The narrative battle is following the one on the ground. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
The National Director Emeritus for the Anti-Defamation League has announced on Twitter that he is cancelling his subscription to The New York Times, claiming that a front-page story featuring the photos of children killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza this month constitutes “blood libel” against Jews.
“I am cancelling my subscription to NYTimes,” tweeted Abraham Foxman. “I grew up in America on the NYT- I delivered the NYT to my classmates- I learned civics- democracy and all the news ‘fit to print’ for 65 years but no more. Today’s blood libel of Israel and the Jewish people on the front page is enough.”
Foxman’s statement drew criticism from all corners, including from loyal establishment pundits like Jonathan Chait, for his ridiculous assertion that merely humanizing Palestinian children killed by Israel is the same as promoting the ancient antisemitic canard known as blood libel.
Can Israel defend itself short of nuclear weapons? From Taxi at unz.com:
From rocks to rockets. This is now the recorded evolution of the armed Palestinian Resistance. From throwing Intifada rocks that barely scratched occupation tanks, to lobbing rockets that can now reach anywhere in Israel: this is presently the undeniable status of the Palestinian Resistance. Hard, therefore, not to deduce that some impressive progress has been achieved by the armed Palestinian Resistance in Gaza, despite Gaza being under a severe land, sea and air siege. Right under the very noses of the bulky Israeli military and its lauded hi-tech Intel, the Palestinian Resistance has managed to arm itself in a significant way – and indeed, it continues to improve its arsenal, undetected. Of course, Israel’s weaponry remains by far more superior to that of the Palestinians, but this superiority in arms became meaningless during the recent ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ combat: a small war that found the Israeli forces unilaterally withdrawing from the battlefield after only some ten days. In normal military parlance, this would be defined as a defeat, yet this defeat is being referred to in the West as a ‘ceasefire’. Well, semantics aside, the simple takeaway is that Israel’s mighty military lost to pitiful Gaza rockets. The biblical story of David and Goliath repeated itself right before our modern eyes. And from here on, the hulking Israeli military will be powerless to protect Israeli Jews and their properties in the holy land.
In 1948, Zionism had promised the Jews of Israel two vital services: security and prosperity. Indeed, it had kept good on its promise for some 73 years. But now, in 2021 and post the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ war, it can no longer provide either. From here on, Zionism cannot guarantee either security or prosperity for its Jewish population – not with Gaza rockets now permanently looming and ready to disrupt daily Jewish life in the holy land. It used to be that the Israeli military was the one capriciously disrupting the security and prosperity of Palestinians, but overnight, the success of the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ has turned the tables on Israel. From here on, Palestine calls the shots. From here on, Israel will pay a very heavy price for any significant aggression against the suffering, occupied Palestinian people. This equation is now fixed; immovable. This is the new status quo.
After the conclusion of the Derek Chauvin trial a few weeks ago, it became apparent that across the worlds of culturally left/liberal US corporations, non-profits, academia, professional sports, and electoral politics, certain slogans were mandatory to recite. The phrase “There Is Still Much Work To Be Done,” or some slight variation thereof, was repeated ad nauseam by politicians, CEOs, and other public-facing individuals who had the misfortune of being obliged to release a statement under the circumstances. You’d almost think some creepy blackmail-esque memo had been distributed with an attached script so that these people could swiftly complete the requisite PR task.
Whenever there’s an outbreak of deadly violence in Israel-Palestine, a very similar dynamic plays out; although in this instance it’s concentrated in different sectors of society. While a handful of Republicans joined in on the “Much Work To Be Done” refrain after the Chauvin trial, cultural left/liberals comprised the largest share of offenders. Now though, it’s time for public-facing conservative figures — joined by a sizable portion of liberals — to mindlessly recite the same slogans and phrases over and over again as a signaling mechanism and, conveniently, a substitute for even a modicum of independent thinking.
Usually the formulation is to triumphantly proclaim that so-and-so person, place, or thing “stands with” Israel. Like the state of Arkansas “stands with Israel,” or Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota “stands with Israel,” or some random New York State Senator “stands with Israel.” What it means to “stand with” a foreign military force is seldom precisely defined — no one appears to be physically standing, for one thing. This incantation is quickly followed by a rote affirmation that Israel has a “right to defend itself,” as if that’s responsive at all to the actual details of the situation unfolding.
The American two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israel conflict is long dead, and the US only flogs it for propaganda purposes. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Blinken’s used-car-sales trip to the Middle East is proof that the American model is on the scrap heap of history, Finian Cunningham writes.
If ever American foreign policy looked like a tacky brochure from a dodgy car dealer, then U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered on the image with his trip to the Middle East this week.
Washington’s top diplomat flew to the region to flog the “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asserting that it was the only way to find peace. This was after nearly two weeks of an Israeli blitzkrieg on the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave where two million Palestinians subsist in chronic poverty. Blinken said the purpose of his trip was to shore up a ceasefire and to jump-start a long-defunct peace process predicated on a two-state solution.
The fact is that the American model of peace is long dead. For more than three decades since Washington brokered the Oslo Accord the endless talk about two states coexisting has been a chimera and a fallacy. The Israelis never believed in such a settlement, despite occasional cynical lip service. And the Americans never seriously held the Israelis to their supposed commitments. Occupation and annexation of the Palestinian homeland have been allowed to continue unabated with Washington’s acquiescence.
It’s very encouraging to see an entirely grassroots activist campaign get this far off the ground, where ordinary people online and in demonstrations around the world overpower an official establishment narrative by sheer numbers and force of will until the imperial media are forced to acknowledge the legitimacy of their position. Rather than waiting for the corporate media to begin covering the plight of the Palestinians in a just manner, the people simply seized control of the narrative by speaking the truth with their own voices and becoming the dominant perspective on the matter, forcing everyone else to play catch-up.
And now we see Ireland passing a parliamentary motion condemning the “de facto annexation” of Palestinian land. After the oligarchic empire expended all that effort sabotaging Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign in the UK to keep Palestinian rights from going mainstream in the western world, Israel’s own actions have sent them mainstream anyway.
This loss of narrative control is a problem for Israel, whose nature is premised upon keeping Palestinians from attaining equality which would effectively end the Jewish ethnostate. This in turn is a problem for the empire, who needs to keep the Middle East fractured, imbalanced, and as far under its control as possible so long as human civilization is dependent on fossil fuels; if it hadn’t done that the region could have seen the rise of its own global superpower decades ago, or fallen into alignment with some other power not aligned with Washington and London. The nuclear-armed military force of Israel has consistently played a key role in bashing Middle Eastern affairs into alignment with imperial interests; as Joe Biden once said, “Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.”
Israel and its US lobby certainly know how to shape propaganda narratives. From Max Blumenthal at thegrayzone.com:
With deceptively edited videos and dubious allegations, the Israel lobby has manufactured an antisemitism epidemic to turn the media’s gaze away from dead children in Gaza.
Following an 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip in which the Israeli army killed over 220 people, including more than 65 children, and days of videotaped rampages of Jewish extremist mobs against Palestinian people and property inside Israeli cities, Israel lobbyists in the US and Canada have launched a carefully coordinated public relations campaign to deflect outrage.
Having failed to successfully defend massacres of entire families in their homes and the deliberate demolition of civilian residential towers and media offices in Gaza City, the US Israel lobby and the Israeli government it advocates for have manufactured an epidemic of antisemitic violence with the goal of portraying American Jewry as the true victim of the crisis.
Led by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Israel lobbyists have portrayed a series of street scuffles between supporters of Palestine and pro-Israel activists as anti-Jewish pogroms. In nearly every case, no evidence exists to substantiate claims that Jews were targeted as Jews for violent assault. There is ample proof of deception, however, as video and photographic evidence reveals pro-Israel elements provoking demonstrators, initiating violence and falsifying or embellishing their testimonies.
Since the Israeli government and Palestinian political factions signed a ceasefire, the media has provided Israel lobbyists with an uncritical platform to baselessly accuse Palestine solidarity activists of triggering a wave of antisemitic violence, and even claim without a shred of evidence that Jews are being hunted in their homes.
Israel’s enemies in the Middle East know it is not invincible. From The Saker at unz.com:
Credit: Musa Al-Shaer/AFP
Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.
First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:
War making capacity has scaled down and become more decentralized. Seems the US may be the last to get the news. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
As Gaza quietens for now, the next phase to this war likely will centre around Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem and the 1948 Palestinian communities within Israel.
The acclaimed novel Birdsong tells a story from inside the gruelling trench warfare of 1914-18. The trenches – mere mud, and rain-soaked corridors – were separated from the German lines, by the desolate hell of ‘no man’s land’ – an indescribable flat wilderness of mud, mud and more mud, littered with broken bits of what once were men, whose remains no one dared retrieve, and the surreal black art of coiled razor wire twisted out into every imaginable shape and angle.
Across this Hieronymus Bosch landscape, the Germans laid down rolling wave after wave of intense high explosive artillery shells sending plumes of earth high up into the sky. Yet, in counterpoint to this dark and demonic backdrop, Birdsong unfolds a story of human struggle, near death and deep compassion for injured fiends. But at the core, it is a story about tunnels – those who dug them; those buried in them, as they fell in; and those who sprung out from them – as earth-worms rising – to surprise and kill the enemy.
Tunnels were the secret weapon of WW1. They was the answer to the merciless aerial bombardment unleashed by the crushing mass of a superior military machine. Battalions would enter the trenches 800 strong, and emerge after the barrage, with a mere 100-200 living men. Yet on they went – volunteers digging tunnels through the mud to rise, like ghosts, upon a sleeping enemy.
The pretense of American mediation in the Middle East is in tatters. A year after the Abraham Accords, and the world is witnessing another bloody round of ethnic cleansing by the Israelis armed with American warplanes and missiles.
It only took a year for Trump’s “deal of the century” to fall apart for the fraud that it always was. The Arab and Muslim world are enraged by the crimes against humanity committed by Israel against Palestinians in nearly two weeks of violence.
A ceasefire has halted the bloodshed – for now – but the damage to America’s image of peace broker is permanent.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump bent over backward to please Israel. So much for all his bluster about “America First”. More like “Israel First”. Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and gave a green light to continue the annexation of Palestinian land.
Then in a re-election bid, Trump cobbled together the so-called Abraham Accords, a grandiose sounding deal between Israel and Arab countries. This was supposed to be the “deal of the century” which Trump, with his characteristic megalomania, touted as solving the seven-decade-old Middle East conflict. It was a con-job, befitting a wheeler-dealer real-estate mogul who is currently being investigated in the U.S. for corruption.
Israel’s goals regarding the Palestinians are political, not military. From Gilad Atzmon at unz.com:
If winning a military battle is defined by the accomplishment of one’s military objectives, then Hamas won the current round of violence with its very first ballistic barrage on Jerusalem ten days ago. Israel, on the other hand, won’t win, can’t win and doesn’t even dream of winning. Like in recent ‘rounds’, all Israel hopes to achieve is an ‘image of victory.’ Despite its military might and destructive enthusiasm, Israel can’t prevail militarily because it doesn’t even remember what military objectives are or what they look like.
In the last seven decades Israel has worked relentlessly to divide the Palestinians in an attempt to dismantle their ability to resist as one people. This project had been so successful in the eyes of the Israelis that many of them started to believe that the Palestinian cause had evaporated into thin air. But then, completely out of the blue (as far as the Israelis are concerned), Hamas managed to unite the Palestinians into a unified fist of resistance: on Tuesday every Palestinian between the River and the Sea joined a strike called by Hamas. Such a collective, multi-sectorial strike didn’t happen in Palestine since 1936.
Military victory is not measured by the carnage you inflict on your foe. It isn’t measured by the number of casualties or the residential towers one reduces into dust. Admittedly, there is no room for comparison between Israeli military capabilities and Hamas’ firepower. Israel is one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Hamas is decades behind, yet it wins over Israel in every round of violence.
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