No hate. No violence
Races? Only one Human race
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Radio Islam
Know Your enemy!
No time to waste. Act now!
Tomorrow it will be too late

























Israel's approved ethnic cleansing

Part 1, Making "facts on the ground"

By Edward S. Herman, 2001

Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has always presented a moral problem to the West, as that treatment has violated every law and moral standard on the books. Some 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in 1948-1949, and since then scores of thousands more have been pushed out by force, their houses demolished or taken over by Israeli Jews (not Israeli Arabs). Under the supposed "peace process" following the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993, a UN Special Report of November 13, 2000, says that "In the past seven years...Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and construction of settlements and bypass roads for Jewish settlers has accelerated dramatically in breach of Security Council Resolution 242 and of provisions of the Oslo agreements requiring both parties to respect 'the territorial integrity and unity of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.' Since 1993 the settler population in the West Bank and Gaza has doubled to 200,000 and increased to 170,000 in East Jerusalem." The report also describes and condemns the demolitions of Palestinian houses, the diversion of water to Israeli cities and settlements, the policy of closures that has damaged Palestinian social and economic life, and the "widespread violation of their [Palestinian] economic, social and cultural rights" both within Israel and in the occupied territories. It also assails Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinians and hundreds of Intifada killings, "most of them unarmed demonstrators."

The settlements have been made in territory outside of Israel, technically "occupied" by Israel and subject to international law that clearly prohibits dispossession and settlement by the "belligerent occupying power" (the Palestinians are "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; violations of that Convention, including dispossession and settlements, are "war crimes"). This systematic violation of international law has been going on for several decades, just as the creation of new "facts on the ground" in brazen violation of Article 31(7) of Oslo has proceeded since 1993, but as the United States does not object, and in fact has supported these law and agreement violations by massive economic and military aid, and by vetoing any hostile UN actions (it has used the veto an estimated 60 times to give Israeli ethnic cleansing and law violations free play), international law is inoperative.

The contrast with Kosovo is dramatic and enlightening. In that case also international law was inoperative, but only because intervention allegedly to protect the Kosovo Albanians would have been excessively constrained by adherence to legal niceties such as the UN Charter. International observers, already agreed to by Yugoslavia, were not enough--a full military occupation by Nato forces was required. In the case of Israel and the Palestinians, however, as Israel naturally does not want foreign observers, let alone a UN military force to protect the Palestinians, the United States defers to Israel (as it did to Indonesia in East Timor) and refuses to support even an observer presence without the ethnic cleanser's acquiesence. We may note also that Nato's forcible occupation of Kosovo took place in Yugoslav territory, whereas the U.S. defers to Israel (and for 25 years to Indonesia) in reference to its performance in illegally occupied territory where the indigenous population has long been subjected to serious abuses condemned by overwhelming UN majorities. Welcome to the New World Order and "ethical foreign policy"!

Racist State, Brutal Occupation, and Large-Scale Ethnic Cleansing

The racist discrimination in pushing out Palestinians in favor of Jews is cruel, scandalous, and reminiscent of the behavior of the Nazis (a comparison made often in the Israeli press, but not in the U.S. mainstream media). It was Nazi practice in occupied territories to dispossess the locals from homes to provide "lebensraum" for the "ubermenschen," and Amnesty International (AI) notes in discussing Israel's policy on demolitions that "The Palestinians are targeted for no other reason than because they are Palestinians" in a system where "the family may only have 15 minutes to take out what belongings they have before the furniture is thrown into the street and their home bulldozed" (AI, Israel: Home Demolitions, Dec. 8, 1999). Israeli author Israel Shamir, writing in the Russian Israeli publication RI in December 2000, says that Israelis "are taught they belong to the Chosen People, who are Uber Alles. They have been indoctrinated in belief that the Gentiles are not fully human, and therefore can be killed and expropriated at will." And the U.S. Jewish observer Eduardo Cohen says that "traveling through Israel I encountered a deep, widespread and racist contempt for Arabs," based on the belief that Arabs "didn't share the same faculties of thought and reason that 'civilized human beings' possess" (OR, Oct. 18, 2000).

Before the Final Solution was decided upon by Hitler during World War II--and in 1940 Himmler was still referring to "the Bolshevik method of physical extermination of a people" as "un-German and impossible"--there was active discussion in Nazi official circles of how alien peoples in occupied lands should be handled to best serve German interests. Partly, it was a matter of space needs--in 1940 Hitler claimed that "the Jewish question really was a space question," and Jews and others were expelled in Vienna and elsewhere to provide housing for Germans. There was much debate in 1940 about the desirability of forced emigration and resettlement, of bringing some of the racially valuable to Germany for assimilation, but with a remnant population "that would serve as a reservoir for migrant labour to Germany" (quoting Christopher Browning's summary of this debate).

Similar debates have taken place in Israel between the "hardliners" on the one hand, who have favored forcible "transfer" and the "mass deportations of Arabs from the territories" (Netanyahu), and the "moderates" on the other hand, who want to rely on the now traditional methods of slow but steady dispossession and encouraging "voluntary" exit by impoverishment. The moderates also recognize the service of the impoverished alien population in providing a reservoir of migrant labor for Israel.

Israel Shamir also compares the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians in Intifada II unfavorably to the anti-Jewish pogroms in Czarist Russia, where the casualties were much smaller and where, after the pogrom, "all writers and intelligentsia condemned the perpetrators. In the Jewish state, a few dozens gathered on the demonstration in Tel Aviv, while the Hebrew Writers Union supported the pogrom of Gentiles." Shamir goes on to say that Israeli racism is "not less wide-spread and poisonous" than that of the German Nazis, citing a number of genocidal opinions of Russian-Israeli Jews and stating that today: "The Jewish state is the only place in the world possessing legitimate killer squads, embracing a policy of assassinations, and practicing torture on a medieval scale. But do not worry dear Jewish readers, we torture and assassinate Gentiles only."

In Israeli publications it is repeatedly pointed out that the army does not kill Jews, only Gentiles. Phyllis Bennis notes that in 1982, when an Israeli Jewish protester against the war in Lebanon was killed by Israeli forces, there was such an enormous outcry that his name--Emil Grunzweig--is remembered even today. But when a Palestinian is killed by Israelis, this is hardly newsworthy and only body counts are given--"we never hear their names, who their parents and children are, what they did for a living" (Max Elbaum, Interview with Bennis, "For Jews Only: Racism Inside Israel," ColorLines, Dec. 15, 2000). It has also been pointed out by AI that "Israeli security forces repeatedly resorted to excessive use of lethal force in circumstances where neither their lives nor the lives of others were in imminent danger, resulting in unlawful killings." But AI notes that the Israelis are expert in non-lethal crowd control, citing July-August 1999 riots "policed without resort to firearms." But they note that here it was Ultra- Orthodox Jews rioting, so as in the case of settler violence the use of lethal force is ruled out, to be used only on Gentiles.

Israeli dissident Uri Avnery describes how, when the Israeli army several months ago would not allow Palestinians to harvest their olives in an orchard bordering a Jewish settlement, where a 14-year old Palestinian boy had recently been shot and killed when alone in the orchard with his father, the villagers sent an SOS to Avnery and his group to come so that their presence would preclude shooting ("Olives, Stones and Bullets," Ha'aretz, Nov. 18, 2000). Many old olive trees had already been cut down, and ancient terraces destroyed, "apparently to enable the army to shoot without hindrance." But the Avnery group did its job--their Jewish presence enabled some olives to be picked without the threat of shooting. Avnery noted that the settlers were of course free to move and travel at will, under heavy army protection.

The well-known Israeli journalist Amira Hass recently described in detail the growing racist cruelty "characteristic of every occupation regime...that intensified during the Oslo years because of the gap between the fine talk about a 'peace process' and a reality." ("The Mirror Does Not Lie," Ha'aretz, Nov. 1, 2000). The new Intifada is a popular uprising that "is a final attempt to thrust a mirror in the face of Israelis and to tell them: 'Take a good look at yourselves and see how racist you have become." She focuses on the Israeli occupation of Hebron, writing: "How perfectly natural that 40,000 persons should be subject to local curfew for more than a month in the Old City of Hebron in order to protect the lives and well-being of 500 Jews.... How perfectly natural that 34 schools attended by thousands of Palestinian children should be closed down for more than a month...while the children of their Jewish neighbors...are free to frolic as usual in the street among and with the Israeli soldiers stationed there...The protracted curfew imposed on Hebron and the way in which their curfew has been accepted in Israeli eyes as such a natural event convey, in a nutshell, both the entire story of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land in general and the essence of the kind of Israeli thinking that has developed in the shadow of obvious military superiority." Hass also discusses the freedom of settlers to travel, versus severe restrictions on Palestinians; the well-built highways for settler use, constructed on lands expropriated from Palestinian villages; the limitations imposed by the occupying authority on Palestinian development of their own communities, while the Jewish settlers get expedited treatment and subsidies; and the discrimination in water use with days and even weeks "without running water in the faucets of Palestinian homes" while their Jewish neighbors "experience no problems or shortages as far as their water supply is concerned."

Jeff Halper, Professor of Anthropology at Ben Gurion University, and head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, states that, having seized control of West Bank/Gaza water supplies, Israel and the settlers now give themselves 6.7 times the water they allow the Palestinians (870 million cubic meters per annum for themselves, 130 million cubic meters for the Palestinians). He also points out that under the Oslo "peace process" Israel has uprooted some 80,000 Palestinian-owned olive and fruit trees and much farmland "for Israeli construction and 'security'," with some 10,000 trees removed just since the beginning of the recent uprising. Israel has been constructing some 300 miles of highways and bypass roads to serve the settlements, but which divide the West Bank into tiny islands and prevent the free movement of Palestinian people and goods. With its military control and superior force Israel has imposed lengthy and devastating "closures" on Palestinian movement that has created widespread poverty and hunger. (For further details, Halper, "The 'Peace Process' As Seen From the Ground," Feb. 12, 2001.) The per capita GDP of the Palestinians in the occupied territories has fallen drastically under the Oslo "peace process," surely by more than 25 percent.

Demolitions for Lebensraum

Since 1967 some 8,500 Palestinian homes have been demolished, 1,200 of these since the Oslo agreement of 1993 (with 5,000 people made homeless, including 2,000 children). Israel demolishes Palestinian homes on the slightest provocation--"security," a youngster in the household throws stones at an Israeli soldier--but it does this mainly as part of a systematic program to provide space for the "chosen people." In December 1994, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, a former chief rabbi of Israel and the Israeli armed forces, urged the armed forces to refuse to obey orders to remove Jewish settlers from the West Bank, citing the law of Moses and asserting that "The command to settle the land of Israel is greater than all the commandments put together" (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 3, 1994). This is consistent with the focus of Zionist ideology on "redemption of the land" of Palestine, which should be held only by Jews; land held by non-Jews is "unredeemed." Israeli human rights activist and scholar Israel Shahak claims that this exclusivist ideology, aiming at minimizing the number of non-Jews in the "Land of Israel," is inculcated in Jewish school children in Israel (Jewish History, Jewish Religion [Pluto, 1994], pp. 7-8). "A state built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race can only be honored and respected by a Jew who declares his belonging to his own kind." Thus spoke Dr. Joachim Prinz, a Zionist rabbi, in a book entitled Wir Juden (We Jews), published in 1934 and celebrating the victory of Adolf Hitler and the defeat of liberalism in Germany. Later Prinz became a central figure in the World Zionist Organization, and Shahak shows that the ideology that Prinz espoused remains a powerful force in Israel.

Palestinian stone throwing can mean demolition. On the other hand, if a Baruch Goldstein slaughters 29 Palestinians, his home is not demolished. In fact, a memorial to this mass murderer was erected near his home, although destroyed by the army under court order in 1999, and he is honored by significant numbers within Israel. At his memorial service in 1994, Rabbi Yaacov Perin stated that "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." As Amira Hass contends, this Nazi-like mindset has grown under the occupation, where the military superiority, abuse of the inferiors, and fear that they might not remain quiet, has made for an increasingly racist perspective that now characterizes the majority of the Jewish population of Israel. Speaking of Israeli attitudes toward the intensified repression in 1996, David Hoffman reported that "few Israelis have objected to going back to the old methods against the Palestinians; many, in fact, have complained that the reaction was too timid" (WP, March 15, 1996). Phyllis Bennis states that "The majority of Israeli Jews are willing to accept the killing of Palestinians and collective punishment of the Palestinian people as justified state policy."

Within Israel, the Jewish state and Jewish National Fund, which own over 90 percent of the land, for decades have reserved it for Jews. A recent High Court ruling in favor of an Israeli Arab couple wanting to buy a house in Katzir in the Galilee that had been reserved for Jews has called this tradition into question, but the breadth of effect of this decision remains to be seen. In any case, the sizable (18 percent) Arab minority are legally second class citizens, without "nationality rights," that have included not only land use but access to public and private employment and credit, and many other privileges that are limited to Jews. Arab citizens may also be killed if they protest, and 14 of them have already died in Intifada II, in contrast with Israeli Jewish citizens, who can protest without fear of the application of lethal force.

Jews living in distant countries can come to Israel and immediately obtain rights denied Arab citizens, and of course the Palestinians expelled from their homes in Israel have no rights to return or compensation. In the Negev, where the indigenous Bedouin have been blocked from grazing their flocks, the state has allowed Jewish farmers to occupy the land, build on it, and then have their seizures recognized retrospectively in a process of "Judaization" of the land (Orit Shohat, Ha'aretz, March 27, 1998). This is structured racism, and a set of policies which if applied against Jews in Italy or France would justifiably cause a furious outcry.

Torture, Aggression, and the Intifadas

Israel has used torture on a systematic basis against Palestinians for decades, the New York Times noting matter-of- factly in 1993 that Israel's torture victims were running to 400- 500 per month, but that Israel was "rethinking" the merits of its "interrogation" practices (Joel Greenberg, "Israel Rethinks Interrogation of Arabs," Aug. 14, 1993). Again, if this was being done to Jews on a systematic basis in some country, the outcry would be deafening, but here also an Israeli practice condemned everywhere as barbaric is treated in very low key and brings about no negative policy responses from the United States or international community. This has permitted Israel to thrive, to command massive international aid, and to be given regular accolades as a model democracy, despite its long record of being "the only state in the world to effectively legalize the use of methods which constitute torture or ill-treatment" (AI, "The Israeli government should implement the High Court decision making torture illegal," Sept. 6, 1999).

Similarly, Israel can invade other countries freely, bomb them at will, and kill civilians there with a free hand without penalty. Each time it has invaded Lebanon, killing many thousands of civilians and deliberately creating large refugee populations, this has led to no substantive responses whatever on the part of the United States and its allies, and the mainstream media have reported these de facto aggressions with great understanding of Israel's position and alleged "security" needs. Even mass slaughters of civilians are permissible for Israel, as in the case of Ariel Sharon's admitting the Christian Phalange to the Sabra- Shatila camp in 1982 where 2,000 or more Palestinian women, children and old men were butchered in cold blood. We may recall the official and media outrage at the alleged massacre of some 40 Kosovo Albanians by the Serbs at Racak in January 1999--a massacre which may never have occurred, as shown in a belatedly released analysis of the forensic findings on the bodies in Forensic Science International [116: 171-185, 2001]--and recall also that the figure 2,000 has been widely accepted as the total of killings on all sides in Kosovo in the year preceding the Nato bombing of Yugoslavia. But in the case of the 2,000 purely civilian victims of Israel, the international outcry was modest and resulted in no penalty or constraint on Israel's ability to kill. Israel was also free to organize and maintain a proxy army in South Lebanon to serve its post-invasion "iron fist" cross-border policies. If done by Libya such an arrangement would be condemned as sponsorship of international terrorism, but again, both the sponsorship of a terrorist army and the numerous "iron fist" killings were not condemned by the United States or its allies and this approved international terrorism could proceed at the terrorist's discretion.

Israel's occupation has produced two "Intifadas," both rooted in the severity of Israel's abuse of Palestinians in the occupied territories. In the first, which lasted some five years, over a thousand Palestinians were killed and many thousands were injured. The West did not intervene at all in this process even though Israel's abuses were in violation of UN resolutions and international law; U.S. economic and military aid to the ethnic cleanser did not shrink, and Israel was therefore free to kill and repress with no apparent limit. The same has been true in the case of the second Intifada which began in September 2000. Israel has so far killed about 400 Palestinians, injured thousands, and escalated the brutality of its army's repression in the occupied territories in a genuine anti-civilian war, preventing Palestinians from working, harvesting crops, and obtaining medical care. But again the United States supports Israel without limit, and the international community in general does nothing substantive for the victims.

Yasar Arafat has asked for UN intervention to protect the Palestinians who have been under harsh military attack, and Amnesty International has called for international observers. But Israel is against this, the United States supports Israel, so no protection is forthcoming. As noted earlier, the contrast with Kosovo, and the consistency with U.S. (and British) deference to Indonesia's rights to ethnically cleanse East Timor in 1999 and earlier, are enlightening. It was also noted that Israel's and Indonesia's violence and ethnic cleansing have taken place in illegally occupied territory, whereas Yugoslavia's occurred within its own borders and in territory where international observers had already been admitted.

But all of this is of no account as Israel and Indonesia are prized U.S. client states, Yugoslavia is not. In the former cases, therefore, "ethical foreign policy" and the new dedication of the international community to the protection of defenceless people against ethnic cleansing are suspended. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has claimed that not only Germans but the Serbs had cultural qualities giving their countries a bent toward ethnic cleansing and genocide. But he has had nothing to say about any Israeli cultural penchant that causes them to treat Palestinian Gentiles harshly, although Eduardo Cohen, Israeli Shamir and Israel Shahak, and the words of Netanyahu and Rabbis Shlomo Goren and Yaacov Perrin, suggest that this should be rich Goldhagen terrain. No outcries over this case of real and sustained ethnic cleansing have been heard from Susan Sontag, David Rieff, Geoffrey Robertson, Bernard Kouchner, Vaclav Havel, Michael Ignatieff, and the rest. This is officially approved ethnic cleansing, the Palestinians are "unpeople" (John Pilger's word) or "unworthy victims," and Israel's longstanding and savage operations can proceed at their expense without impediment.

The Coming Bloodbath

Israel has had a free ride as an ethnic cleanser in part because Jews, as victims of the Holocaust, have been treated gently and claimed special security rights as erstwhile victims. But as noted, like the Germans themselves, the Jews, or rather an important segment of Jews, have claimed to be a chosen people with superior rights to contested land. Add to this the protection given by the United States to their implementation of these rights by force, and a dangerous amalgam is put into play that has in fact led to increasingly abusive behavior that feeds on itself. With Ariel Sharon, a terrorist, war criminal, and longtime advocate of "transfer" and policies of force, now head of the Israeli state, and with his accession warmly greeted and "rock solid" U.S. support of this terrorist assured by President Bush, there is every reason to fear a shift from mere brutal ethnic cleansing and a "moderate" bloodbath under the moderate Barak to a more massive bloodbath and war under the "tough warrior" Sharon.


Israel's approved ethnic cleansing

Part 2 U.S. Official protection

When Milosevic dealt brutally with Kosovo Albanians, the United States claimed to find such actions so intolerable as to justify a war against the villain and his people and an occupation of Kosovo to terminate the process. Returning expelled Kosovo Albanians to their homes was an urgent priority--after NATO policy itself had produced the expulsions.

In sharp contrast, as described in Part 1, Israel has been able to establish and maintain a "Jewish" state--hence a racist state-- and systematically "redeem" the land from the large indigenous Palestinian population--that is, engage in large-scale ethnic cleansing--because in this case the United States found ethnic cleansing not only tolerable but worthy of aggressive support. An international consensus has condemned the Israeli occupation for decades, and huge majorities in the UN have periodically called for an Israeli exit (e.g., 144-2 on Resolution 242 in December 1990), but the United States and Israel have said "nyet," so nyet it has been.

Official Protection: The Orwellian Processes

Thus, instead of having to leave the occupied territories Israel continues to push out the locals by force, uproot their trees, steal their water, beggar them by "closures" and endless restrictions, and it suffers no penalties because it has U.S. approval, protection, and active assistance (see below). The partners also deny Palestinians any right to return to land from which they were expelled, so 140+ contrary UN votes, and two Security Council Resolutions--both vetoed by the United States-- have no effect; and in a remarkable Orwellian process of doublethink--and double morality--Israel is free to expel more Palestinians in the same time frame in which their protector spent billions and great moral energy in a campaign to return worthy victims in Kosovo. (On the lying and non-humanitarian root and effects of the Nato war, see Chomsky's New Military Humanism; Herman and Peterson, "The Nato-Media Lie Machine," Z Magazine, May 2000; Herman and Peterson, "Kosovo One Year Later: From Serb Repression to NATO-Sponsored Ethnic Cleansing," ZNet Commentary, June 26,2000.)

Another remarkable Orwellian process is this: the abused and beggared Palestinian people periodically rebel as their conditions deteriorate and more land is taken, homes are demolished, and they are treated with great ruthlessness and discrimination. Many are among the hundreds of thousands expelled earlier, or who have still not forgotten their relatives killed and injured by Israeli violence over many years--and Palestinian deaths by Israeli arms almost surely exceed Israeli deaths from "terrorism" by better than 15 to 1 (see Herman and O'Sullivan, The "Terrorism" Industry, pp. 29-33). Judith Stone, a frequent visitor to Palestine, says that "I have yet to meet a Palestinian who hasn't lost a member of their family to the Israeli Shoah, nor a Palestinian who cannot name a relative or friend languishing under inhumane conditions in an Israeli prison" ("Quest for Justice," And after this long history of expulsion and murder they are still under assault. In this context, if they rise up in revolt at their oppressors this is not "freedom fighters" or a "national liberation movement" in action, it is "irrational violence" and a return to "terrorism," and both Israeli and U.S. officials (and therefore the mainstream U.S. media) agree that the first order of business is to stop this terrorism.

Back at the time of the first Intifada, U.S. Ambassador Robert Pelletreau was explicit that the "riots" in the occupied territories "we view as terrorist acts against Israel." Correspondingly, U.S. policy was to put no pressure on Israel to curb its repression or alter its policies, essentially giving Israel carte blanche to use "harsh military and economic pressure" till "in the end, they will be broken" (Yitzak Rabin). In the second Intifada, once again there is absolutely no U.S. pressure on Israel to change its policies. Arms aid and training programs to Israel have been stepped up--35 Black Hawk military helicopters supplied in October, 2000 and nine Apache attack helicopters bought from Boeing in February 2001; U.S. training in urban counter- insurgency tactics that would help Israel to take control of Palestinian urban centers, provided in mid-September 2000; and joint U.S.-Israeli military exercises along with the redeployment of Patriot missiles from Germany to Israel in February 2001--and as in the past all UN resolutions of condemnation and calls for an international presence in the occupied territories have been ignored or vetoed by the United States on behalf of its ethnic- cleansing client.

This of course makes the process self-fulfilling. A people under continuous oppression and a long process of "redemption of the land" at their expense is given no peaceful recourse by Israel and its patron--Oslo was an agreement confirming all Palestinian losses, with no right of return or compensation promised, no ending of expropriations and expulsions in the occupied territories, and with any benefits to the victims dependent on future negotiations. But that future never came: since 1993 the Palestinians have been ground down further, and Israel has continued its steady encroachment and increased its brutalization (the more recent Barak-Clinton Bantustan offer is discussed in Part 3 under "Apologetic Frames"). In consequence, the Palestinians periodically burst forth with bombings involving the self-immolation of desperate men, and with mass upheavals, as in the two Intifadas.

But in the definitional system of oppressor and patron this is TERRORISM, horrifying and intolerable. What Israel has done making this people desperate is not terror. As State Department PR man James Rubin explained after another spate of Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses, this was "a wrong signal" for a delicate stage in peace talks (NYT, June 23, 1998). Not bad in themselves and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, just a wrong signal. Madeleine Albright called on the Israelis to refrain from "what Palestinians see as the provocative expansion of settlements, land confiscation, house demolitions and confiscation of IDs" (NYT, Oct. 15, 1997). Only "the Palestinians" see these actions as "provocative;" Albright does not find them objectionable in themselves or illegal. In fact, under Clinton the United States finally rejected the international law and almost universal consensus on the occupation, declaring the territories not "occupied Palestinian lands" but "disputed territories" (Albright). By U.S. fiat Palestinian lands became open to settlement by force by the ethnic cleanser who the United States has armed to the teeth, and who has aggressively brutalized while creating "facts on the ground" during the "dispute," which will not be settled until the victims end their terrorism.

And Albright has stressed that there is "No moral equivalency between suicide bombers and bulldozers" (Newsweek, Aug. 18, 1997). Clinton, standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres as the latter defended a blockade of the Palestinians that was adding to their misery, put the blame on Hamas who were allegedly "trying to make the Palestinians as miserable as possible" (Phila. Inquirer, March 15, 1996). There was not the slightest hint that Israel was contributing to Palestinian misery despite massive expropriations and 300 devastating "closures" after 1993.

So it is not Israeli policy, which amounts to a continuous and illegal assault on and displacement of the Palestinians, that is ultimately at fault and that must be changed to resolve this conflict. Albright can't recognize that decades of "bulldozers" necessarily produce suicide bombers, although she was quick to find that much less repression in Kosovo produced "freedom fighters;" nor can she distinguish between systematic policy (i.e., bull- dozers) and uncontrollable outbursts from victims that do NOT constitute policy. The inability of these U.S. officials to see Israel's hugely discriminatory and brutal expulsions, demolitions, mistreatment and plain exploitation as seriously wrong in themselves, illegal, or causal manifests a complete identification with and apologetic for the ethnic cleansers. Five years ago a senior Clinton White House official declared that "We are not going to second-guess Israel" (PI, March 15, 1996), and on March 19, 2001, Colin Powell assured the Jewish lobbying group AIPAC that "We are dedicated to preserving this special relationship with Israel and the Israeli people...[and] a secure Israel with internationally-recognized borders remains a cornerstone of the United States foreign policy." In short, now as in the past, and with only rare exceptions, as in the case of the unauthorized Israeli attack on Egypt in 1956, Israel will get strong U.S. support for whatever it does, and the ethnic cleansing of its unworthy victims can proceed as required.

One of the triumphs of Oslo was its buying off of Arafat, making him into a second class client and an enforcer of the pathetic "settlement," with U.S. and Israeli funds and training exchanged for his commitment to keep his people in line and control "terrorism." (For a compelling account, with full background, Chomsky, World Orders Old and New [1994], chap. 3.) The formula for the wholesale terrorists (Israel) has always been: whatever violence we perpetrate is "retaliation" and it is up to the retail terrorists (Palestinians) to stop terrorizing and then we might "negotiate" with them in a "peace process." Israeli leaders say "You can't ask us to stop expanding existing settlements, which are living organisms" (Netanyahu), as if this were not in violation of UN resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and even the 1993 Oslo agreement itself. (Note also the spiritual affinity with another great ethnic cleanser, who said: "One only possesses a land when even the last inhabitant of this territory belongs to his own people." [Heinrich Himmler])

U.S. officials can never bring themselves to say that what Israel is doing is wrong--at worst it may send "a wrong signal," etc. And they follow closely the Israeli party line that "terrorism" (Palestinian, not Israeli) must be stopped first, so that the "peace process" can be put back on track. For Albright, "security" is primary, and she told Arafat that "she needed a commitment and action on the subject of security" before she could make a credible approach to Israel on other issues (WP, Sept 12, 1997). "Security" always means Israeli security, not Palestinian, for Albright--or for Colin Powell--just as for Israeli officials. Here as elsewhere these high U.S. officials internalize the Israeli perspective and the idea of "security" for the unworthy victims doesn't arise, any more than the notion that Israeli insecurity arises from the much greater Palestinian insecurity that inevitably results from Israeli policies. In his visit to Jerusalem in March 1996, Clinton spoke of "the awful persistence of fear"--but only in reference to Israelis, not to Palestinians (PI, March 15, 1996). This is an internalized racist bias that has characterized U.S. official statements and media and expert opinion here for decades.

Reasons For and Modalities of Support

Why does the United States support Israel's ethnic cleansing? Broadly speaking, the reasons boil down to two factors. One is Israel's role as a U.S. proxy in the Middle East and its integration into the U.S. security system, which encompasses not only keeping the Arab world in line, but also providing services like supplying arms to the Somoza regime in Nicaragua, the Pinochet government of Chile, Mobutu, Idi Amin, apartheid South Africa, and the Guatemalan and Argentinian terror states. Because of these services, Israel's victims are not merely unworthy, they also become "terrorists" and part of the "Islamic threat" for the U.S. political elite and mainstream media.

The second factor is the exceptional power of the pro-Israel lobby, which for many years has bought and bullied politicians and the media, so that they all vie with one another in genuflections to the holy state. This bullying is especially strong and effective in Canada and the United States, but it applies widely, and the distinguished British reporter Robert Fisk, describing the abuse he has suffered in reporting on the Middle East, says that "the attempt to force the media to obey Israel's rules is now international" ("I Am Being Vilified For Telling the Truth About Palestinians," The Independent, Dec. 13, 2000). (For fuller analyses of "why" see my "The Pro-Israel Lobby," Z Magazine, July- August 1994; and especially Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle, Updated Edition, 1999, Preface and chapter 2.)

These factors feed into the intellectual and media culture in complex ways that institutionalize the huge bias, with pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian perspectives internalized and/or made obligatory by potential flak and pressure from above and without. This is extremely important, as there is no reason to believe that the U.S. public would support a massive and brutal ethnic cleansing program if they were given even a modest quantum of the ugly facts, if the main victims rather than the ethnic cleansers were humanized, and if the media's frames of reference were not designed to apologize for Israeli expropriation and violence. However, the ongoing media and intellectual biases do very effectively complement the national policy of support for the ethnic cleansing state, just as they helped cover up national policy supporting Indonesia's murderous occupation of East Timor, and just as they roused the public to a pitch of frenzy over the unapproved Yugoslav violence in Kosovo.


Israel's approved ethnic cleansing

Part 3, How the U.S. Media protects it

The U.S. mainstream media have followed closely their government's agenda of giving Israel carte blanche in dealing with their Palestinian subjects, both within Israel and in the occupied territories. This has involved a major intellectual and moral challenge, given the facts of serious racist discrimination, the long Israeli refusal to exit the occupied territories as demanded by an overwhelming international consensus, Israel's daily violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention requirements on treatment of people in occupied territories--including a massive ethnic cleansing openly designed to benefit the "chosen people"-- and their clear intention to create a Palestinian system of dependent and poor bantustans in the occupied territories, organized strictly for the advantage of the ethnic cleansing state.

This brutal, racist and illegal ethnic cleansing program has taken place in an era when the United States and its allies have proclaimed a new moral order in which defenceless people will be protected by the Great Powers, as allegedly happened in Kosovo. The challenge of rationalizing the Israeli ethnic cleansing in this ideological context has been severe, but it has been met by the U.S. media with remarkable success. Identifying completely with the Israelis, the media have transformed them into the primary victims and treated the populace really victimized as "unpeople" whose pain does not count and who do not require "security" like the victimizers. And by a comprehensive system of biased word usage, framing, eye aversion, and rewriting of history, they have demonstrated once again that in its service to the state the Free Press can teach a lesson to any state-run propaganda system.

The bias on the Israel-Palestinian conflict is sometimes illustrated dramatically in events such as long-time Executive Editor of the New York Times, A. M. Rosenthal's, receipt of an award in 1991 as "Defender of Jerusalem" for his "passionate voice on Jewish and Israeli affairs," or his refusal to allow an unpleasant fact about Rabbi Meier Kahane to be published because it "would generate anti-semitism;" or CBS news anchor Dan Rather's enthusiastic participation--contrary to CBS rules--in a 1992 Jerusalem Foundation fund-raiser chaired by pro-Israel hawks Martin Peretz amd Morton Zuckerman. But the bias is on continual display in actual media performance.

Let us review briefly, with some recent illustrations, some of the modalities by which Israel's more than half-century long, massive ethnic cleansing has been made palatable.

1. Language: Ethnic Cleansing, Violence, Terrorism, Clashes

The phrase "ethnic cleansing" is far more applicable to Israeli actions than to those of the Serbs in Kosovo. The brutal Serb mistreatment of Kosovo Albanians was a feature of an ongoing civil war, and the killings and large scale expulsions during the Nato bombing were war-related actions; they were not part of a long-term project to "redeem the land" from non-Serbs. Albanians in Belgrade have not been limited in property ownership as Arabs are in Israel and the occupied territories, and Kosovo Albanian homes were not demolished for the purpose of providing space for Serbs. Despite this reality, in the three year period 1998 through 2000, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time and Newsweek used the phrase "ethnic cleansing" some 1,200 times in discussing Kosovo, in about four-fifths of the cases in reference to Serb policy, whereas during the entire decade of the 1990s they used the phrase only 14 times in discussing Israel, and only five times referring to Israeli policy. This reflects massive internalized bias.

In media reporting on Intifada II, "violence" means stone throwing and shooting, it never refers to the "structural violence" of expropriating land, evicting people from their houses and demolishing them, seizing and diverting their water resources for the use of the chosen people, building roads that destroy communities' access to former neighbors and jobs, closing down access directly by army orders and barricades, and tolerating and protecting settlers' attacks, destruction, and seizure of Gentile property. Even though there have been a substantial number of killings and injuries inflicted on the Gentiles by army and settlers in this process, this massive low-intensity violence has been entirely acceptable to the Clinton, Bush II, and predecessor administrations, so for the mainstream media it is not classified as violence or given serious attention (as discussed further below).

But even within their limited conception of violence, the media's bias displayed during Intifada II has been spectacular in giving far greater attention and exclusive indignation to stone-throwing and suicide bombings by Palestinians, than to the more cruel and deadly violence of the Israeli army. The better than six to one ratio of killings and far higher ratio of Palestinian injuries to those of Israelis is neutralized by greater attention to--and much greater humanization of--Israeli victims. In a simple and rough measure of this bias, of eight front page photos of Intifada victims in the New York Times from September 28, 2000 through March 9, 2001, six were of Israelis and two were of Palestinians. This, along with massive suppressions detailed later, helps sustain the identification of "violence" with the stone throwing and suicide bombing of the population in revolt.

Similarly, the media have continued their long tradition of finding the Palestinians terrorists, the Israelis victims--even "under siege"--and engaging in retaliation only. Almost without exception the media make deadly Palestinian actions terrorism, and with indignant language attached--the killing of two Israeli soldiers was a "sickening lynch-murder," a Palestinian attack on a settlers' bus was "unspeakable" and a "terrorist outrage" in the New York Times--but none of the 400 Palestinian deaths were worthy of such adjectives. Thus, regarding a massive Israeli bombardment of a civilian area in Gaza, this was "predictably...a strong Israeli response" to a previous bombing of a settlers' bus. Only the Israelis respond and retaliate, and do this "predictably" (meaning responsively and reasonably). "Yesterday's Palestinian terrorism and Israeli retaliation..."(ed., NYT, Nov. 21, 2000) is the formulaic language of deep bias. Norman Solomon reports that a Nexis search of U.S. media for the first 100 days of 2001 found several dozen references to Israeli "retaliation," but only one instance where Palestinian actions were deemed retaliatory.

By the same rule of bias Ariel Sharon, whose record of responsibility for killing unarmed civilians exceeds that of Carlos the Jackal by a factor of 20 or more, is never a "terrorist" or "war criminal" in the mainstream media, although occasionally it is said that "they" (Arabs) so designate him. Rather, he has a "new air of electability" (Phila. Inquirer, Jan. 7, 2001) or is "tough" and a "warrior" as the New York Times describes him on their front page of February 7, 2001, or an "old soldier" on the next day (earlier, and shortly after the Sabra-Shatila massacre, "the forceful general intent on security for Israel," NYT, Feb. 11, 1983).

Robert Fisk says that when he reads of death in "a cross-fire" or "clashes" he knows that this means the Israelis did the killing. Fisk notes that even when CNN's Cairo bureau chief, Ben Wedeman, was shot in the back in a gun battle in Gaza, almost certainly by Israeli soldiers, CNN could not bring itself to suggest who was to blame "at this time." And AP reported that Wedeman had been "caught up in a crossfire" (Fisk, "Media: The Biased Reporting that Makes Killing Acceptable," The Independent, Nov, 14, 2000). Fisk also notes how easily the media refer to a "suspected Palestinian gunman" or "presumably by Palestinians" when Israelis are shot at, whereas Palestinians always die "in clashes"--"as if they they were accidentally shot rather than targets for Israeli snipers."

On March 27, 2001, the New York Times featured on its front page that "Palestinians Kill Baby Boy in West Bank," citing "Israeli officials," with Ariel Sharon adding that this was a "deliberate, cold-blooded escalation of violence." On March 11, however, the paper showed on its front page a picture of a dead nine-year old Palestinian boy, described as shot by "an errant Israeli bullet." So by rule of bias the Israeli killing was "errant" rather than deliberate, in contrast with the action of the Palestinians. And if Israelia snipers shoot numerous children, often in the eyes or other vulnerable spot, the media--who never use the numerous photos of Palestinian children with eye damage--are pleased to give credence to Iraeli army suggestions that the soldiers are perhaps just a bit trigger-happy (Joel Greenberg, "Israeli Military Worries Some Troops May Be Trigger-Happy," NYT, Jan 17, 2001).

The Israelis are not only "worried" about over-zealous soldiers, they admit making "mistakes," and the media sometimes acknowledge that their responses may be "excessive," "heavy-handed," or "disproportionate" in retaliating to terrorism--but they are never engaging in state terrorism and killing civilians, including children, deliberately and "unspeakably." Their killings are never "massacres," as Serb killings in Kosovo were often designated. Palestinian violence is never a "predictable" response to Israeli structural violence and direct state terror.

2. Critical Frames: Featuring the Violence of the Ethnic Cleansing State

Framing bias is closely linked to bias in language, and as I have just shown, the U.S. mainstream media use words like terrorism and violence to describe the retail acts of the Palestinians, not the wholesale killings and coerced structural changes imposed by the Israelis. They also refuse to use the words "ethnic cleansing" to describe Israeli policy, despite the excellence of the fit. But there are powerful frames that do put the locus of blame for violence on the ethnic cleansing state and its sponsor. These critical frames are spelled out by Israeli journalists like Amira Hass and Danny Rubenstein, but they are as scarce as hens' teeth in the U.S. mainstream press, although they flourish in the alternative media.

2A. The injustice frame

The primary alternative frame we may call the injustice model. As I showed in Part 1, Amira Hass writing in Ha'aretz employs a clear critical frame that explains Intifada II as an inevitable response to the complete failure of Oslo to do anything whatever for the Palestinians, and their further decline in welfare and morale. Robert Fisk says the same: that the Intifada "is what happens when a whole society is pressure-cooked to the point of explosion" ("Lies, Hatred and the Language of Force, The Independent, Oct. 13, 2000). Hass, Fisk, Danny Rubenstein in Ha'aretz, and other reporters and analysts have given similar interpretations that stress the continued expropriations by settlers and the army, the hugely racist and humiliating treatment meted out to the Palestinians by their overlords, and the fact that recent Israeli-US plans not only ratify the illegal post-Oslo "facts on the ground," they provide for no meaningful resolution of the refugee crisis, no credible East Jerusalem sovereignty, and no viable and independent Palestinian state.

In this critical frame, the Palestinian uprising is rooted in extreme abuse and injustice, disappointed hopes, disillusionment with both Oslo and the corrupt and pitiful Arafat leadership serving as Israeli enforcers, and the final provocation of Sharon and Barak at al-Aqsa. The explosion was widely expected, "predictable," and understandable, and in these senses it was a "rational" response to extreme abuse and the absence of peaceable options.

2B. The Israeli provocation model

A secondary alternative frame, that actually supplements the primary injustice model, starts with the fact that Intidada II was clearly begun by Ariel Sharon's visit to the al-Aqsa mosque on September 28, 2000. Even Thomas Friedman and the mainstream media acknowledge that this was a "provocation," but by various tricks they make the Palestinian response causally more important than the provocation.

One trick has been to portray Barak as a man of peace who was offering a reasonable settlement, and distancing him from the provocation. Thus, Thomas Friedman says that "In short, the Palestinians could not deal with Barak, so they had to turn him into Sharon. And they did" ("Arafat's War," NYT, Oct. 13, 2000). But Friedman suppresses relevant facts. First, Arafat, his chief negotiator Saeb Erikat, and Palestinian official Faisal Husseini, all pleaded with Barak not to allow the Sharon visit because of its destabilizing potential, and Barak not only turned them down he supported Sharon's provocation with 1000 border police. Second, on the day after Sharon's visit, Barak's police were massively present at al-Aqsa and fired to kill in the turmoil that ensued, leaving seven dead and several hundred wounded. Third, following this further provocation Barak did nothing to reduce the tensions, and in fact offered a further show of force. But for Friedman and the mainstream media, this series of provocations and failure of Barak to do anything peaceable does not make him responsible; it was Arafat who had to call off HIS people.

By rule of deep bias, while the media have speculated freely on Arafat's motives in possibly influencing the Palestinian response-- his "chancy gamble" as Time put it (Oct. 23, 2000)--they never even raise the possibility that the Israeli leaders might have had political aims leading THEM to provoke and that might explain THEIR response. That the Sharon provocations, with Barak's cooperation, might have been intended to induce violence and might be explained by Israeli political dynamics is simply outside the apologetic frames of reference. Eduardo Cohen argues that the Sharon-Barak provocations flowed from their political calculations: Sharon wanting to take center stage before Netanyahu's recovery from his scandal--he was exonerated in a court case on alleged corruption on September 27, 2000, the day before Sharon went to al-Aqsa--and knowing that a tough stance and renewed war would serve his political interests; Barak hoping to undercut Sharon and precipitate a crisis and early election in which his chances would also be better than if he waited for the political recovery of Netanyahu (Cohen, "American Journalists Should Have Looked a Little Deeper," undated). Whatever the merits of this line of argument, the failure of the U.S. media even to discuss possible political reasons for the provocations, and whether they might have been intended to provoke the ensuing violence, reflects overwhelming bias.

3. Apologetic Frames: Those That Blame any Violence on the Victims of Ethnic Cleansing

Almost without exception the U.S. mainstream media frame their presentations of the issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so as to apologize for Israeli policy and put the blame for any violence on Israel's victims.

3A. The injustice model--Barak's generous offer, Arafat's war, irrational Palestinian outburst

Essential ingredients of this dominant mainstream frame are the assumptions that Barak was a "moderate" and that his offers and the "peace process" have been reasonable, so that any disturbances or uprisings are therefore irresponsible, unjustifiable, or irrational. Trudy Rubin, the editorial foreign policy commentator of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is not alone in finding that "Irrationality drives violence in the region" (Oct. 18, 2000). Absolutely essential to propagating this frame is the refusal to discuss issues of justice and to evaluate those in detail--so you will never find Friedman, or Rubin, discussing the Israeli policy of systematic expropriation of Palestinians in the occupied territories, the demolitions, the appropriation of water for Jewish use, the doubled settler population since 1993, the road construction that makes a Palestinian state unviable, or the policy of killing and injuring Gentiles freely, but not Jews. They never seriously discuss--let alone urge--the right of return of expelled Palestinians, although both Friedman and Rubin were aggressively supportive of the right of return of Kosovo Albanians. The news columns in their papers, and the mainstream media more generally, also follow the official (U.S. and Israeli) party line and scant all of these issues.

In his "Arafat's War," which gives us Friedman's standard "injustice" model, characteristic of the Times as an institution, and predominant throughout the mainstream media, Friedman mentions the "old complaints about the brutality of the continued Israeli occupation and settlement building. Frankly, the Israeli checkpoints and continued settlement building are oppressive." He finesses this huge set of issues by making them "old" (stale), and avoiding details, numbers, or discussing the racist violence in expropriation for Israeli Jews only, the large-scale violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, or the beggaring of the Palestinians under Oslo. He also argues that such matters are now irrelevant because Barak has offered "unprecedented compromises," so that if the Palestinians don't fall in line with these any violence is their fault. He never discusses why Sharon engaged in his provocation or explains why this act by an Israeli leader does not deserve considerable weight; and he fails to acknowledge Barak's support of the provocation and never suggests that these Israeli actions might be related to Israeli politics. And he has not one word of criticism of the Israeli killings of September 29 or the ensuing brutal repression. He mentions the "gleeful savage mob murder of Israeli soldiers in Ramallah," but otherwise there was only a "week of Israeli-Palestinian killings," but no "murders" let alone "gleeful savage murders" of Palestinians.

Friedman never mentions that the vague terms of the Oslo deal allowed Israel, with total U.S. support, to double settlements and create facts on the ground extremely damaging to Palestinian welfare. Thus the "old complaints about brutality" etc., continued despite that prior good deal. Now the new good deal gives the Palestinians a fine alternative--"more than 90 percent of the West Bank for a Palestinian state, a partial resolution of the refugee problem and Palestinian sovereignty over the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem..." Even Bill Clinton likes this plan, so what more need be said about fairness? The "90 percent" figure is the Israeli version, that allows a "facts on the ground" Greater Jerusalem to be counted as part of Israel--so that 70 to 80 percent may be more accurate. There is also the question of the quality of the land, the implicit Israeli control of the mountain acquifer under the West Bank, and the fact that the land allocations, Jewish settlements, and "for Jews only" road networks have broken the "90 percent" into unconnected enclaves, with no borders except with Israel. This is a bantustan solution that does not yield a viable or independent state; and of course it does not return to the Palestinians any of the property stolen even since 1993 for Israel's "security" and lebensraum for some of the chosen people.

Friedman is satisfied with the "partial resolution" of the refugee problem that involves Israel recognizing Palestinian "pain" and promising to allow a "return" to "historic Palestine," which includes the West Bank where the refugees are already congregated, not to their original homes and not promising compensation in lieu of such return. Palestinian sovereignty over the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City does not include Harim Al Sharif, and those Muslim and Christian quarters have been broken into pieces by expropriations and massive Israeli construction for Jews only since the last good deal (1993).

So "Arafat's War" rests on the failure of the Palestinians to acknowledge total defeat: their unwillingness to accept all the past injustices, including post-1993 expropriations, a bantustan system worse than that imposed by South Africa under apartheid, and continued military domination by a country that has been a wee bit "oppressive" (Clinton and Barak demanded a demilitarized Palestinian state, and continued Israeli occupation rights in the West Bank, out of consideration for Israeli security). If Arafat wouldn't accept this, and sign another imprecise agreement that once again left much to the goodwill of Israel and its sponsor, all the violence is his doing.

This is the "injustice model" that amounts to crude apologetics for ethnic cleansing. And it was hardly confined to Friedman and the New York Times editorial pages. It was pretty standard in the news as well as editorial pages that it was Arafat's choice of "Peace or Victimhood" (Jane Perlez, "Fork in Arafat's Road," NYT, Dec. 29, 2000).

3B. Arafat and the return to terrorism

For years Arafat and the PLO were terrorists for Israeli and U.S. officials, and therefore for the mainstream media. Israel has only engaged in retaliation and counterterror, by rule of political bias, whatever the facts. Then in 1991, when Arafat surrendered and allowed himself to be sucked into a "peace process" that made him the Israeli enforcer, but gave his people absolutely nothing, he suddenly ceased to be a terrorist and became a statesman! With Intifada II, however, and his failure to perform his function of keeping his defeated people under control, he has been tentatively returned at least in some media to the terrorist class.

So we find regular media references to Arafat's responsibility for failing to contain the violence, speculations on whether he actually stirred it up to improve his bargaining position with Israel, and admonitions to Arafat to get his people under control. Among many other cases, Time had him taking a "chancy gamble;" the Inquirer's Trudy Rubin said he "fanned, or failed to calm, religious and national passions" (Oct. 18, 2000), and she asked "Can Arafat stop the violence" (Nov. 1, 2000). Some of the claims of his deliberate incitements have come from Israeli army and intelligence sources, which the media find highly newsworthy (Tracy Wilkinson, "Is the violence beyond Arafat's control?," Los Angeles Times, Oct.4, 2000). Jane Perlez asks "Can Arafat Turn It Off?," subtitled "U.S. Officials Debate Degree of His Control" (NYT, Oct. 17, 2000). There have not been any articles entitled "Is the violence beyond Barak's [or Sharon's] control?," nor have the media been able to locate anybody to assess Barak's motives and responsibility. And in a spectacular display of bias they rarely if ever suggested that Barak could or should have stopped the wholesale violence that he carried out from September 29, 2000; only "Arafat had a choice" (Rubin), not Barak, or Sharon, who are implicitly engaging in "retaliation" and "counterterror," in a longstanding propaganda tradition.

3C. Pushing the children forward as martyrs

In a similar and disgusting pattern, the mainstream media have also latched on to the claim that the Palestinians are callously pushing their children forward to die, that they suffer from a martyr syndrome, and that the parents, Arafat, and the penchant toward martyrdom are therefore responsible for the numerous shooting deaths of children (Chris Hedges, "The Deathly Glamour of Martydom," NYT, Oct. 29, 2000). This penchant for martyrdom is also responsible for the breakdown of peace (John Burns, "The Promise of Paradise That Slays Peace," NYT, April 1, 2001).

The Philadelphia Inquirer played the martyrdom line with relish, with a news article on "Grieving Arabs find comfort in concept of martydom" (Oct. 25, 2000), an op-ed column by Rubin on "The children's crusade" that blames the Palestinians for the death of their children (Oct. 25), and a cartoon by Tony Auth showing Arafat urging children to plunge to martyrs' deaths over a cliff (Oct. 26). Auth has twice had cartoons showing Arafat with blood on his hands, but never an Israeli leader.

Uri Avnery notes that this ready attribution of responsibility for the child killings to the Arab parents "betrays an obnoxious racism" ("Israel/Palestine: Twelve Conventional Lies," Oct. 21, 2000). He also observes that Palestinian parents can hardly restrain their children "when they live under a cruel occupation and their brothers and sisters provide examples of heroism and self-sacrifice" in a tradition going back to 16 year-old Joan of Arc. He also points out that there is a Jewish tradition of children fighters and heroes, and that the settlers routinely exploit their children, "not hesitating to put them in harms way," and without eliciting any suggestions of irresponsibility and a desire for martyrdom on the part of the critics of Palestinian parents.

"The right question is why do our soldiers kill these children? And in some cases in cold blood?" But that is Eyad Serraj writing in Le Monde Diplomatique (Nov. 2000), not a U.S. mainstream news source. Rarely if ever do the media point out that the Israelis are doing the shooting, that many of the children are shot with the intent to seriously injure or kill them, and that non-lethal methods of crowd control are available and are used by the Israelis, but only when dealing with protests by Israeli Jews.

In a more general argument for Palestinian voluntary self- sacrifice and Israeli innocence, General Wesley Clark, wrote in Time, that "For Israel, every casualty, even among the Palestinians, is a loss. For the Palestinians, every clash is strategic and offensive, increasing the pressure on Israel, building support in the Arab world and, with every Israeli response, affording the opportunity to further isolate Israel..." ("How to Fight an Asymmetric War," Oct. 23, 2000). This apologetic- -and the article's title points up its design to advise Israel-- which is based on no evidence, does not explain why Israel should engage in aggressive and lethal responses that are allegedly "losses," fails to explore the hypothesis that Israel is repeating its handling of Intifada I where its strategy was explicitly to break the protest movement by terror, and it assumes that Palestinian behavior is based on a plan rather than an uncontrollable explosion based on serious injustice, started by the Sharon-Barak provocation, and kept alive by Israel's brutal response.

3D. The United States as honest broker

The Israelis do not want any interference with their ethnic cleansing, so they "rightly resist any shift to an international format," as it was expressed in a New York Times editorial of November 13, 2000, and the Israelis are happy to have the United States, the 50-odd year sponsor and underwriter of their ethnic cleansing, as a substitute for a genuine international presence. The appropriateness of this arrangement thus becomes the U.S. official position and media truth, and the demand for international protection of the victims of Israel's ethnic cleansing becomes not a moral issue fulfilling that new Western dedication to protecting defenceless people but rather "a favorite of Palestinians" (Keith Richburg, "Israel rejects international presence," Phila. Inquirer, Nov. 11, 2000). Richard Holbrooke says that "no force would be supported without Israeli approval" (Nicole Winfield, "Arafat appeals for U.N. protection, but Israel, U.S. oppose," Phila. Inquirer, Nov. 11, 2000), so that settles the matter for the mainstream media. No comparison with Kosovo, no mention of the similar performance in East Timor where the Clinton team deferred to its Indonesia client, thereby allowing the destruction of East Timor.

Nor will the media ever discuss the huge, long-standing pro- Israeli bias of the U.S. government that has protected Israeli expropriations and ethnic cleansing for an entire generation. As noted earlier, Thomas Friedman cites Clinton's approval of Barak's peace proposal as if an assessment by an honest broker, not a partisan. On the aggressively pro-ethnic cleansing right, William Safire postulates that Clinton and company really are honest brokers, and decries this fact as "Israel Needs an Ally, It does not need a broker" (NYT, Oct. 12, 2000).

Although the Palestinians have been militarily defeated and ethnically cleansed by a powerful combination of a superpower and its main client, it is essential that the mainstream press pretend that the supportive superpower is objective and not helping the ethnic cleansing state capture the fruits of this rather uneven military contest. The media have cooperated fully in doing this, although occasionally the Times, for example, allows it to be mentioned that the Palestinians are becoming a bit distrustful of the honest broker! (William Orme, "As New Peace Talks Go On, Palestinians Criticize Clinton," NYT, Jan. 23, 2001).

3E. "Impatient" Israelis versus Serbian "Willing Executioners"

The mainstream media repeatedly tell us that the Israelis have "lost patience" with the Palestinians, with the "peace process," and with their leaders who have allowed this new spate of (Palestinian) "violence." If Barak's approval rating went up from 20 to 50 percent following his and Sharon's show of force at al- Aqsa, and if they have voted in the ruthless Sharon and now support a more brutal response to the Intifada, this does not discredit the populace for murderous attitudes and extremism. On the contrary, it is a given to which the world must adjust. Back in 1999, Stacy Sullivan asked: what if a people "supports ethnic cleansing-- actively or passively? In that case, we do have a quarrel with the...people...It is the very mentality of the nation." But she was talking about the SERBS as "Milosevic's Willing Executioners" (New Republic, May 10, 1999), not a populace supporting an approved ethnic cleansing.

In reference to the Serbs, the official and therefore media party line was that what the Serb armed forces were doing to the Albanians in Kosovo was ugly and criminal and must be stopped, so the idea of Serb "impatience" with the Kosovo Albanians for their resistance and "terrorism" would have been viewed as outlandish. The question was: how guilty were ordinary Serbs for the crimes of their government, and even though the Serbs were alleged to be suffering under a "dictatorship," Anthony Lewis, Blaine Harden, and Thomas Friedman in the Times and Stacy Sullivan and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen in the New Republic, and many others, found the Serbs guilty, either because of their indifference concerning their government's crimes or their positive support, as "willing executioners."

In the case of Israelis, many more of them than Serbs have been openly in favor of violence against their state's victims, and there are numerous available quotes of Israelis saying "I would kill all Arabs," "Arabs must be eliminated," and that Palestinians are mere "grasshoppers" and that these "vipers" should be "annihilated" (Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel's Shas party, speaking on April 9, 2001). But here, in this case of an approved ethnic cleansing, the media not only don't suggest Israeli citizen guilt, Israeli support of escalated state terrorism against Palestinians is reported antiseptically and even sympathetically, as the Israelis are the victims of "terrorism" but never themselves terrorize. They may be killing and wounding innocent civilians at a rate 20 or more times the rate of their victimization by the "terrorists," but that doesn't affect an equation where the value of lives of the terrorists and their families is zero.

4. Suppression of Inconvenient Facts

Eye aversion is extremely important in protecting the approved system of institutionalized injustice and ethnic cleansing. Thus, the mainstream U.S. media simply won't discuss the laws applying to an occupying power and their responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and Israel's massive violations of these rules in expropriations, discriminatory use of water and other matters are barely noted. The violence of Israel in imprisonments, torture, beatings, killings and injuries, and aid and protection to settler violence is enormously greater than Palestinian violence against Israel, but it is downplayed and relevant information on these matters is subjected to massive suppression.

Let me give a small sample illustrative of suppressions, taken from a very large pool, by class of suppression. It should be noted that what is suppressed is very often reports by UN bodies, human rights groups, Palestinian and Arab sources, and other individuals and reporters who fail to meet agenda standards. They put Israel in too bad a light, or mention U.S. military or counterinsurgency aid not helpful to the image of an honest broker. Barak, Sharon, Israeli army sources, and U.S. officials, although hugely biased and guilty of repeated lies, are the steady basis of the "news" agenda, which explains why whether Arafat can control the violence is an issue but not whether Barak, Sharon and Clinton or Bush can do the same.


1. UN Special Report on Israel for the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, dated Nov. 13, 2000, strongly condemning Israel violations of the Geneva Convention, Oslo agreement, and human rights, was not mentioned in the U.S. media.

2. UN report of Feb. 26, 2001, which described the Israeli closures on the West Bank and Gaza as being "the most severe and sustained set of move restrictions imposed on the Occupied Palestinian Territory since the beginning of the occupation in 1967," was completely ignored in the U.S. mainstream media.


1. Human Rights Watch's report charging that "Israeli soldiers have abused hundreds of Palestinian drivers, beating them and slashing their car tires on roads in the West Bank," released on February 27, was not cited anywhere in the U.S. mainstream media.

2. Human Rights Watch's report of April 11, 2001, "Center of the Storm," called "a very severe report on the killing and wounding of Palestinian civilians in Hebron by Israeli Defense Forces soldiers and Jewish settlers," was featured twice in Ha'aretz and once in London's Independent, but was mentioned in passing only in the Washington Post (April 16), and was otherwise entirely blacked out in the U.S. media.

3. AI's report of December 8, 1999, on the Israeli policy of house demolitions, was unreported in the U.S. mainstream media.

4. AI's report of Oct. 26, 2000 charging that Israel's failure to investigate deaths cheapens life was mentioned briefly in the Washington Post (Nov. 2) and Boston Globe (Nov. 2), but was featured nowhere in the mainstream media.

5. AI's Nov. 3, 2000 report condemning Israel's attacks on civilians was mentioned in the Los Angeles Times (Nov. 5), but was not featured there or mentioned elsewhere.

6. AI's Nov. 9, 2000 report charging that mass arrests in Jerusalem and northern Israel are often followed by police beatings was mentioned (but not featured) only in the Chicago Tribune (Nov. 15), Chicago Sun-Times (Nov. 14), and The Oregonian (Nov. 16).

7. AI's Nov. 24, 2000 call for the deployment of human rights observers was mentioned only in the New York Times on the back page and dismissively (Nov. 28, 2000), and in The Deseret News (Nov. 25, 2000)

8. AI's Jan. 24, 2001 report charging impunity in the case of the killing of Palestinians (specifically criticizing a nominal sentence for a settler's murder of an 11 year old Palestinian child) was unmentioned in the mainstream media.


1. The Hebrew weekly Kol Ha'ir reported on January 26 that "U.S. Marines Trained with Tsahal [IDF] for Reconquest of the Territories of the Palestinian Authority." Picked up by Agence France Presse on January 27, 2001, this was unreported in the U.S. media.

2. Defense journals and Boeing reported the Boeing sale of nine Apache Longbow helicopters to Israel in February 2001, but the mainstream media failed to report this transaction (and other major weapons sales and transfers to Israel were of equal disinterest).

3. Israel and the "honest broker" also carried out joint exercises in February 2001 to test Patriot air defense missiles transferred from U.S. bases in Germany to Israel. This evidence of an extremely close military relationship between the two countries was mentioned in passing in the Washington Post (February 20, 2001), but nowhere else in the mainstream media.


1. The Palestine Monitor reported on March 19, 2001, that "Israeli soldiers at Al Ram checkpoint fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs directly at Palestinians participating in a peaceful women's march. Women were beaten with the butts of rifles by the soldiers. 15 women have been transported to nearby hospitals. The march was organized by the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees to protest the continued Israeli imposed closure and siege on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Eyewitnesses report that the march from Ramallah to Al Ram checkpoint was completely peaceful from the Palestinian side." This incident was unreported in the U.S. media.

2. On February 20, 2001, the National School for Blind Girls in al-Bireh was shelled by Israeli tanks and heavy weaponry for three hours, seriously damaging the building and terrifying the disabled girls. The attacks apparently resulted because a nearby Jewish settlement had been fired upon by unknown parties. This incident was unreported in the U.S. mainstream media.

3. In early January a 10 year-old Palestinian girl Ella Ahmed in El Sawiya, near Nablus, died of a burst appendix after Israeli soldiers twice refused to allow passage to a hospital in Nablus. This was reported in Ha'aretz on January 9, but was not picked up in the U.S. media.

4. Sabreen Balout was born in a taxi on January 24, as the Israeli Defense Forces refused to allow passage to a hospital, and in fact insisted that the passengers in the taxi, including the baby still linked to her mother by an umbilical cord, get out of the cab on a cold rainy night. This was reported in Ha'aretz, but not in the U.S. media.

5. UNRRA director Peter Hansen issued an unusual press release and report on March 11 declaring that Israeli policy in the West Bank and Gaza in destroying roads, uprooting trees, and damaging agricultural land in the interest of "security," not only violated international norms and law, it threatened a "humanitarian catastrophe." This UNRRA material was not picked up in the U.S. mainstream media.

6. Normalizing Structural Violence: Demolitions

The media's treatment of Israel's systematic demolitions of Palestinian homes provides an enlightening case study in bias. The policy of demolitions is horrendously inhumane and with its racist concentration on Palestinian homes is reminiscent of Nazi practice. There has been a steady stream of stories on the web issued by the Ethnic NewsWatch, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICHAD), the Palestinian Land Defense Committee (PLDC), Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), the Hebron Solidarity Committee (HSC), and other groups, that describe army demolitions that push out Palestinians virtually without notice. (Check out the website of the Hebron Solidarity Committee: "CPT Hebron" .)

These stories are numerous, dramatic, and often heart-breaking as Jewish Israeli protesters and Christian teams often struggle to protect Palestinians from the racist onslaught of the army and settlers. The stories often describe demolitions of houses being rebuilt by protesters and then being bulldozed out of existence by the army for a second or third time. As noted earlier, Amnesty International had a report on this savage policy, stressing the racist essence, the widespread Palestinian fear of being demolished, and the murderous character of the policy--in one case, 100 border police coming without notice, starting to destroy a house, Palestinians starting to throw stones, and the police shooting dead Zaki 'Ubayd, a 28-year old father. This AI report was ignored by the Free Press.

A Nexis search of coverage of demolitions of Palestinain homes in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time and Newsweek for the five years from January 1, 1996 through December 31, 2000, comes up with only 23 articles: none in Time, one in Newsweek, five in the New York Times, 11 in the Washington Post, and six in the Los Angeles Times. With only a single exception in the Washington Post, these articles never mention the Israeli Committee Against Demolitions, the Hebron Solidarity Committee, and the Palestinian Land Defense Committee. Only two of the 23 articles made the front page, and only five give substantial detail on the brutality of the practice and suffering of the Palestinian victims. Twenty of the 23 give the Israeli rationale that the Palestinian homes were illegally built, and nine mention the demolitions as being a response to Palestinian violence; only six note that Palestinians are not allowed to build, and only one suggests even indirectly that the demolitions and settlements violate the Oslo accords as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention.

In that single exceptional case, Steven Erlanger says that "While Labor governments have also expanded existing settlements and the Oslo accords do not limit them from doing so, the Palestinians have complained that Israel now builds large new neighborhoods near existing settlements in order to call them expansion, rather than label them new." (NYT, Sept. 12, 1997). Note first that Erlanger's statement that Oslo does not preclude expanding settlements is strictly the Israeli interpretation of general language; and he cannot admit that new settlements have taken place, but only speaks of Palestinian complaints. He does not discuss whether doubling the number of settlers and other Israeli actions might possibly violate the spirit of Oslo.

In sum, in a period of intense demolition activity by Israel, the five print media examined treated the issue in very low key, with zero editorial attention. They created a phony balance by giving serious weight to alleged building code-violations and responses to Palestinian terrorism as the basis for Israeli policy, downplaying the violations of Oslo and international law, the hugely discriminatory features of Israeli law, and the direct terroristic abuses of the army and settlers in demolishing and taking over Palestinian property. They handled the issue in such a manner that the U.S. public would hardly know of this practice, and would hardly be roused to indignation, in contrast with their responses to the media's focus on Palestinian stone throwing and other misbehavior.

7. Rewriting History

In systems of propaganda, not only are inconvenient facts blacked out or treated in very low key where awkward, but history is also rewritten. Thus it has long been an important part of Israeli, U.S. official, and hence mainstream media propaganda that Arafat and the PLO have always been "rejectionist" whereas Israel and its sponsor have been patiently awaiting a negotiating partner. However, it has been shown time and again that this is an Orwellian inversion--that in fact only the ethnic cleanser and its sponsor have rejected an international consensus, long accepted by the PLO and Soviet Union as well as everybody but the "nyet duo," that would have returned the "occupied territories" to the Palestinians and involved mutual recognition. (For convincing evidence, Chomsky, Fateful Triangle, Updated Edition, chap. 3; or his World Orders New and Old, chap. 3.)

Another key myth has been that the Palestinian flight of 1948- 1949 was carried out voluntarily, not mainly by deliberate Israeli violence. This myth was long ago exploded by Israeli historians like Benny Morris and Simha Flapan, among others, but it also continues to live even today within the U.S. propaganda system. Thus, Elie Wiesel says that "Incited by their leaders, 600,000 Palestinian left the country convinced that, once Israel was vanquished, they would be able to return home" ("Jerusalem in My Heart," NYT, Jan. 24, 2001), and this fabrication is not only published by the Newspaper of Record, it is not corrected in the letters columns or "Corrections." It also shows up uncorrected in the "news," where reporter John Kifner says that 52 years ago "750,000 people fled the fighting that commenced with the Arab attack on the newly created state of Israel" (NYT,Dec. 31, 2000). They didn't "flee the fighting," most of them were deliberately driven out in the first phase of "redeeming the land."

8. Conclusions: The Media's Supportive Role in Ethnic Cleansing; Where Will It End In Making a "Safe" Israel?

Robert Fisk notes that "Oddly, you can now learn more from the Israeli press than the American media. The brutality of Israeli soldiers is fully covered in Ha'aretz, which also reports on the large number of U.S. negotiators who are Jewish. Four years ago, a former Israeli soldier described in an Israeli newspaper how his men had looted a village in southern Lebanon; when the piece was reprinted in the New York Times, the looting episode was censored out of the text" (Independent, Dec. 13, 2000).

The U.S. mainstream media's coverage of Middle East issues shows a genuine propaganda system in action. As I have shown, the media have done a truly outstanding job of supporting state policy by making Israel's ethnic cleansing palatable, finding the victims the source of the violence, and thus facilitating virtually any level of wholesale violence Israel deems necessary to protect itself against "terrorism." As its ethnic cleansing policies inevitably produce secondary reactions to the primary (Israeli) violence, the media therefore contribute to an escalating process with no decent end in sight.

A "safe" Israel could be obtained by accommodation to a Palestinian presence with justice, but that has never been consistent with the Israeli policy of "redeeming the land" from the Gentiles, and there is no evidence that it has been seriously considered as a policy option in the Clinton and Oslo years or in any Bush signals or media perspectives. The other routes to a "safe" Israel, although cruel, dangerous, and almost certain to fail, are more consistent with the drift of actual policy, Sharon's victory, and media apologetics for everything Israel has done up to this moment. One route is a more aggressive policy of expulsions from any contested territory, a solution long advocated by Netanyahu and Sharon. The other route, easily combined with a policy of expulsion, is a still more violent crackdown that would kill or injure even larger numbers in the hope that this would escalate an exodus, directly deplete Palestinian numbers, and keep any remnants passive from fear.

I have no doubt that this semi-genocidal and dangerous policy, already approached in the Intifada II crackdown, would be effectively rationalized by the mainstream media as a regrettably necessary response to "violence" and the demands of Israeli "safety."

"When a Jew, in America or in South Africa, talks to his Jewish companions about 'our' government, he means the government of Israel."

- David Ben-Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister

Palestine banner
Viva Palestina!

Latest Additions - in English

What is this Jewish carnage really about? - The background to atrocities

Videos on Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam and Blacks and Jews 

How Jewish Films and Television Promotes bias Against Muslims

Judaism is Nobody's Friend
Judaism is the Jews' strategy to dominate non-Jews.

Islam and Revolution
By Ahmed Rami

Jewish Manipulation of World Leaders - Photos

Elie Wiesel - A Prominent False Witness
By Robert Faurisson

The Gaza atrocity 2008-2009

Iraq under Jewish occupation
Iraq - war and occupation

Jewish War against Lebanon!

Jew Goldstone appointed by UN to investigate War Crimes in Gaza

Hasbara - The Jewish manual for media deceptions

Britain under Jewish occupation!

Jewish World Power
West Europe    East Europe
Americas          Asia
Middle East       Africa
      U.N.              E.U.


The Internet and Israeli-Jewish infiltration/manipulations

Books - Important collection of titles

The Power of Jews in France

The Israel Lobby - From the book

Jews and Crime  - The archive!

When Jews rule...
The best book on Jewish Power

Sayanim - Israel's and Mossad's Jewish helpers abroad

Listen to Louis Farrakhan's Speech - A must hear!

The Israeli Nuclear Threat

The "Six Million" Myth

Jewish "Religion" - What is it?

Medias in the hands of racists

Strauss-Kahn - IMF chief and member of Israel lobby group

Down with Zio-Apartheid
StopJewish Apartheid!

The Jews behind Islamophobia

Israel controls U.S. Presidents
Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton...

The Victories of Revisionism
By Professor Robert Faurisson

The Jewish hand behind Internet The Jews behind Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, MySpace, eBay...

"Jews, who want to be decent human beings, have to renounce being Jewish"

Jewish War Against Iran

Al Jazeera English under Jewish infiltration

The Founding Myths of Modern Israel
Garaudy's "Founding myths"

Jewish hate against Christians
By Prof. Israel Shahak

Introduction to Revisionist
- By Ernst Zündel

Karl Marx: The Jewish Question

Reel Bad Arabs - Revealing the racist Jewish Hollywood propaganda

"Anti-Semitism" - What is it?

Videos - Important collection 

The Jews Banished 47 Times in 1000 Years - Why?

Nation of Islam and The Synagogue of Satan - Videos

The International Jew - By Henry Ford

Pravda interviews Ahmed Rami

The Founding Myths of Modern Israel
Shahak's "Jewish History"

The Jewish plan to destroy the Arab countries - From the World
Zionist Organization

Judaism and Zionism inseparable

"Jewish History" - a bookreview

Revealing photos of the Jews 

Racist Jewish Fundamentalism

"Jews" from Khazaria stealing the land of Palestine

The U.S. cost of supporting Israel

Turkey, Ataturk and the Jews

Talmud unmasked
The truth about the Talmud

Israel and the Ongoing Holocaust in Congo

Jews DO control the media - a Jew brags! - Revealing Jewish article

Abbas - The Traitor

Protocols of Zion - The whole book!

Quotes - On Jewish Power / Zionism

Caricatures / Cartoons 

Activism! - Join the Fight!