By Ibrahim Turner
27/05/08 "ICH" -- - From time to time I receive from my friends in the Middle East, horrific photographs of the atrocities perpetrated on the Palestinians by the IDF. (Israel Defence Force)
Apparently these photographs are never ever distributed in the western media; they are in fact, censored.
Additionally, any essays or discussions about the Israel/Palestinian situation also never see the light of day in the Western media.
Why is that?
There are on the Internet at least, some articles about the Israel Lobby, and even books and articles appear in the mainstream press, most notably the writings of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. And there is the book by the former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, with his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which was fiercely attacked by the foot soldiers of the Israel Lobby.
Witness also the vociferous ongoing war of words between Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein, which has resulted in Professor Finkelstein not being offered tenure at the DePaul University. While I was checking the spelling of his name I came across this breaking news.
BREAKING NEWS: "Israel Arrests Outspoken Academic Norman Finkelstein"
(Democracy NOW! "And the American academic Norman Finkelstein has been arrested and ordered deported from Israel. Finkelstein arrived in Tel Aviv earlier today on his way to the Occupied Territories. He was immediately detained and told he is banned from Israel for ten years. He's expected to be deported tomorrow. Finkelstein is known as one of the most prominent academic critics of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. He was detained by the Interior Ministry and Shin Bet.") NEW! 05.23.2008
So these people and many others, have stood up to the torrent of criticism directed at them from the Israel Lobby and their cohorts, even though the criticism is usually nothing to do with their message, but an attack on the messenger, denigrating the character, outright lies about the slightest error in their work, and so on.
So I ask you, are you brave enough to take on the almost complete control of the media and public opinion that has grown up in the United States and also in Europe? And if you are so inclined, in what way?
Writing articles on blogs and websites isn’t very brave really; it never has a chance of getting into the mainstream press or on radio and TV. Of course there are a few radio and TV stations that do publish such things, but are they largely preaching to the choir? I do get email alerts and messages to my inbox, from quite a few of these, and of course welcome the information. But what do I do with it?
And I sometimes get photographs of things happening in Gaza and the West Bank, in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are heartbreaking and bring tears to my eyes. But what do I do with them? Very often the sender requests that I forward the photographs to as many people as possible. I hesitate to forward them to my friends because although my friends may be, in some ways quite open, my hesitation either stems from my cowardice in not standing up for what I profess to believe in, human rights, etc and rationalizing that perhaps they are too busy, are already working to help people in other ways.
I’m sure that face to face, my friends would probably agree with me about these things happening in Gaza and the West Bank, Iraq and so on, but would they do anything about it? I’m not sure.
This brings me to the realization that most people abhor such things but would prefer not to be disturbed from their comfortable lives, especially as they get older. It always seems to be the young that go on marches and protests. That’s not to say there are no older people in those marches, far from it. But by and large people have other personal worries, like keeping their jobs, making mortgage payments and bringing up their kids, the numbers in the protests speak for themselves.
And then there is the recent history of such protests. I was in Istanbul at the time, but in England there was the largest protest against the war in Iraq just before Tony Blair and George Bush gave the orders to invade. What effect did that protest have? Nada, zilch, nowt. This lack of power leads to despair for many people and they give up. Quite often in the comments of progressive sites people actually say, we are preaching the choir and unless we get out there on the streets, nothing will change. Others try to counter this despair by enthusiastically advocating meet up groups, as in the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’, and although that is remarkable and commendable, will that lead to Ron Paul being elected as the next President of the United States. The best one can say is that the jury is still out on that one.
So while there are plenty of advocates for change both in the United States and Europe as well as in Israel, when you stand back and look at it, there is no communication between the different groups and no organization. They all seem to be waiting for the White Knight in shining armour to come and rescue them all and perhaps also with the Palestinians.
But my contention is that there will not be a White Knight and the ‘Age of Aquarius’ is characterized by group co-operation. The character of the preceding age of Pisces was the cult of the individual. Anyone who knows the astrological signs knows that the sign of Pisces is the last of the twelve signs and that there is a great new beginning with the start of the next cycle.
Part of the despair felt by people who advocate change is based on the seemingly large intractable forces involved. One elite group sends its working class cannon fodder to fight the working class cannon fodder of the elites of another group or nation. How can one individual or small group of people change anything in that scenario? Witness the many dual nationality Neocons who have infiltrated the United States government and their ideology of perpetual war, for the sake of Israel, marrying Israel’s interests with the USA’s interests in the area, and the complete complicity of the ruling class of America to standing by Israel, right or wrong.
The common people seem to have no chance of overturning this situation. Yet these people are just that, people, who have banded together to achieve their goals, and very successfully. The forces and people who appose this ideology are successfully marginalized, ridiculed and nullified because of the complete take over of the means of communication, the mainstream press, radio and TV. The only medium left to the others is the Internet, and the Pentagon has indicated that it would like to shut it down. And on the Internet there are many trolls, publishing disinformation and distractions, some of them very clever, but most are easily spotted and ignored.
There are hundreds of thousands of people who would like to see the Zionist regime disappear from the pages of time, as Ahmadinejad said, and who is consistently misquoted, and I’m sure you all know the phrase that is repeated time and again.
But are you going to stand up for justice and human rights in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere? Will you forward articles and photographs that are sent to you? Will you add your pen to others in advocating change in America, Europe and Israel?
Everyone reading this should, at the very least, contemplate their own complacency and cowardice in the face of the undoubted strong entrenched groups that want to keep you in their control, devoid of real information, and the feeling of helplessness and powerlessness. Will you reach out to others of like mind? Will you put your pet project aside for the greater good? Will you agree with what I have written and then go on to the next thing? When will you make a stand and act like Norman Finkelstein and Jimmy Carter and many others, taking the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and return again and again to the fray, the greater jihad of struggling with your weaknesses?
From today, with my limited resources and indifferent health, I will not despair, will not roll over and play dead, hoping to avoid the fight that we must all undertake – to rid the world of tyrants and not allow ourselves to be corrupted by their ideology.
Ibrahim Turner - If you wish to see the photographs that were sent to me send me your email address and I will forward them. firstname.lastname@example.org