Sunday, May 18, 2014
Propaganda, Palestine and the Information War. (Part I)
The PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) holds an annual stall in Richmond, South London and it spreads propaganda against Jews and Israelis. I joined a group of people, Jews and Christians who have decided to take a stand against the lies disseminated by the PSC. Richmond is the former constituency of the notorious anti-Zionist Jenny Tonge.
From this event I took away four tactics that are practiced by our enemies: incitement, denial, emotive concealment of intent and the diplomacy of betrayal.
First, the truly committed antisemite does not care what they say and therefore as offensive as their narrative may be, one cannot argue with them, or even, as I did, use shock tactics to encourage them to confront their own statements. Generalized assertions that are facile, provocative and weighed down with bile are intended for vilification, not dialogue; for propaganda not reconciliation. By hammering home their message, making false connections and being selective about the truth, the Palestine Propaganda Campaign has the power to persuade even the most reasonable people that day is night and night is day.
Second, the Israeli side will always be willing to admit past wrongs and shared failure however, the Palestinian narrative is wholly based on denial. They deny the cultural and religious diversity of the geographical arena by expressly minimizing or denying any Jewish relevance to the area; they ignore many centuries of persecution throughout the Arab world by the Arabs against the indigenous Jewish population (which clearly was the contributory factor in Jewish demands for self-determination).
The Muslim Arab world has always been guilty of grossly abusing its minorities. That is proven by history. Rarely though, has this Islamic militancy, missionary zeal and an unquenchable thirst for conquest been investigated even as we place our own statecraft under the microscope of world opinion. The Arab world feels no shame but instead it accuses its victims of implementing the same policies of which it is guilty. We may label it transference of guilt but it is also a remorseless and cynical act of contempt for formerly persecuted, victim populations. It is hardly surprising that this should be the case. For over 1,300 years Islam was the master of its own aggressive and acquisitive colonial triumphs. To this day, the Arab and greater Muslim world remains in a state of mourning for the loss of Christian Spain 500 years earlier and Christian Greece almost 200 years ago. After barely 70 years Jewish Israel cannot realistically expect that being freed from its Muslim colonial aggressor will be accepted, or forgiven, any time soon.
But while a theological pathology may explain denial, a deliberate campaign of lies is harder to combat. And relearning a civil discourse (as I recently read) will only happen when the other side understands that it has something worse to lose.
Palestinian propaganda is anodyne; it is built on dissimulation and disinformation. Their leaflets often portray the Arabs as victims of Western aggression. Jews are portrayed as quintessentially foreign, which dovetails exquisitely with European antisemitic memes.
What truly disgusts me, and always will, is that the Nazis used the term “Judaisation” to describe the alleged Jewish conquest (cultural or financial) of Christian Europe. It denoted a meme by which racial and religious fear was instilled in an already xenophobic and antisemitic population. This was an essential element of racial propaganda which fascism fed to a receptive population, a population that had already been primed by centuries of religiously inspired incitement and pious hypocrisy. It should come as no surprise then, that the Palestinians and their supporters are such enthusiastic proponents of the same tactics, the same language. But it does. And tactics reflect aims. It is for this reason I am filled with despair for the Palestinian bigots and their British fascist supporters because tactics clearly demonstrate that they are not interested in either reconciliation, or peace.
The late twentieth century was unique in the colossal sense of guilt and shame felt in the Western world for the commission of slavery, for racial prejudice and its inevitably nefarious outcomes, for Western imperialism and for genocide. No other civilization has had to deal with such huge levels of guilt. While we lash ourselves in self-righteous dishonor we remain blissfully ignorant of the inhumanity that non-Western nations were (and are) capable of committing. This has been painfully demonstrated by Muslim slavers dressed in the theocratic insularity of Jihad. Once more they are reasserting their influence over the Nigerian faithful. The Islamic world has the Koran and its commentaries to justify every activity for which we in the West now feel nothing but shame and guilt. And they have 1,300 years of Islamic precedent to support their cause. We already have conspiracy theorists blaming a shadowy non-Muslim ‘Other’ for the crimes of the faith community in Nigeria.
In the USA the apologists for the gun lobby state that guns do not kill people, people kill people. In the Muslim world the mantra for every unpalatable crime for which we in the West take exception is that “the true Muslim” is blameless. And in our inverted moral universe we accept their excuses for every unimaginable crime against humanity committed by them. Instead we should be demanding parity, the same high minded ethical conduct, regardless of race, creed or color.
So when the Muslim world and its Western acolytes lecture me on the Judaisation of Jerusalem or any other part of Israel I want to scream in rage at the injustice that despoils our historical memory, at the cynical abuse of language and at the willingness with which sympathizers on a Liberal-Left fascist continuum so readily collaborate in this Muslim-Arab war against “the Jews” (even when they call us Zionists).
I began this piece by referring to four tactics practiced by our enemies: incitement, denial, emotive concealment of intent and the diplomacy of betrayal. The fourth and final cog in the machinery of disenfranchisement and delegitimization, diplomacy, I will analyse in the next piece.