Swans Commentary » swans.com August 14, 2006  



"Realities" In B Flat


by Philip Greenspan





(Swans - August 14, 2006)  "When we act, we create our own reality" was a bizarre assertion author Ron Suskind heard from a Bush advisor. In time he realized it was indicative of how the Bush gang functions. Dubya may be crazy but his advisors, though exceedingly reckless and hubristic, are not stupid. With a compliant Congress, court system, and media they were able to concoct "realities" for their prearranged objectives. Because the "well educated" -- translate that to "indoctrinated" -- American public believes their leaders are reputable and their democratic system is superior they readily lap up what is reported. Accordingly, the Bushies miraculously snatched the 2000 election and were granted, by the frightening and intimidating 9/11 attacks, carte blanche for their radical agenda. To this day many discrepancies and unanswered questions raise suspicions as to the legitimacy of those two events. Yet what should be choice meat for the media to chew on is avoided.

All governments attempt to cover up their intentions with justifying rhetoric and would love to successfully create their own realities. Occasionally they do. But have any pulled off such masterstrokes? Yes! And that government, unlike the amateurs in the White House whose lies have caught up with them, has been doing it successfully since it became a nation almost sixty years ago. Who are those master Machiavellians? The Israelis. Time after time after time during all those years they have been ruthlessly attacking neighboring peoples; claiming they are the victims of enemies who will drive them into the sea; falsely blaming their opponents for refusing to negotiate differences when they are the ones who refuse; and in addition, by various dishonest and unethical tactics, have increased their population by "inviting and persuading" -- translate that to "coercing" -- Diaspora Jews to immigrate. Amazingly, they have gotten away with it by exploiting a vast array of PR weapons that includes, when necessary, such intimidating concepts as anti-Semitism and the Holocaust!

A quotation about fooling people attributed to Abe Lincoln ends "...you can't fool all of the people all of the time." In Israel's early years and especially after the Six-Day War when the U.S. realized Israel's strategic value, its "created" myths were unquestioningly accepted. With the passage of time a slowly-growing number of cracks marred that mythical façade. The voices of revisionist Israeli historians such as Avi Shlaim, Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé, and Tom Segev, benefiting from newly available historical evidence, shattered those myths by exposing the lies and crimes of the state. Some foreign and Israeli journalists such as Robert Fisk, Jonathan Cook, Amira Haas, and Gideon Levy have given an authentic perspective to their news reports.

But the Israeli lobby, aided by the major media, suppresses information deemed harmful to that state, particularly in the two most important countries, in Israel and even more so in the U.S. A detailed report of this condition by two prominent professors, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University, was therefore disregarded. Nevertheless, the truth blackout is shrinking. An increasing number of people are discarding their existing sources of misinformation and selecting reliable and credible ones instead. Periodicals, books, films, exhibitions, websites, etc. that had been ignored are being looked at. Protesting groups have organized in both the U.S. and Israel to spread the message.

Israel's exceptional PR cannot create reality indefinitely. Those in the know are able to pass their messages through the filters that have been erected to stifle them. Palestinian viewpoints and culture are gradually emerging. Films like Paradise Now, a Golden Globe winner and an Academy Award nominee for best foreign film, are finding audiences and gaining recognition. The successful British play My Name is Rachel Corrie is opening in New York on October 15. Palestinian art exhibitions are taking place in locations around the country. Desperately striving to maintain their PR mastery, the prestigious and influential law firm Cravath, Swain and Moore was hired to suppress publication of Norman Finkelstein's book Beyond Chutzpah. But pressure on the publisher, the University of California Press, and the state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, could not turn the trick. The emergence and growth of numerous Jewish dissident groups in Israel, (1) the U.S., (2) and actually around the world, are yet another indication that authentic "reality" is seeping out.

These are minor cracks in Israel's masterful PR operations but they reflect their continuing failure to subdue the Palestinians. The extreme measures they are employing against their opposition are signs of how dire they regard their position. The Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been subjected to extremely harsh treatment and overwhelming military force for years and years. As bad as it has been, the latest extent of torture, arrests, and murder inflicted on the Palestinians now surpasses anything conceivable for an entire population and yet they fight back with meager available resources. Israeli dissidents are not merely protesters but activists who go into the Occupied Territories to work with and protect the Palestinians. Amongst those dissidents are refuseniks, IDF personnel who refuse to serve. The frustration of the Zionists is evident in their unwise and unjustifiable massive attack of Lebanon and their belligerent demeanor towards Syria and Iran.

Continuing encroachments into the Occupied Territory and attempts to ethnically cleanse the occupied areas will destroy the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. So Israel may be forced to accept the establishment of a single bi-national state -- horrors -- of Jews and Palestinians -- double horrors -- that will be dominated by more populous Palestinians -- triple horrors.

Such an outcome will revert to what the Balfour Declaration, (3) the charter of 67 words that started it all, promised the Jews. Composition of that document was contentious. Parties opposed to the Zionists fought over the wording so that each word in the text became significant. The existing nation state of Israel was not what Balfour promised. The term "national home," an ambiguous lesser entity was used instead. The term was preceded by the indefinite article "a" instead of the definite article "the" to satisfy Diaspora Jews in Britain who feared that anti-Semites might insist that THE Jewish homeland was where British Jews belonged. As a concession to the Arabs the preposition "in" preceded Palestine to indicate that only a portion of the territory was allocated to that home. Over half of the Declaration reiterates the rights of Diaspora Jews and the non-Jewish residents of Palestine. Could a single state of Jews and Palestinians exist in peace and harmony after all that has transpired? Who knows?

Jews lived peacefully in Palestine with their Arab neighbors for centuries. The appearance on the scene of the political Zionists displeased those Jews as well as the Arabs. The newcomers did not accept the existing customs and proprieties but arrogantly became a law unto themselves that antagonized their neighbors. A harbinger of trouble ahead! Yes. Indeed trouble that ballooned to the horrendous situation that exists today.

Palestinians are aware that some Israeli and foreign Jews are with them in their struggles against the Zionists. They may learn, perhaps they already realize, that the ordinary Israeli is a decent individual who was misled into believing the myths of their unscrupulous leaders. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in countries that suffered from colonialism or civil unrest hold the promise for coexistence of former enemies. It could hold the promise for a binational Palestinian/Israeli state as well!


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1.  Some of the well-known groups are: Bat Shalom (Women with a Vision for a Just Peace), B'Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), Courage to Refuse, Gush Shalom (The Peace Bloc), Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, New Profile (Movement for the Civil-ization of Israeli Society), Peace Now, Physicians for Human Rights (Israel), Rabbis for Human Rights, Women in Black, Yesh Gvul (There Is a Limit!).  (back)

2.  Some of the well-known groups are: Brit Tzedek v'Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace), Jewish Voice for Peace, Jewish Women for Justice in Israel and Palestine, Jews Against the Occupation, Not in My Name, Rabbis for Human Rights of North America, Tikkun.  (back)

3.  "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."  (back)


Internal Resources

Israel & Palestine

Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Philip Greenspan on Swans (with bio).



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Published August 14, 2006