Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

This Is Exactly What It Looks Like

Oct 10, 2023

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

If I was an Israel supporter I’d be thinking very carefully about the things I’m posting online in the build-up to what could end up being regarded as one of history’s worst genocidal massacres. The internet doesn’t forget. What you’re tweeting today could haunt you for life.

The Israel-Palestine issue is not complicated; an apartheid regime abuses and oppresses an indigenous ethnic group who don’t have the same rights as others. The only reason anyone thinks it’s complicated is because they assume if it were simple, the news would’ve told them so.

Really Israel-Palestine is one of the easier conflicts to understand on the world stage; conflicts like Ukraine or Syria are much more complicated. It’s obvious at a glance that there’s one group in power and another group being treated very badly by that group, but because the press frames it as a complicated issue with its sympathies wildly slanted toward the apartheid regime, people assume it can’t be as simple as what it looks like at first glance.

It is, though. Israel is exactly the abusive apartheid regime it looks like on the surface. Remember this as the bodies pile up and Gaza is turned into a smoldering crater. This is exactly what it looks like.

Killing civilians with military explosives is not actually any more humane or civilized than killing them with firearms. They’ll cause gruesome injuries and slow, excruciating deaths by suffocation, burns and body trauma. They’re horrific weapons of mass murder.

The one and only reason you don’t see as much shock and horror in response to killing with military explosives as killing with firearms is because killing with military explosives is something you do from far away. When they show video clips of the buildings getting blown up, you’re not seeing the people being crushed to death underneath them and ripped apart in the blasts. It’s just a fun little sanitized clip of an explosion, like you’re watching an action movie or playing a video game.

It’s not actually any nicer than if the IDF were running around shooting civilians with rifles or running them through with swords, it’s just more detached, so it lets people psychologically compartmentalize away from what’s really happening.

That’s what so much perception management is about with the US and its allies these days; helping the public compartmentalize away from the horrors their side is unleashing upon the world. They do it with their propaganda, their lies by omission and their “Palestinian child walks into bullet” headlines, they do it with the uniform “unprovoked act of terror” statements by their government officials, and they do it by the actual ways in which they conduct their acts of mass murder.

It’s all about sedating the public to sleep and never startling them into a wakeful recognition of the ghastly things that are being done with the support of their government.

Cutting off Gaza’s electricity doesn’t just hurt the civilians who live there, it greatly hampers the world’s visibility into what’s happening in there. Think how much harder it’s going to be for people in Gaza to record and upload video footage to the internet now.

And that of course entirely by design. Israel has every incentive to impede visibility into its abuses, and it always has; that’s why it has an extensive track record of targeting and threatening journalists and media outlets.

Seeing a lot of dubiously sourced and flat-out unevidenced claims about about Hamas fighters decapitating babies and committing mass rapes that look a lot like atrocity propaganda, which as we were reminded in Ukraine is very common in wartime. Mass media employees learned in Ukraine that they can parrot any amount of atrocity propaganda during a war without any professional consequences so long as it comes from the side their government is on. Read the news very critically.

It’s important to understand how completely un-monolithic Jews are on the issue of Israel and Zionism. The fiercest and most incisive critics of Israel I follow are all Jewish. Don’t let propagandists frame this as “Jew haters vs Jews” when it’s really justice vs injustice.

It’s not about hypocrisy. The point of highlighting the contradiction in supporting both Ukraine and Israel is to show that western imperialists do not actually stand for what they claim to stand for, and that their entire framing of where they stand in these conflicts is a lie.

Supporting one group that’s fighting a hostile occupation and opposing another that’s doing the same would only be hypocritical if your support really was based on opposing occupiers and supporting people’s right to self-determination. Supporting one group that’s full of neo-Nazis who hate Jews while supporting another in the name of protecting Jewish people would only be hypocritical if your support actually had anything to do with protecting religious minorities.

In reality the empire just supports who it supports because that’s where its interests happen to be advanced in each instance. Having Ukraine as a proxy advances US strategic interests against Russia and having Israel as a proxy advances US strategic interests against Iran and Syria. They’re not hypocritical at all; they’re perfectly consistent. They’re grabbing power and control in whatever way’s most convenient, in perfect alignment with their actual values.

To be a hypocrite is no great evil in and of itself; we’re all a bit hypocritical in some ways. What absolutely is a great evil is inflicting violence and destruction throughout the world in order to pursue planetary hegemony while lying about your reasons for doing so.

That’s why we highlight the contradictions. Not to show that the empire and its supporters are hypocrites, but to show the far greater evils hidden behind those contradictions.


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