Through the latest “March for Israel” in Washington, DC, Al Jazeera interviewed a assured younger man from Connecticut in regards to the conflict in Gaza. Draped in an Israeli flag, Charlie appeared able to reply any query.
He made it clear from the outset that the continuing conflict is just not “Hamas vs Israel”, however “Hamas vs the entire world”. He mentioned he regrets kids’s deaths and prays for harmless lives misplaced. However he had little doubt about who’s accountable for the dying of civilians in Gaza. Whereas Israel does every thing to keep away from civilian casualties, he mentioned, Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists bomb their very own hospitals, use civilians as human shields, and even place youngsters subsequent to rocket launchers. Iran and its proxies are the supply of all evil in Palestine and the area, he added.
Charlie has clearly executed his homework. He has studied the Israel Venture’s “World Language Dictionary [PDF]”, memorised its traces, and repeated them verbatim, not lacking a beat. The playbook was created in 2009 after Israel’s first conflict on the besieged Gaza Strip, to information Israel’s supporters on how greatest to talk to the media in regards to the battle. Impressed by Israel’s main spin docs, comparable to Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu, it’s directed at younger activists, in addition to politicians, pundits, journalists and extra. It tells its readers what to say, and what to not say, alerting them to phrases that must be used and others that mustn’t.
Considered one of my favorite tidbits within the playbook, as I wrote again in 2014, goes like this: “Keep away from speaking about borders by way of pre- or post-1967, as a result of it solely serves to remind Individuals of Israel’s navy historical past. Significantly on the left, this does you hurt.” And when civilian casualties mount throughout wartime in Gaza, the playbook recommends speaking empathetically alongside these traces of “All human life is valuable”, however emphasising that “it’s a tragedy that Iran-backed Hamas shoots rockets at our civilians whereas hiding in their very own” and that this “causes tragic deaths on either side”.
Like Charlie, I’ve additionally studied the spin playbook, albeit for various causes. The playbook helps me detect extra simply the spin in writings, speeches, and interviews.
Take the interview that Republican US presidential candidate Chris Christie gave to CNN the day after the “March for Israel”. He repeated the identical soundbites that Charlie invoked the day earlier than, albeit with much less tact. Having had forgotten to say “evil Iran” in his solutions, he clumsily rushed to insert it earlier than the top of the interview, as if he was being examined.
Like Charlie and Chris, Joe additionally loves the playbook. President Biden and his minions within the US administration have eagerly embraced its suggestion to focus on Israel’s “proper, certainly obligation, to defend itself” towards the assaults of a “terrorist” organisation at each alternative. Since October 7, america president has recurrently deflected criticism of US complicity within the killing of 1000’s of Palestinian kids, by accusing Hamas of, you guessed it, “utilizing civilians as human shields”, and even repeating false Israeli claims about Hamas “reducing infants’ heads off” and “burning ladies and youngsters alive”.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken went additional, insisting that US officers stand behind Israel‘s declare that Hamas is utilizing civilian amenities comparable to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza as “command facilities”, and including that “What we all know throughout the board is that Hamas embeds itself in civilian infrastructure – in and below residence buildings, in and below hospitals, in and below faculties – and it makes use of individuals as human shields”, and therefore, incriminating tens of 1000’s of docs, nurses, academics and others in conflict crimes. All of which has to date proved to be not more than propaganda utilized by Israel to justify its bombings of hospitals and faculties.
On Saturday, in an opinion article on the US imaginative and prescient for post-conflict Gaza printed within the Washington Put up, Biden wrote to the spirit and textual content of the playbook. The president omitted any point out of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the siege of Gaza, or any single a part of the tortured historical past of Palestine in favour of increasingly of the empty outdated rhetoric about “shared future” and “two states” that obfuscates the truth on the bottom, and serves to justify the unraveling collective punishment and genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza.
Thoughts you, the playbook actively encourages its readers to speak in favour of the “two state resolution”, and repeat the mantra “two properties for 2 peoples”, as a result of, “given the overwhelming American assist for a two-state resolution, it is going to make assist a lot simpler and quicker in the event you set the tone for all discussions by articulating Israel’s shared imaginative and prescient for the final word purpose of two peoples, dwelling facet by facet in a long-lasting and safe peace”. However then once more, and right here comes the punchline: “Within the title of gaining credibility for why you would possibly later say that ‘a two-state resolution isn’t achievable in a single day’, it’s best to begin with language [that signals] how your objectives align with the general public’s”.
President Biden is just not the one world chief who seems to be following Israel’s 2009 playbook to a T. Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has additionally been very cautious to not sway removed from the rules issued by Israel’s spin docs. Requested by an opposition MP whether or not he would urge Israel to finish its “collective punishment” of civilians in Gaza, Sunak responded:
“I really imagine that we must always assist Israel’s proper to defend itself and to go after Hamas and recognising that they [Israel] face a vicious enemy that embeds itself behind civilians.”
For his half, United Nations Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres didn’t toe the road as blindly because the US president and British PM, and was slammed for it. After condemning Hamas’s October 7 assault on southern Israel, he ventured to remind the UN Safety Council attendees that, “You will need to additionally recognise the assaults by Hamas didn’t occur in a vacuum. The Palestinian individuals have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”
Oh! The nerve, the audacity! How dare the UNSG state the apparent; “in what world” does he reside? He should “resign”, or so the Israeli diplomats shot again, in accordance with the Israeli playbook, which clearly states, “the first Palestinian public relations purpose is to reveal that the so-called ‘hopelessness of the oppressed Palestinians’ is what causes them to exit and kill kids. This have to be challenged instantly, aggressively, and straight.”
Historical past has no place in at the moment’s political spin in terms of Palestinians. Their tortured previous – and current – is an inconvenience to the spinners that have to be prevented in any respect prices.
In his warmongering Washington Put up opinion piece, President Biden doubled on his earlier harmful theological pronouncement about Hamas’s “pure, unadulterated evil”, which may solely be defined besides by its very nature. The truth that Hamas is a product of the Israeli occupation, established in response to Israel’s decades-long repression and disposition have to be ignored and discounted, come what might.
In a nutshell, Israel has the fitting, certainly the duty to defend itself and its racist occupation; the fitting to defend its navy occupation and racist apartheid, in accordance with the cynics and spinners, however the Palestinians haven’t any such proper to defend themselves, not to mention resist their occupiers, by any means, even essentially the most peaceable means, like boycott and divestment.
Fortuitously, the lies have lastly caught up with the liars, as increasingly Western journalists, pundits and officers began to doubt the spin and query the Israeli spinners, even ridicule them, for his or her poor performances, doctored proof, and vulgar lies. Quickly, they are going to begin to query the spinners’ total deception in regards to the conflict, its conduct and root causes.