Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Israel Apologists Relentlessly Gaslight And Attack Our Sense Of Reality

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

The Atlantic has a new Israel apologia article out titled “The Decolonization Narrative Is Dangerous and False” — a noticeable change in tone from the outlet’s “Decolonize Russia” sentiments of last year.

The entire article has been picked apart paragraph by paragraph by a commentator named Sana Saeed, but for my purposes here I’d just like to focus on one specific sentence in it about Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza:

“The Israeli goal in Gaza — for practical reasons, among others — is to minimize the number of Palestinian civilians killed.”

If you didn’t know that The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg is a former IDF prison guard who in 2002 said that “the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality”, it would astonish you that such a sentence ever went to print.

One need only look at the before and after satellite images of the bombing campaign in Gaza to see immediately that Israel is doing nothing at all to minimize the number of civilians killed.

One need only look at the fact that nearly 70 percent of the people killed in these airstrikes have been women and children to see immediately that Israel is doing nothing to minimize the number of civilians killed.

One need only listen to Israeli officials themselves saying “the emphasis is on damage and not on accuracy” and “Gaza will eventually turn into a city of tents; there will be no buildings” to see immediately that Israel is doing nothing to minimize the number of civilians killed.

You don’t get to openly declare that you’re going to do a ton of damage with no regard for accuracy, carpet bomb entire neighborhoods into gravel killing mostly women and children, and then say you’re trying to minimize civilian casualties. That’s not a thing.

But that’s exactly what The Atlantic instructs us to believe. They demand that we ignore what’s right in front of our faces and mistrust what we are seeing with our own eyes.

You see this kind of thing over and over again from Israel apologists. They tell you things you absolutely know to be false in your own direct perception, over and over and over again, in the hope that they can overwhelm your mind. That’s what’s happening when they tell you Israel is “defending itself” and “targeting Hamas” when they’re mostly killing women and children and bombing entire city blocks into powder, and that’s what’s happening when they tell you over and over again that you hate Jews and love terrorists even when you know for a fact that you don’t.

The term “gaslighting” has been frequently misused in modern political discourse lately; you’ll often see people using that term to describe someone lying, or even someone just saying something they don’t agree with. But that’s not what the term gaslighting historically means.

Merriam-Webster defines gaslighting as “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories”. It’s when you attack someone’s perception of reality with such sustained aggression that the victim’s psyche just kind of gives up and assumes they’re not mentally competent enough to interpret reality for themselves.

And that’s exactly what you see Israel apologists doing day in and day out with regard to this conflict.

They tell you to doubt your own eyes when you see mountains upon mountains of evidence that Israel is raining high tech military explosives upon areas known to be packed full of children.

They tell you to doubt your own ears when Israeli officials spout genocidal rhetoric.

They tell you to doubt your own intelligence when you talk about the many gaping plot holes in what we’re told to believe about October 7.

They tell you to doubt your own sanity when they demand that you accept unverified allegations about beheaded babies and babies cooked in ovens while ignoring the thousands of children that are being massacred in Gaza.

They tell you to doubt your own beliefs when they tell you repeatedly that you’re an anti-semite for criticizing Israel even when you know you have nothing but good will toward Jewish people.

They tell you to doubt your own motives when they tell you repeatedly that you support terrorism and want Jews to be killed even when you know nothing could be further from the truth.

They tell you to doubt your sense of reality when they tell you Hamas is responsible for all the death and destruction that you can plainly see is being inflicted by Israeli bombs.

They’re never just telling you what to believe about the world, they’re also telling you what to believe about yourself. This is always a telltale sign that you are being psychologically manipulated. Anytime you find yourself involved with someone who continually works to change your perception of yourself in a negative way, you would be well-advised to dis-involve yourself from them as quickly as possible.

Israel apologists need to do this because they don’t have truth on their side, and they don’t have morality on their side, so all they’ve got is manipulation. They work so hard to distort your perception of reality because a lucid perception of reality is highly unfavorable to Israeli information interests.

Don’t let them do this to you. Whenever you get the sense that you are being manipulated by someone, just start ignoring their words and watch their actions instead. Their words can deceive you, but their actions, examined objectively, will tell you everything you need to know about them.


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