Friday, January 29, 2010

The American mind and the Israel/Palestine conflict: An interesting comment

A comment on this post on Mondoweiss(A window into the rightwing American mind re Israel/Palestine) has attracted the following interesting comment by a certain Avi (An Israeli):
"It’s all part of the conditioning the population undergoes at the hands of its media, government and institutions.

It probably is racism to a degree. If we looked at the stereotypes about African Americans in the US and the stereotypes about Arabs/Muslims we find that those stereotypes are almost identical. Angry, violent, primitive, primal, rude, unclean, lazy are stereotypes used to describe both groups, with perhaps the added “terrorist” label for Arabs/Muslims.

But, it goes beyond that.

Consider movies produced by The Cannon group with their mini Hollywood located just outside of Jerusalem.
The Cannon group brought us such garbage as Delta Force (with Chuck Norris) where the bad guys are Palestinian “terrorists” who hijack a plane with a few Holocaust survivors with American passports and Jewish names on board. Of course, the Holocaust survivors get singled out by the hijackers and are forced to relive the horror of yesteryear at the hands of the evil Palestinians.

Those are some of the blatant displays of propaganda, but there are more subtle cues that purport to be funny or humorous. Take for example, Adam Sandler’s Click in which Rob Schneider plays the wealthy yet primal Arab prince who stares at American women’s behinds with sexual perversion, unable to conceal his desires. The old “They’re gonna rape all your women” stereotype.

Then there’s the daily bludgeoning of the propaganda that depicts Israel as “our friends” the “good guys” and Arabs/Muslims as “enemies of civilization” and the “cave dwelling apes”.

Of course, it doesn’t end there, there is also the process of subtle propaganda, where Jews in general are shown as an inseparable part of America. Sex and the City “I’m invited to a bar mitzvah next week, what should I wear?” This way, Jews and by extension Israel are depicted as an inseparable part of the fabric of American culture.
Over time, TV audiences become accustomed to the symbolism that follows, the menorah, Hanukkah. This is all a process by which one group becomes part of the mainstream. At the same time, Arabs/Islam are associated solely with terrorism, violence, unrest. They are distant, unfamiliar, have strange accents and they hate America. You won’t see John Travolta’s character asking his co-worker if he’d like to join him to a Ramadan dinner, for example.

Another aspect has to do with the glorification of Israel in the US, in mainstream culture. Israelis are constantly touted as “experts on security and terrorism”. Israeli weapons are used by the good guys in a given network TV drama. The Desert Eagle, El-Al security, Israeli grav maga’, gadgetry etc.. are all shown in a favorable light and marketed to right wing, militant Americans as true and tried, durable field gear and tactics.

Over time, such products become household names like GE, RCA, Nike, Windex and in turn reaffirm Israel’s closeness and familiarity in the eyes of the average American, while Muslims and Arabs are still associated with camels, caves and bombs. They are exotic, live in far away lands, mostly in deserts and they can barely speak English.

On top of it all, both countries share the same Orwellian mind ****. The Pentagon is part of the department of DEFENSE. Israel’s military is the Israel DEFENSE forces.
What do Arabs have? They have Hamas, Hezbollah the party of Allah, liberation this and freedom that, all dismissed as “terrorists”."

It's like looking inside fleming's brain!


  1. Something occured to me while reading this good Jews(Israelis)/bad Muslims(Arabs):
    If Sarkozy is going to  make the wearing of the veil illegal, is there any chance he'll make the wearing of cheap  wigs (shaitl) or silly little pimple-size headgear illegal?

  2. <span>
    <p>A good observation Jemmy , but you have to be on the bad side to qualify.

  3. <span><span>Saying the US and Europe “have no moral authority” to control the aid going to Haiti, Somali pirates say they plan to donate booty from their hijackings to the relief effort. The pirates have taken in more than $150 million in the past 2 years, by one estimate, and now aim to redistribute some while thumbing their noses at the Western powers. “They are the ones pirating mankind for many years,” a spokespirate tells Agencia Matriz del Sur.</span>  
    But I thought they're criminals ! Let's consult  the expert (anan) .</span>

  4. I don't think it's an apt comparison, Jemmy.  The niqab makes it easy to commit crimes or even terrorist actions, those silly Jewish costumes don't.  Btw, I live in an Arab neighborhood and see niqabs rarely, wheareas in the Jewish neighborhoods you see that stuff all the time.