Friday, February 15, 2008

Apartheid Propaganda

"7 Killed in Gaza Clashes With Israel," read a February 7, 2008, Associated Press headline out of Jerusalem.

How terribly tragic that 7 were killed.

But 7 what? 7 Gazas? What seven people or things were killed when "Gaza clash[ed] with Israel"? Reading the first paragraph, we find:

"Israeli forces Thursday killed seven Palestinians, including a schoolteacher, in its campaign to stop daily rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, and added a new economic pressure - cutting electricity by a symbolic 1 percent."


Ah yes. Of course. That was just too much for the allotted headline space, right?

Wrong. A halfway-decent and more accurate headline would've read: "Israeli Forces Kill 7 in Gaza, Including Schoolteacher," or simply: "Israeli Forces Kill 7 in Gaza." But the hasbaraniks at CAMERA and the greater Israel lobby will not allow the state to be blamed for its crimes unless even more space is given for them to explain it all away with their ahistorical Israeli propaganda (hasbara). That's where clichés like "campaign to stop rocket barrages" come in, followed by state-worship:

"Seven rockets were fired at southern Israel Thursday morning, the military said. One landed in the yard of a home in the rocket-scarred town of Sderot, slightly wounding one person. The Israeli military released film Thursday showing 3-foot-wide holes dug into the soft Gaza earth - launching silos to protect rockets from Israeli airstrikes. The military said Gaza militants learned the technique from Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Though the small, homemade rockets cause little damage and few serious casualties, thousands of Israeli communities around Gaza have been traumatized by the constant explosions. . . . An APTN cameraman saw a rocket-launching device among olive trees, indicating militants had used the school's planting area for cover to launch attacks. He was unable to photograph the launcher. The Israeli military said it aimed at a group of rocket launchers and denied firing at a school."


As usual, accounts from Israeli military sources and unqualified, conjectural innuendo pass as final rejoinders. Hey. They're the government, after all; they wouldn't lie to us.

And where does that "symbolic 1 percent" come from? Well, an Israeli official, of course. But the AP editor didn't put symbolic in quotes, or directly attribute that phrase to the Israeli official (Shlomo Dror) who initially used the term. According to AP, it's a foregone conclusion. It's not collective punishment when it's at 1%; it's harmlessly symbolic.



But "1 percent" actually is symbolic, when you consider that the one power plant in Gaza—the one that allowed the Palestinians to enjoy even a minimal level of "energy independence" from Israel—was completely and unnecessarily destroyed by Israel during the Summer '06 terror campaign known as "Summer Rains": a war of aggression.

1 percent is symbolic when considering that nearly two years later, Gaza's one power plant is operating at nowhere near normal operating capacity on any given day, and that the goal of Israel's destruction of the plant was exactly the reality we see today: Israel in nearly full control of Palestinian life-support.

Israel's '05 "disengagement from Gaza" was anything but. Nothing (humans, medical supplies, infrastructure, food, dry goods, etc.) has been allowed to enter or leave Gaza without Israeli approval. Nobody can fish or swim in waters off Gaza beaches without Israeli approval. And total authority over Gaza's electricity, clean water, and sewage systems is now fully in the hands of another "symbolic 1 percent."

The STATE of Israel has the Palestinian PEOPLE by the throat for the sake of crushing Israel's chosen political enemies (Hamas). They don't hide it either; they sometimes brag about it; but in all but name, theirs is the art of state terrorism. Only with compliant media coverage can such war criminals get away with it and remain in power. Such is the arrangement between the likes of AP and the PR goons of the Israel lobby.

Dialogue-Framing

Though there's no legal precedent for such a mandate, Palestinians are expected to "recognize" their occupiers, Israel, and lay down their modest arms of resistance and relinquish their legal claims to their life, liberty, and property. But In corporate media coverage of Israel-Palestine conflicts Palestinians are not recognized. They're treated as though they don't exist. On the rare occasions they are given an identity, it is chosen for them by editors and state PR agents (a repetition?) in D.C., Jerusalem, London, New York, and Tel Aviv. Or the Israeli aggression had to be so inhumane and egregious that the names, occupations, and some pictures of the Palestinian victims were reluctantly included in the report. This is then followed up by official Israeli and U.S. government inquiries ascertaining whether Jenin, Qana, Beit Hanoun, e.g., were "massacres" or simply "mistakes" requiring better state PR. (Of course it's always the latter.) An entire movement dedicated to pro-Israel propaganda—"hasbara"—arose in the wake of Ariel Sharon's genocidal razing of Beirut in 1982, which included his responsibility for the massacres inside the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps at the hands of Lebanese "Maronite militias," a.k.a., Christian terrorists.

If Sharon was Egyptian, Libyan, or Iraqi, he would have been tried and hanged long ago. But thanks to empire-apologists like AP, NYT, and 95% of all "mainstream" media, he's a "controversial figure" who, in his later days, saw the light and became a "man of peace," and is in a stroke-induced coma, as Israelis hang on his every peaceful breath. (Hypocrisy check: "Christian Zionists" are allowed to curse Sharon, saying he is being punished by God for even entertaining the idea of giving some Holy land back to the Palestinians. But non-Zionist Jews are constantly censored, ridiculed, and labeled anti-Semitic or self-hating, for championing blind justice and peace where such activism exposes Israeli policies as illicit.)

It's the modifier, stupid!

It's always "pro-Syrian," "pro-Iranian," "militant," "terrorist," "hostile takeover," "Islamist," etc., when AP, Reuters, et al., describe the Palestinians or Lebanese; their bad intentions and crimes are foregone conclusions. But on the flip side, it's always "Israelis" who are "terrified," "frozen in fear," and "vulnerable," with "memories of the Holocaust" fresh on their collective mind as the Arab third-world is threatening to push "the Jewish state" into the sea. And the Israeli military is always a heroic yet amazingly innacurate-with-laser-guided-missiles bunch of good guys; their dispositions are beyond question; reports of their daily crimes are "disputed" or "controversial."

And of course every Palestinian casualty of Israeli violence is either a "militant," closely affiliated with a Palestinian militant group, or simply a "terrorist." After all, everyday Palestinians with no particular "militant" affiliation never defend their families and land! And only terroristic militants are found "walking too closely" to a "security fence" inside their own territory when Israeli missiles vaporize them, or a .50 caliber machine guns cut them in half. And there's always a rocket-launcher sighting reported by—you guessed it—the IDF (Israeli Defense [sic] Forces) who heroicly slay the teroristic existential threat. Anonymous reports and IDF sources attest to "crude rocket fire from Gaza moments beforehand," or, that the deceased Palestinian youths "were seen near [what appeared to be] a rocket launcher," thereby justifying the preemptive state aggression.

"Those 7-year-olds were highly-trained and dangerous threats to the existence of the Jewish [sic] state," say unbiased state sources.

Image © Carlos LatuffIt's typically a Palestinian "militant," but an Israeli "soldier." It's a Palestinian "terrorist attack targeting Israeli civilians" and killing one, but an Israeli "defense operation, targeting two Hamas militants" but "accidentally killing 13 ———'s." And according to unquoted, anonymous, or state sources, most if not all of the dead were "Hamas supporters," therefore "militants," "potential terrorists," and therefore fair game, according to the state of Israel and its Apartheid Propaganda mills.

But don't expect AP to tell you about a 41-year illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, or about all the UN Resolutions against the Zionist regime, still defied, or that no camera crew or journalist is allowed to film or report from within the IOPTs without IDF approval, or that American and British citizens visiting and working from the West Bank have been treated like terrorist suspects by the IDF—some killed in cold bold.

The Hell-Bent Hamas Hooey

According to AP et al., the "militant" Hamas—designated a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel—"staged" a "bloody takeover of Gaza" in June '07, while "security forces" linked to "moderate" Fatah had no choice but to "respond" by retreating back to the West Bank. But thoroughly omitted is the mention of why Fatah's thugs had to "retreat" from a battle with Hamas: Fatah was the advancing aggressor, and if either side was on the defense, it was Hamas.

How do we know this? The same way Hamas knew it. Elliot Abrams and his fellow state thugs couldn't keep the lid on their anti-Hamas (anti-Palestinian, really) "hard coup" plan. Word got around to Hamas headquarters, other Middle Eastern governments, and even some European states. News of the neocon traitor's plan to sabotage democratic Palestinian self-determination made its rounds on newsletters and blogs for months prior to the Hamas counter-offensive.

The coup never had a chance, as Hamas "militants" were in place and ready for the aggression ahead of time—defeating Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammad Dahlan's "militants" so soundly; it was easily spun by corporate media into an act of unprecedented aggression on Hamas' part. No mention of Abrams' plot or the arming and training of militias (reminiscent of his Iran-Contra days); all of which began a year-and-a-half before the "takeover."

The most recent conflict conflagration between Hamas and Israel began after Hamas was legitimately elected to majority rule by a landslide vote; whereafter Israel, the U.S., and some European states began placing aid freezes, embargoes, and sanctions on Gaza, creating the humanitarian crises unfolding ever since.

But don't expect state-allied corporate media to relate that contextual content. According to AP, the "bloody, violent siege of Gaza by militant Hamas" 18 months later set everything in motion. That's where corporate media's timeline begins, because that's what U.S. and Israeli officials and other unbiased state sources tell them.

AP = fraud.

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