social media gal. Defending against tiresome trolls is as simple as cleaning up ugly graffiti. The faster you remove it, the sooner they will lose interest and move on.

  1. Don’t engage with trolls <<<trolls want your attention, don’t give it to them>>>
  2. Report trolls to Facebook <<<click on upper right corner of the message and dropdown box gives you the option to report.>>>
  3. Block trolls <<<You might be able to block when you report, or you click on the troll’s FB page and then click on the 3 dots to the right of the troll’s name. The dropdown box gives you the option to report and block>>>

Israel pays students to tweet pro-Israeli propaganda. The government even offers Hasbara fellowships. LOL For the very serious Zionist troll, there’s even a Hasbara Handbook available.

This short (8 minute) video provides a very good primer on Israel’s hasbara project and how it has influenced the mainstream media in the United States. I highly recommend it.

No one should be surprised if Palestinians try to emulate Israel’s propaganda success, but I hope they don’t stoop to paying students to troll Facebook and Twitter.

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The dominant narrative = hasbara

  1. Hasbara is a form of propaganda aimed at an international audience, primarily, but not exclusively, in western countries. It is meant to influence the conversation in a way that positively portrays Israeli political moves and policies, including actions undertaken by Israel in the past.

If you are a Jew, especially an Israeli Jew, the narrative you’re likely reading about the Palestinians is similar to this one.

If you’re an American, you’re likely seeing the news about Palestinians filtered through the same lens.

This dominant narrative makes these points (among others):

1) Palestinians are educated in the glory of terrorism from a young age, and children are encouraged to become martyrs.

2) Palestinians relish and rejoice when their acts of terror (ie. suicide bombers) kill many Israelis.

3) The National government of Palestine (Palestinian Authority), Hamas, and every other Arab organization calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

4) Islamist terrorists are honored with street names and other public places.

5) The “Moderate” Abu Mazen honors mass murderers and arch Islamist terrorists.

These points are supported with video clips to prove their accuracy. Anyone steeped in this narrative from an early age onward will no doubt be convinced of its veracity.

Those who prepare this hasbara are very good at their job — packaging the narrative so one side is clearly good and righteous, while the other is bad and evil.

My friend shared this hasbara with me today. I read it and watched each video clip. Please take time and read it for yourself.  Here.

If you believe the world is really THAT simple, I have a swamp in southern New Mexico for sale.

Lora blogging

Lora blogging

Now, if I wanted to prepare a counterpoint, a Palestinian narrative that included propaganda to support the Palestinian resistance, I could.

Here are the points I might make:

1) The Zionists have a plan to exterminate the Palestinians which they have been executing with great proficiency, and with the help of many Western nations, since 1948 to the present day. The Likud Charter calls for the destruction of Palestine.

2) The Zionists teach their children that Palestinians are inferior, innately stupid, lazy and not good for much of anything.

3) The Zionists don’t believe in the Rule of Law — there are innumerable examples of Israel’s violations of international law.

4) The Israeli occupation forces kill Palestinian children, women and the elderly indiscriminately, relishing in their marksmanship. And Americans who are trying to help the Palestinians are fair game. Israel has killed a number of Americans.

5) Israeli settlers carry guns, teach their children to shoot Arabs, burn their olive trees, and carry out Price Tag attacks against Palestinians.

I could provide a video-clip to support each of these points (ask me if you want video clips) but I’ll post just one —- these Israeli soldiers talking about their action in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead (December 2008- January 2009).

The factually accurate narrative which is missing from Israel’s hasbara and the mainstream media’s reporting … must include the OCCUPATION. If the news you’re reading or listening to fails to talk about the Israeli occupation of Palestine, then you aren’t learning about the context that explains why Palestinians are resisting against the occupation and the occupier. You’re not hearing about the 99-year hudna (truce) that Hamas, Fatah and other Arab countries have offered Israel. You’re not appreciating the long and peaceful history that Jews, Christians and Muslims shared prior to the occupation and the Nakba.

There is another narrative, a more honest narrative, that doesn’t paint one side right, the other wrong —- one side virtuous and the other side terrorist.

Israelis and Palestinians need the world to understand this honest narrative, for both their sakes.

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Filed under Gaza, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Media, Occupation, Settlers, Video

New York Times succumbs to Israeli hasbara

New York Times

My letter to the New York Times Public Editor.    public@nytimes.com

Margaret Sullivan is the fifth public editor appointed by The New York Times. The public editor works outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper and receives and answers questions or comments from readers and the public, principally about news and other coverage in The Times.  Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Dear Ms. Sullivan:

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that the New York Times has succumbed to Israeli hasbara (propaganda).

The New York Times published a story on Mar.4 about an American deported from the Cairo Airport. The writer mentioned the American’s goal of traveling to the occupied Gaza Strip. (U.S. Activist Says Egyptian Police Assaulted Her, by David D. Kirkpatrick). But you won’t find the original story online.

On Mar.7, the NYT issued a correction, telling readers that the Gaza Strip is not occupied. Read my blog post to see the correction.  You won’t find the correction online either because on Mar. 9, the NYT removed the “correction notice” and now you’ll only see the “massaged version” on the NYT website without any mention of occupied Gaza.

Israel hasbara (propaganda) is trying furiously to remove the term “occupation” from our discourse about Palestine. Looks like the New York Times has succumbed to this hasbara.

Shame on New York Times

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Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict

My friend, Rich Forer, wrote Representative Herrell about her resolution in the New Mexico Legislature commending Israel (HR1). I wrote about it here.
. BreakthroughRich Forer
Forer is the author of Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict, available here. He’s given me permission to publish his letter which I hope others will read.
Dear Ms Herrell,
Sue Schuurman, whom you recently corresponded with, told me she had suggested that you take a look at my book on the Israel-Palestine problem. I am not writing with any intention to convince you to revoke your loyalty to Israel. That is a personal decision. I am, however, taking the liberty of assuming that you are a kind and decent person and that you value equality and  human rights for all people.
With that as the basis for my letter, I want to encourage you to find out to the best of your ability the documented truth of Israel-Palestine. That is a far better approach than allowing one-sided groups and individuals who have never objectively studied the problem to mislead you with inaccurate information.
Briefly, I am an American Jew with ultra-Orthodox relatives living in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. For most of my life, I was a loyal defender of Israeli policy and a member of AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) the powerful organization that lobbies Congress on behalf of the Israeli government.
In 2006, my views changed when I made the decision to study the history of Israel-Palestine, something neither I nor any of my Jewish friends and relatives had ever undertaken. Over ninety-five percent of my subsequent years of daily research was spent examining Jewish sources only, mostly from Israeli State and Israel Defense Forces archives, including the Israeli Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Internal Security.
I studied the writings of most of Israel’s prime ministers from David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s first PM) to Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israeli historians, many of them committed Zionists, and the Book of the Haganah (the Haganah was the Israeli army that became the IDF). Additionally, I visited Israel and the West Bank a few times as well as Gaza in late 2012 as part of a human rights delegation.
What I discovered would come as a great surprise to most people in the western world. The reason for this is that for decades, since I was a kid in fact (I was born in 1948), our society has been saturated with the kinds of undocumented beliefs and narratives that Eli Hertz expresses in the article Sue found on your website. With all due respect, the very minimal research Mr. Hertz has done is, I suspect, primarily based on the statements of Israeli politicians who themselves have ignored documented history.
I know you can’t take this at face value, but Israel has never been interested in peace, having rejected or ignored numerous peace proposals beginning in 1948 from Syria and Egypt. From Israel’s perspective, negotiations have mostly been used as cover to seize more and more Palestinian land, to mislead its supporters that it truly wants peace and to character assassinate the Palestinian people by demonizing them as obstacles to peace. Israel has always wanted no less than all of the land to the Jordan River for a Greater Israel. If you have time, google the Likud Party Platform, Israel’s ruling party.
Mr. Hertz says “For a real peace to evolve, it must encompass the entire Arab world.” Unfortunately, he neglects to mention that in 2002 the Arab world presented Israel with an encompassing peace proposal, based on the 1967 borders, which would have normalized relations, including diplomatic, with every single Arab and Muslim country. Furthermore, the proposal would have provided security guarantees for all the states in the region. This offer was reiterated in 2007. Israel has never responded to it.
I could respond point by point to Hertz’s allegations, including that the Arabs started five wars (not true; other than the Yom Kippur War which Israel could have avoided, Israel has started every war) and that the Arab world is permeated with anti-Semitism. However, I will leave it to you to make your own determinations in due time.
I do recommend my book as one written by a Jew whose motivation was and is the unmitigated truth without bias toward any side. The book clarifies virtually every argument made in the U.S. and within Jewish society about Israel-Palestine and is available at Amazon. Alternatively, if you would be interested, I would be happy to email you a pdf copy of the book at no charge.
One last suggestion is that if you do not have time to read my book, you can read an interview I did on the Breathing Forgiveness website with Father Yago Abeledo. Here is the link:
Finally, feel free to contact me at your convenience. My number is ——. I would be happy to have a conversation with you and I promise that if we do, I will not have any ulterior motives.
Sincerely, Rich Forer

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Israeli Hasbara Tabled in New Mexico

New Mexico State Capitol Building - called the Roundhouse

New Mexico State Capitol Building – called the Roundhouse

As reported here and here and here, New Mexico Legislators were asked to weigh in on a resolution that (if we’re honest about it) is pure propaganda (otherwise known as hasbara) in favor of the State of Israel.  Five other states have considered this same <!*%!> and we were watching it closely.

Any sane person might ask “Why are New Mexico lawmakers opining about foreign policy? Don’t they have enough matters addressing the needs of their own constituents to keep them busy in a 30 day session?”  Simple answer: we have some insane Legislators.

My international friends may not understand the lawmaking process in the USA, but in New Mexico (unlike some larger states), it is very easy for us plain, ordinary folk to visit, call or email state lawmakers and tell them what we think. And a bunch of us did exactly that!  I have a hunch that the five members of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (HCPAC) heard an earful (meaning ALOT).

Tonight the HCPAC held a meeting and HR1 was on the agenda.  The sponsor (Rep. Herrell) didn’t even bother attending the meeting.  She probably “counted the votes” before it began and knew her resolution would not pass.  The chairman of the committee was going to pass over HR1 since the sponsor was absent, but another Legislator on the committee noticed the people in the audience who wanted to speak about it. Some people had driven from Albuquerque (1 hour away) to ask Legislators to oppose HR1.

And so the resolution was heard —- meaning people were able to testify. Then Representative Chasey moved HR1 be TABLED (which means to put it on the “back burner” effectively killing it). Her motion passed 3-1. YEAH!

I don’t know how Palestinians make laws. When I visited Gaza in 2012-2013, I didn’t attend any legislative meetings. I wonder if any are held in Gaza.  I’d like to learn about the lawmaking process there.  Maybe …. if I return!

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