Photo by Monica Isaac
As I’m writing this, 500,000 people have crowded the streets of London chanting and calling for an immediate ceasefire. They are far from alone. An overwhelming response from the world has led to mass demonstrations, rallies, and actions targeting local and nationally elected officials. To date, Over 9,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli State since October 7th with thousands more missing under rubble and currently unidentified.
The siege on Gaza has displayed unbelievable atrocities and demands are clear from the people of Gaza and the people of conscience globally: Ceasefire Now! And while the world is standing by an end to the occupation and the need for a ceasefire, President Biden has disturbingly doubled down on support for the Israeli state pledging another 14.3 billion dollars to financially fund the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians mainly in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, he’s doubled down on lies surrounding the bombing of Al-Alhi hospital on October 17th claiming it was, “highly unlikely” Israelis were responsible and in an interview with Israeli PM Netanyahu stated, “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you. But there’s a lot of people out there. Not sure.” This was quickly disputed by several analysts after Israeli officials claimed “Islamic jihadists” were to blame and then flipping that narrative multiple times (also offering audio footage that was disputed). He also boldly and callously accused the Health Ministry of Gaza and Palestinian civilians of falsifying death numbers in the region (a number that is actually much higher than reported because of the amount of missing Gazans). This state tactic of releasing conflicting and fabricated lies was well documented with the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022. Israel publicly denied responsibility for her murder and AGAIN flipped the narrative to claim it was an “accident”. Her death was eventually ruled an intentional, targeted murder by Israeli Occupation Forces(IOF) by the US State Department and other investigative agencies.
These are not isolated incidents. In fact, they serve as a strategic culture of lies, bias, deliberate confusion, and manipulation to advance the Settler-Colonialist Zionist agenda. How has this been successful?
From its creation in the late 19th century, Zionism has been a colonizing project masquerading and still showcasing itself as modern statehood for all Jewish people. This in itself acts as a tool of propaganda.
The concept of bringing Jews from all over the world, mainly Europe and subsequently the US via a grant funded program, to a region with an already established Native people is literally the definition of settler-colonialism, “to invade and occupy territory to permanently replace the existing society with the society of the colonizers.”
Fast forward to the British betrayal of Palestine as they had promised them independence from the Turks. However, Britain was making several deals leaving Palestine in the dark about what the future held. What unfolded was the Balfour Declaration, essentially dividing up Palestine between the French and British. Around 1917, Palestine was still overwhelmingly Arab at 96% and this presented an opportunistic moment for the Zionist movement. A full scope migration of Jewish people to Arab land was slowly taking place and eventually Palestinians began to rise and respond to what they now understood was in the future: full expulsion from their homeland.
Towards the end of British colonial rule, the UN and the United States played a critical role in the future of Palestine. The Zionist movement had understood the necessity of attaching themselves to a global empire like the US. They wanted to expand their hegemonic reach and with that came a 1947 UN plan to officially strip Palestinians for the first time of the majority of their land, rich with natural resources. They were left with just 44%. Simultaneously, during election season, President Truman was beginning to feel pressure from Jewish constituents eager to see the US support what was now beginning to officially form: The Israeli state. He quickly secured votes by declaring full recognition of Israel. Historians have noted that this was the beginning of how the Israeli state manipulated Western powers into a new white supremacist movement, Zionism. Israel began a campaign of promoting themselves as a Socialist Democracy which is directly opposed to the idea of a strictly Jewish state. So while their true agenda rested on supremacist ideals, the US had attached itself to their false campaign of Middle East democracy and wanted to expand on their already present and active colonialist legacy.
Dier Yassin and the image of Zionism
The Dier Yassin Massacre was an Israeli terrorist attack in April of 1948 that slaughtered 205 people in the village of Dier Yassan. It is seen as the catalyst for the Nakba(catastrophe) of the same year. Over 700,00 Palestinians were violently expelled from their homes and land after what was already a brutal campaign by the Zionist state following Dier Yassan.. This Massacre introduced the particularly depraved nature of Zionism as the state paraded around Palestinian captives in the streets while Israelis spat, threw rocks, tortured, slapped, burned bodies, and degraded them. A report filed to the UN in 1948 called it a “great savagery”. The Israeli state and historians did not take initial responsibility for the massacre and eventually blamed a particular Jewish militia group named Irgun and continued to deny any massacres that took place following Dier Yassin, a tactic to muddle information and downplay atrocities.
The savagery at Dier Yassan became a well-documented and continuous daily practice in the streets of Gaza and the West Bank for the next 75 years. Just this week, former IOF soldiers have released interviews discussing their daily overnight rituals of attacking random Palestinian homes and creating terror, havoc, illegal arrests, etc. Similarly, This torture was common in Germany during World War 2 to psychologically keep Jewish people in a perpetual state of fear.
To create a pattern for what we are seeing now, post October 7th, It’s critical to understand the magnitude of lies, censorship, and deliberate rewriting of history that has placed Israel and Zionism on a safe pedestal in the Western world. For example, In regards to Dier Yassin, all documentation is not available to the public and journalists have been denied access by the Israeli Supreme Court, “..The court cited the possible damage to Israel’s foreign relations and its negotiations with the Palestinians.” Controlling outcomes and narratives through bureaucracy and high court positions is essential to preserving the facade of Democracy in Israel. With documents sealed, Israeli leadership and society as a whole can produce narratives that fit their agenda, as in pinning Dier Yassin massacre on a particular militia group and wiping their hands of any responsibility. And in fact, their responsibility has built a legacy for the IOF. Many of these militia groups segued into what is now the IOF which is similar to the origins of American policing with the KKK and local “slave catchers”.
This moment during and proceeding World War 2 was pivotal in introducing a “victim mentality” claim whenever Palestinians would resist the barbaric nature of the Israeli state, A resistance that is legal under international law. These claims were not only morally abhorrent, they completely deflect and erase Israel’s accountability for numerous war crimes and violations of international law. Furthermore, it began perpetuating two specific dangerous narratives that has shaped Western thinking to the present day:
- That we are witnessing a “conflict”, indicating an even playing field of two opponents as opposed to the understanding of The ruling power or The Occupier and an occupied people: A people defending themselves against an Apartheid State that has systematically created unjust and illegal conditions through occupation, laws, judicial power, settlements, resource and land extraction, military harassment/killings, illegal arrests, false imprisonment, and war crimes that presently include: preventing Gazans from receiving medical aid/resources, the practice of ethnic cleansing, Bombing of hospitals and refugee camps and border closures-specifically Rafah Crossing which is in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. The Nakba of 1948, which was a forcible deportation, was in direct violation of the International Criminal Court. Western media repeatedly minimizes the magnitude of the terror Israel espouses on the Palestinians. The past few weeks have served as a repetitive cycle, asking the same questions to absolve Israel of committing genocide and to dull analysis and empathy for the viewer at home by describing the genocide as a “war between Israel v. Hamas”. This was the same tactic used in 2001 during the violent invasion of Iraq. In order to sell this to the public, Western media created fear falsely calling it a “war on terror”. This language creates a pattern that the resistance is in fact the aggressor as opposed to defending their moral and legal right to exist. It also ignores that the actual targets of these atrocities are in fact not the resistance group Hamas, but overwhelmingly women, children, and civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. These atrocities are part of a depraved strategy of targeting children, to date 3,500 have been killed. This hyper focus on The Hamas resistance is a strategy repeated in the media by Israeli leaders and advisors to not only create fear but to reimagine the Palestinian child as dangerous and part of a “terrorist operation” to annihilate Israel. Ultimately, to justify genocide. Western media has also peddled specific language to advance this narrative. The most common being “Conflict”,” situation”, “War” instead of ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, and occupation. This serves to not only prop up a Zionist agenda that reinforces their geopolitical desires but also a complete refusal to see the full humanity of the Palestinian people.
- The dehumanization of Arabs is a potent strategy to advance hegemony(dominance) over the Middle East. Israel and The US needed the world to see Arabs as “subhuman” and “overtly violent” in order to justify vicious atrocities within the occupation for decades. Targeting Palestinians in Israeli and Western Media as “Anti-semitic” for resisting violence or disagreeing with the nature of living in an Apartheid regime was and is fuel to the fire for European Jews who had still been dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust. This tactic still permeates today as Israel uses the tenets of Judaism and their past to manipulate Jewish people into the Zionist ideology that is directly opposed to their practicing religion. More specifically, Western Media plays a significant role of barbarizing Arabs with images of resistance masked as “Anti-semitic” violence and ultimately a false desire to annihilate Jews. This is not rooted in reality. The conflation of Zionism,a white supremacist ideology, and Judaism, An Abrahamic religion, has plagued Western thinking and has prevented a moral and humanitarian response to the plight of Palestinians. American politicians have historically played a significant role in this ideological manipulation. In a 1987 speech to Israeli President Chaim Herzog, Ronald Reagan remarked the following, “Mr. President, we cannot meet on this day without noting the special significance it has for the Jewish people. On November 10th, 1983, a half-century ago — 1938, I should say, a half century ago, the Nazis let loose a reign of terror against the German Jewry that is remembered as the infamous “crystal night.” And on November 10th, 1975, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed an obscene resolution equating Zionism and racism. Both of these ugly actions share a common denominator: anti-Semitism; but there is a major difference between them. In 1938 the State of Israel did not yet exist. In 1975 a proud and resolute Israeli Ambassador rose up in the United Nations to uphold the honor of Israel and the high principles on which the United Nations is founded.” This is an intentional propaganda tool by the Zionist State to sow discord and create guilt and confusion about “Israeli victimhood” and the “right to defend themselves” as a justification for ethnic cleansing. Again, it’s a consistent propaganda tool advanced by American politicians to stoke fear in American consciousness. Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley(former UN ambassador) recently responded to a question on the campaign trail in regards to the resistance and Iran, “Finish them. Finish them. They are only going to try to kill us(Americans) and Israelis. We gotta put an end to this.”
If people are not seen as human, their pain is not real.
October 7th opened the door to a resistance that was boiling over after decades of Occupation and a response to Netanyahu’s bid to transform trade and economics in a “New Middle East”-Coded language for a complete ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and a forced expulsion to The Sinai Desert and Jordan. One of the more alarming details on display has been the outrageous lies the Zionist state has unleashed on the public.
Between October 7th-17th, Israel has spent over 7 million dollars on Youtube ads to spread lies about the ongoing genocide including: Using AI footage to create crowd images at demonstrations, falsifying videos of Palestinian celebrities giving messages of support to Israel, bribing and threatening social media influencers, creating fake social media pages to harass and bully Pro-Palestinian supporters and organizations, blatant lies about data and information coming out of Gaza including the refusal to take responsibility for the bombing of Al-Alhi hospital, releasing false information about aid being received in Gaza, etc. We’ve seen how The Zionist agenda has been an effective tool in silencing and doxxing students, employees, and Pro-Palestinian supporters around the world. According to Palestine Legal, a non-profit that protects the civil and constitutional rights of people in the US who speak out for Palestinian Freedom, they have received 400 requests for support from people facing suppression for their advocacy since October 7th. That number is double the total amount of requests from 2022. It’s important to remember that these are just the reported instances. The culture of Zionism is a silencing tool for the Western world built with dire consequences for the opposition.
While Zionist propaganda has been on full display for the world to see, so has the absurd and desperate nature of these tactics. A new Gallup poll showed an 11% increase in Support for Palestinians over The zionist state. This percentage also reflects for the first time in a decade that more Americans support Palestine than Israel. Social media and Longtime grassroots organizing has played a key role in allowing the globe to see firsthand accounts from Gazans sharing the daily horror of life in captivity. And we are listening. For the first time in history, Israel and its unleashing of terrorism on the Palestinian people is being fully seen by the world with open eyes and a new consciousness. The world is finally saying, No more.