Most of this sitereviews history, relevant international law, key issues and social, political and economic forces necessary to construct a comprehensive understanding from which fair and reasonable solutions need to emerge. We thereby provide a stable background context through which to filter ongoing events, many of which intentionally muddy waters that need to be kept clear.
As Israel and its US lobby become increasingly embattled by the BDS movement, growing public awareness that cuts through its propaganda barrage, and consequent international isolation, their US ground troops have been mobilized into national campaigns especially targeting university campuses, faith communities considering divestment, and of course our federal legislators. Key organs of influence include university Hillel chapters, rabbinical relationships with the larger "faith community" and within ecumenical community organizations, the nationwide network of Jewish Federations and their Community Relation Councils, and a large cadre of paid online bloggers to attack and attempt to discredit internet information sources that escape the lobby-controlled mainstream media.
A central strategy is manipulation of language, factual distortions and omissions, and pseudo-logic known as hasbara, including deceptive framing of issues. These include,inter alia:
Misframing the Israeli/Palestinian relationship as simply a "conflict" rather than a UN-designated "belligerent occupation" (as recognized by every other country in the world including the US).
Otherwise implying a parity or symmetry of guilt, rights, responsibility for the situation, "suffering" and power to bring about a solution when Israel in fact has all the power, has created and maintains its occupation and ongoing dispossession of helpless people, and relentlessly commits continuing crimes violating the UN Charter and 4th Geneva Convention, as well as routinely ignoring UN Security Council resolutions and its pledge to secure UN admission in 1949.
Naming Hamas and Hezbollah as "terrorists" without acknowledging the Palestinian right under international law of an occupied people to resist, including armed resistance, and the Lebanese right to resist both invasion and occupation. These groups are viewed by most of the world as legitimate resistance organizations, and Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah is widely considered the most respected leader in the Arab world.
Admitting only to Israeli "mistakes" that grotesquely euphemize its ongoing brutality and degradation against Palestinians under illegal occupation and blockade, as well as periodic massive violence.
Referring to illegal colonial settlements as "Jewish towns" or "Jewish neighborhoods."
Depreciating the importance or validity of international law, parsing the language of UN Security Council resolutions and other legal documents to evade their clear intent, and manipulating the international legal system through US enabling to avoid the judgment of international courts.
Distributing detailed instructions to college populations, lobbyists and others in their national influence network about how to talk about Israel, what language to use, what to present and what to avoid. These communication strategies can be seen in two illustrative documents - a "Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus" produced by the World Union of Jewish Students, and a "Global Language Dictionary" produced by The Israel Project.
We monitor lobby-compromised politicians, well-informed opinions, useful analyses, manipulative media distortions, and on-the-ground developments daily. For important ongoing articles, our commentaries, and our published op-eds and letters-to-the-editor, please visit our facebook pages on Palestine and the larger context.
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