By Neil Sutherland – Cairo
With a monopoly of the air, and unlimited access to the latest US military hardware, Israel will always dominate violent means of ‘resolving’ the Mid-East conflict.
So why do Palestinians continue to turn to this futile means of reacting to Israeli actions? Continue, even after it adds more to the humiliating concessions that pile up by the day? It is because the Arab-speaking and other Muslim countries are even more out-played by Zionists in the war of words.
Take today’s (Saturday January 3) case as an example. Larry King on CNN first interviewed an Israeli spokesman, with a fluent English accent, all polished in appearance, and repeating the same ‘message’ that Western audiences are used to hearing. That is, Israel is a peace-loving, un-aggressive Western democracy that is only defending itself from filthy, ignorant, uncivilized, desert-dwelling, camel-riding, nomadic religious fanatics. For one thing, this looks a lot like re-enacting how Europeans colonized America, Australia and South Africa – they can relate to this image.
And how does the Palestinian side react? The spokeswoman was articulate enough, but she was only heard by radio, despite the fact that humans are 90% visual sense animals. She was also too articulate, using big words that the audience didn’t recognize as part of the ‘story’. So, the American media can claim that this CNN story was unbiased, giving both parties a chance to speak, even though the Palestine side’s message had zero audience impact.
Yes, the Arab and other Muslim countries are amateurs in the art of propaganda, while the Zionists are masters. Israel takes every word with a positive connotation, and inserts them into its image to the West. Democracy, freedom, love, peace, civilization, modernization, equity, liberty; these are all things that Israel claims to stand for. And who, by implication, does it stand against? These opposing words or images, with all of their negative connotations, are all systematically attached to its opponent, the Arabs (where-as, my experience is that Arab-speaking countries are the most positive in outlook, and have the highest per cent of English-speakers, east and south of Amsterdam).
If they were the slightest bit adept at propaganda, the Palestinians would point out that Israel is not democratic, having suspended its Constitution at the time of Independence (emergency act), and treating non-Jews as second class citizens. They would also point out that Zionists are not religious Jews, that Israel was founded by atheist socialists from East Europe (the Labour party), and that they did not seize the Holy Land of Judea (the West bank), but rather the fertile coastal plains (of the ‘Philistines’). Thus all of the discrimination of Israel is along racial grounds.
Besides using the negative word ‘undemocratic’ to describe Zionists, the Palestinians would have announced elections where everyone within the borders of their country is free to vote, regardless of which ‘group’ is the majority. This would emphasize the difference between a democracy and a state based on race, which necessarily calls for ‘ethnic’ cleansing’ and emphasis on group differences. Then the world sees what it is that Israel’s neighbors oppose – not a state with religious Jews resident, but a state where only one race are first class citizens.
Israel and Terror
They would also link Israel to terror, while rejecting America’s position as mediator. They would mention that the current leader (Livni) and Obama’s chief of staff are not only Zionist soldiers, but are children of gang-members that invented modern terrorism. That is, Israel has a history of terror that goes back to its founding. Today, killing more civilians than soldiers is an act of terror (of course, Hamas and Hezbollah are guilty of this charge as well). Every time this is mentioned, adept propagandists would simultaneously mention that the weapons of terror are all US-made. Something to the effect of "Israeli terrorists in United States aircraft" bombed such-and-such city today, killing so-many civilians.
Finally, they would emphasize Israel’s violation of International Law (and UN Resolutions supported by everyone but the US). Never let them refer to occupied territory as any other than that, never as ‘settlements’ by ‘settlers’ – this isn’t the American West in 1850. Israel isn’t establishing ‘facts’ on the ground; it’s creating ‘artifacts’, as artificial as any pretense of peace-making it has ever made, as it uses further delays at a settlement to send in more militant fanatics to colonize the West Bank. Never let them unilaterally take a violation of International Law (right of return, the 1967 borders) ‘off the table’. Negotiation isn’t concession by submission. It is giving up one thing for another. It begins by recognizing equal rights to all residents of Palestine.
Yes, it is too bad for them, that Palestinians are such bad propagandists.
– Neil Sutherland (PhD) contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.