Friday, June 18, 2010

U.S Media:The Occupation, Part 1

Since the year 1967, following the war between Israel and the countries of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, Israel militarily occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Israel was asked by the UN to withdraw from the occupied territories and has yet to comply till today.

Although by now a majority of world citizens have witnessed the inhumane attacks of the Israeli forces against the flotilla of humanitarian-aid-bearing ships in May, I am not surprised if there is a significant group of Americans who are continuing their lives with the deep-rooted notion that the Israeli "self-defense" act is a justified action. I have read a comment from a self-proclaimed good Christian American that everything is written in the Bible, that we should just let the bloodshed happen, that we should just turn our cheeks and let the Zionist have their way. First of all, a book of God would never attest or approve violence and injustice of any kind. Let alone letting a "God-chosen, supreme" race to kill innocents in order to secure themselves their so-called rightful land. It all started as a political agenda and had long been propagandized as legit. One main entity that made our fellow American friend blurt such a nonsensical comment would be the unique and seemingly harmless weapon, the American Media, which is usurping each and every unaware viewer’s mind every day and every second that he/she spends in front of the television. Its efficacy can be seen by how appallingly contorted has our friend’s flow of logic and thoughts been that it culminated to his/her ludicrous statement.

A significant number of Americans, who don't have the time or refuse to read and seek for the truth, are being misled everyday by the American media (we have to keep in mind though, that the number of Americans who have had their eyes opened by researching for unbiased sources is acceleratedly increasing). News released on TV (which is sadly the primary means of aforementioned group of Americans to having access to the Palestine-Israel conflict--the average American household watches 8 hours and 15 minutes of television in a 24-hour period (Nielsen Media Research)) are structurally organized and edited in such a way that a consistent stream of theme or idea are being incorporated into each piece of news broadcasted. The culprits realized this and it took them less than an eye blink to jump-start their sinister plot. The broadcasters are definitely not to blame, neither do the viewers, they are merely victims who are boxed-in, made to believe that the soil that they seek refuge in and the cause that they believe in are defended in the name of God and country, when it is actually serving for the benefits of the Zionists. The method being utilized is the B.F. Skinner operant conditioning method, using the relationship between stimulus and response to sow distrust towards the Palestinians, where images of keffiyeh-clad teenager are shown concurrently with words with negative connotations or vice versa, shaping their understanding about the conflict.

The viewers are gradually conditioned to regard the stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers as terrorists, when it was elicited, in the first place, by the occupation itself. You don't expect them to sit around and watch their houses, in which their family had lived all their lives, getting demolished by bulldozers, to sit and watch their little brothers/sisters or sons/daughters got gunned down by the Israeli forces when all they tried to do was to go school in peace, to sit and watch their beloved family members dying on the street while waiting for an approval at the whim of an Israeli soldier to get through the checkpoint to get to the hospital, to sit and watch their family farm, which was their primary source of income, being uprooted, for no valid reasons. We, as normal human beings, would lash out even at the first sight of a teenager stepping onto our nicely trimmed garden.

Back to the conditioning method, it is one of their strategies towards winning the conflict. As Alon Pinkas, former Consul General for Israel in NY, has been quoted to say:

"We are currently in a conflict with the Palestinians...engaging in a successful PR campaign is part of winning the conflict."

So they call it the PR campaign. Let us proceed by studying their modus operandi:

In 1983, they launched the Hasbara Project; the aim was to train the "information officers to present Israel's case to TV anchormen around the world". Confessions of an Israeli press officer:

"I had breakfast, lunch and dinner with journalists. A typical day began with calls to producers at news and talk shows about the content of the programs".

Every news is tilted to favoring the Israelis. Here's how:

Real events in the world are sieved through a series of institutional filters:

1) Owners of US Media Firms

2) Political elites

3) Israeli Government PR Campaign:

i) Some of the largest American PR firms (Ruder-Finn, NYPR, Leyden Communications, Rubenstein Associates, etc) are employed as image consultants to coordinate their political campaign

ii) 9 Israeli Consulates (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.) help implement this PR campaign.

iii) Private American Organizations (American Friends of Likud, Christian Coalition, Christian Broadcasting Network, American Jewish Congress, Christian Friends of Israel, American Israeli Friendship League, etc with AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) being the most crucial (deemed to be the strongest political lobby in the U.S)).

A significant number of organizations that oppose the occupation (American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Churches for Middle East Peace, Not in My Name, Tikkun Community, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Muslim Peace Forum, Jewish Friends of Palestine, Seeds of Peace, Jewish Peace Fellowship, Jews Against the Occupation etc.) would never make it through the filter.

4) The final stage is the watchdog groups that monitor news regarding Israeli policy that somehow manage to surface (Anti Defamation League, Palestinian Media Watch, Eye on The Post, Facts and Logic About the Middle East, Honest Reporting, with CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) being the most important). Their names themselves are gravely misleading they made me laugh.

The journalists are also monitored and blackmailed to ensure that they slant their stories to favor Israel. The American journalists have developed fears that they would not ask the correct questions to the correct person, that news are not worded aptly, that they would not question the portion of stories that are left out.

I realized during my 4-year experience in the States that the news shown on the tubes were definitely of a different tone than those delivered in Malaysia. I remember watching (I was in Malaysia) a slot on Prime News, on the subject of two American engineers or architects, I can't recall, who came down to Malaysia to disseminate a video CD containing an analysis their team did on the odd angle of the falling of World Trade Center during the September 11 attack. Let us not divulge into that matter yet, but yes, they would not see the light of day if they decided to release that video in the US.

I also remember the first question my lecturer voiced out when I sat in my Middle-East history class: "Has any one of you been to the Aljazeera website?" A minority raised their hands. Aljazeera, to majority of America dwellers is as infiltrative and dangerous as having a Hamas button man aiming an M-16 at them at point-blank range, when the fact is the Aljazeera website is just as normal as BBC, CNN, or Huffington Post's. The lecturer proceeded by urging them to give it a try and see how unbelievably normal the website was. That is the power of the Zionist propaganda. It is surprisingly simple but dangerously effective.

Our humble hope would be for the Americans to recognize and admit that the U.S media is just as occupied as the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The moment this happens , the current Israeli military power would accordingly be reduced by half and the Palestinian people might have the chance to witness the light at the end of the death tunnel. Let us all pray.

::The next installment will discuss the strategies the Zionists employ in their PR Campaign::

To read the original post by the cartoonist,click here.

Reference: Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict, a documentary by Media Education Foundation.

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