Context, Connections & Cracks in the Facade of Propaganda: A Deeper Look at Israel/Palestine

Featuring Jacquie Luqman

by Kate Horgan
Published: Last Updated on
The Project Censored Show
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Context, Connections & Cracks in the Facade of Propaganda: A Deeper Look at Israel/Palestine
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Our understanding of every issue suffers without context, and perhaps most glaringly today – the issue of what’s happening in Israel/Palestine. In the first half of the show, Jacquie Luqman joins the show again to contextualize Israel as a settler colonialist project, how that links to the pan-African internationalist struggle and why, once again for the folks in the back: antizionism is not antisemitism. Next up, your cohosts Mickey Huff and Eleanor Goldfield dig into some Wikileaks files, Reporters Without Borders reports, and the cracks in the facade of Israeli propaganda.

 

Video of Interview with Jacquie Luqman

Video of Interview with Eleanor and Mickey

Below is a Rough Transcript of the Interview with Jacquie Luqman

Eleanor Goldfield: Thanks, everyone, for joining us at the Project Censored radio show.

We’re very glad to welcome back to the show Jacqueline Luqman, who’s a coordinator of the Mid Atlantic Region and member of the Coordinating Committee of the Black Alliance for Peace. Jacquie, thanks so much for coming back on the show.

Jacqueline Luqman: Hey, thanks for having me back. Appreciate it.

Eleanor Goldfield: So, I want to start, I’m actually pulling from a Liberation School article here from October 11th that writes “the Black Panther Party was a supporter of the Palestinian struggle. In his article on the Middle East BPP co founder Huey P. Newton stated ‘we support the Palestinians just struggle for liberation 100 percent. We will go on doing this and we would like for all of the progressive people of the world to join our ranks in order to make a world in which all people can live.'”

And so Jacquie, I wanted to ask you about this because one of the things that the U.S. is really good at is making us all goldfish, and not remembering or really not learning in the first place our history. And I wanted to touch on how movements for liberation in the United States, particularly Black liberation, have always supported other movements for liberation around the world, and that includes, of course, Palestine.

And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that specific connection between those two movements.

Jacqueline Luqman: Yeah, I mean, this is a long relationship in struggle against the same enemy: colonialism and imperialism. When we look at the article that Malcolm X wrote in an Egyptian newspaper called Zionist Logic in the sixties, he talked about, that Zionism is colonialism, and he specifically says that Israeli Zionists are convinced they have successfully camouflaged their new kind of colonialism. Their colonialism appears to be more benevolent, more philanthropic, a system with which they rule simply by getting their potential victims to accept their friendly offers of economic aid and other tempting gifts that they dangle in front of the newly independent African nations, whose economies are experiencing great difficulties.

And then he goes on to say the modern 20th century weapon of neo imperialism is dollarism. The Zionists have mastered the science of dollarism, the ability to become, or the ability to come posing as a friend and benefactor bearing gifts and all other forms of economic aid and offers of technical assistance. Thus the power and influence of Zionist Israel in many of the newly independent African nations has become even more unshakable than that of the 18th century European colonialists. And this new kind of Zionist colonialism differs only in form and method, but never in motive or objective.

And, and this is Malcolm X saying all those decades ago that Zionism is, first of all, it’s not only not a legitimate ideology, it is colonialism.

It is colonialism. And I’ve been saying this over the past couple of days since October 7th has unfolded and people have taken to the streets in support of Palestine.

I’ve started saying that Zionism is a white supremacist settler colonialism with a Star of David draped over it, you know, as a facade and kind of forgetting that Malcolm X said the same thing, but in a lot greater detail and pointing out the fact that Zionism is nothing but colonialism with, you know, with the star of David as a facade, unfortunately.

Because, Eleanor, when we look at history and many of our revolutionaries, our revolutionary forefathers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Kwame Ture, Amilcar Cabral, so many of our forerunners who we base our, get our strength and get our grounding in this struggle from correctly and honestly assessed the history of Palestine and the creation of Israel, and they understood even then in the sixties, in the fifties, that Zionism is not Judaism.

Zionism is a cynical, as I said, white supremacist settler colonial ideology that is nothing but a cover for stealing the land of Palestinian people. And it’s unfortunate. Well, actually it’s criminal, and it’s genocidal that that’s what it still is, that this this facade has not been cracked sufficiently enough to defend and uphold the humanity and the dignity of the Palestinian people.

Because what has happened is that people in this country, in another white supremacist settler colonial project have been able to wholesale except that Israel is surrounded by enemies. And that the Palestinians hate them and want to kill them all. And all of the Arab nations surrounding Israel want Israel to just not exist because they are Jewish.

Not, not understanding that the opposition to the modern state of Israel is that it is a settler colony. It is a white supremacist settler colonial project and brings with it all of the ethnic cleansing and violence and genocide that settler colonial projects do by definition.

So when we look at the history, the unfortunate thing that is missed, that is glossed over by these lies about Israel is innocent and they’re, you know, they’re attacked in an unprovoked manner by Palestine and enemies on all sides and everyone wants to push Israel into the sea.

The history that’s missed is that Muslims throughout history were the ones who welcomed exiled Jews who were, and exiled non Orthodox Christians, by the way, who were repeatedly exiled or ethnically cleansed from that very same region by the Orthodox Christian rulers since before Constantine.

But since we’re talking about, you know, Christianity as a concept, we’ll stick it at Constantine. So ever since Constantine decided to make Christianity the official religion of Rome, then the Roman Empire repeatedly expelled Christians, non Orthodox Christians, and Jews, and Muslims from the territories they occupied.

Palestine was one of those territories and that region repeatedly throughout the hundreds of years of history, of Palestinian Christians. Muslims and Jews living together in that region. Every time the Orthodox Christians came along, whether it was Constantine or the French with the Crusades, and either expelled all of the Muslims and Jews or killed everyone, as many as they could, whenever a Muslim ruler came along after them, one of the first things they did was usually to welcome the exiled communities back into Jerusalem and Palestine proper. That has been proven throughout history.

So, unfortunately, because the Zionist project has such great lobbyists, Eleanor, and they have such a fantastic PR campaign, I think the Zionist entity has a PR apparatus that is second in efficacy only to the U. S media. I don’t see any other entity being able to prop up a lie as well and as long as the Zionists have in the way they have caricatured the Palestinian people, Muslims in general, and all of the Arab nations surrounding Palestine, as if they’re just singularly focused on destroying Israel because they’re Jews and they just hate Jews. No, people hate settler colonialism.

People hate the fact that a bunch of folks from Europe decided to come in and say that because God said that he would promise this land to us, it’s within our right to not only come and settle here, but to take land from the Indigenous people who have been here for thousands of years: Muslims, Christians and Jews living in Palestine alike, who always have been there.

And yeah, people take offense to that. And of course they take offense to the weaponization of their own faith traditions as if they are intrinsically evil compared to this manufactured light that these European settler colonialists bring in their ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people.

That’s what people oppose in regard to Israel. I’m not going to say that there are not some people who hate Jews. Of course there are. But the primary opposition of Palestinians, of people in the Arab world, and certainly of African people in the United Snakes, in our opposition to Israel, it’s the settler colonialism.

It’s the settler colonialism that we have seen in the establishment of this piece of stolen land. It’s the, the theft of homes and land that we understand Europeans did here with Indigenous people and with our ancestors. It is the sterilization of an undesirable population that Israel has done with Ethiopian Jews.

Now these were Jewish people. But they sterilize the African Jews, not because they’re Jewish, but because they’re African. So we understand that is white supremacy. You know, we understand the, the imprisoning of people for standing up for their right to live, for standing up against apartheid. We understand that’s connected to the struggle of apartheid in South Africa, the jailing of children, the killing of children. That’s also connected to the struggle of apartheid in South Africa where it was an uprising of students that really brought the struggle in South Africa to the forefront of the consciousness of the world, because the South African army, what did they do, they gunned down a bunch of children.

So there are so many historical connections to African liberation that our forefathers and foresisters and foremothers made in the struggle for liberation. I mean, even before October 7th, we’ve been talking about Palestine, you know, we talked about Palestine consistently on By Any Means Necessary, in the church I belong to, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ. We are liberation theology Christians. We talk about Palestine and we have been talking about them for years and we always talk about Palestine in the context of people’s struggle against oppression, occupation, colonization, and ethnic cleansing and genocide.

That’s, that is a common theme and thread throughout all people’s struggles. And certainly that’s something that our history as a people, the history of Indigenous people in this country, and the history of African struggle definitely connects with, with our Palestinian cousins.

Eleanor Goldfield: Absolutely. And I definitely appreciate that connection to Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Palestine long before, I mean, Jewish people started emigrating from, fleeing the pogroms in the 1880s to Palestine, not as Zionists, as Jews.

And so I think that is necessarily cut off from the discussion when Zionists give this argument because that would fly in the face of their need to be.

And I also appreciate you talking about how the system is malleable with regards to how it presents itself. And I wanted to ask you about that too, because one of the things that has been making the rounds on the interwebs is the video of a Black IDF soldier and there was a Black Zionist on Instagram who was talking about how important she feels that Zionism is as a Black Jewish person, and it reminds me of like the press secretary for Biden, of Kamala Harris.

This idea of how malleable the system is with regards to the people it can set forth as spokespersons for the system, even though they are the marginalized groups. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that and how Zionism, just like other settler colonialist ideologies, uses some of the most oppressed people to support their message.

Jacqueline Luqman: Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s transactional, right? You know, it’s bad enough that any group of people thought it was a good idea to go to a whole other country and steal it from people who were already there because they were fleeing oppression, which absolutely, Jews needed a place, a safe haven from the horrific oppression and persecution that was going on in Europe, absolutely that’s true.

But instead of living in peace with people in Palestine, they decided to come and take over everything. That’s bad enough when an oppressed people does that to another group of people. It’s even worse when among that oppressed group of people, there is a subset of another group of oppressed people who are oppressed by the oppressors themselves.

Because Black Jews, African Jews, as I pointed out in the case of the Ethiopians, are subjected to racial discrimination in Israel. Because Israel is a white supremacist state. So just because they are in the IDF, the Israeli military, I’m not going to call them defense because there’s no defense for, what are they defending? They’re defending settler colonialism and that’s not legitimate.

But Black Jews who are serving in the Israeli military, I look at it as a transactional kind of thing. It’s like, I’ll do this for you. I’ll do your bidding if you don’t discriminate against me so much.

I think that’s the easiest way because, because people I think have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that African descended people can be white supremacist too, you know, just like women can adhere to male chauvinism and sexism. Black people can be white supremacist. Black people can be settler colonists.

I mean, when we look at Haiti with the president of Kenya agreeing, volunteering to lead an invasion into Haiti. An African leader willingly leading an invasion into another African country. Why would he do that? Because he’s doing the bidding of the people who pay him. The president of Kenya is put in power by Western imperialists.

The same is true, I think, to a degree in regard to the Black faces of Zionism that we’re seeing on social media. They are put forth by this Zionist project to do two things: to say, see, Israel isn’t white supremacist, we’re not racist. Look, we’ve got Black Jews. Look at that . And then then to convince, to further convince Black Americans, I hesitate to say that, but Black people in America that we should align ourselves with zionist Israel, that our cause and that our affinity and solidarity should not be with the Palestinians. Because look, these crazy Arabs are attacking your Black brothers and sisters over here in Israel. That’s what this is.

And I’m not going to say that the Israeli government has paid these people to do it. I think these people, just by virtue of the fact that they are there they have willingly decided to live in Israel, to be complicit in stealing land, the land of the Palestinian people and oppressing the Palestinian people, that makes them complicit.

That is why I’ve also been saying there’s no such thing as an innocent settler. There’s no such thing as someone who is involved in the settler colonial project in any aspect who is innocent because settler colonialism by definition is a violent, genocidal process. And it doesn’t stop. It doesn’t have a beginning and an end, settler colonialism. It’s not like they reach a point of, you know, critical mass of this many people that they want gone and they’re like, okay, we’ll back up. No, no, no. Settler colonialism is an ongoing project.

And we could just look at the United Snakes, we could just look at Europe and its former colonies in Africa and see that that’s true. So, anyone who decides to live in Israel is partaking in the settler colonial project.

And I think I have to say that, yes, that is different from people who live in the United Snakes, people like me and our ancestors, because we didn’t ask to come here. I mean, we were brought here and when we wanted to leave, we were told we couldn’t, we weren’t allowed to fight in the independence and liberation struggles of our people back home.

So, in that way, we are also colonized here. We’re held captive here. And we always have been.

So people who choose to move to Israel because they believe that that is the God ordained homeland for Jewish people, they’re not participating in some magnificent religious revival. They’re participating in a settler colonial project. And that includes Black people who are Jews, who moved to Israel because they are Jews and they think that that is their home. They are doing as much usurping and land theft and ethnic cleansing as a European settler is doing, particularly when they are in the Israeli military. And they’re carrying out the orders against the Indigenous population at the behest of the Zionist white supremacist settler colonial Israeli government.

So these Black faces of Zionism are no different from the Kamala Harris’s and the congressional Black caucuses, the Hakeem Jeffries in this country, the Lloyd Austens, the Susan Rices who are the Black faces of imperialism, warmongering, and bloodthirsty U.S. militarism all around the world.

It’s the same strain of ideology, and they’re excellent propaganda tools. But I think they’re willing, excellent propaganda tools because you know, the heat is taken off of them a little bit in exchange for their complicity in this.

Eleanor Goldfield: Right. I mean, it’s similar to Black cops in the United States. Well, they’re not going to be the Black person that’s then killed by the cops because they are the cop. Right. So convenient.

And I wanted to ask because I think this is a point that, sometimes gets, I don’t know if the word is gummy or sticky or whatever, but that there is no innocent settler.

And I think this is a really interesting conversation because I’ve been doing these talks with fellow Jews and how do we as Jewish people approach this, particularly with family members who grew up feeling that Zionism was necessary for our survival.

And one of the things that we’ve had a conversation about is that I am, as, somebody who is not Indigenous to the United States, I’m the child of immigrants. You know, my mom came here in the eighties. My dad was first generation born in the United States. I am technically a settler in that sense. And so I am also participating in the continued subjugation of Indigenous peoples in the United States by living here, and how does that compare or contrast to what’s going on in Israel?

And how can we also talk about the defense of the Palestinian people vis a vis fighting back for their own survival, how can we talk about that while understanding that the settler colonial project is in and of itself a violence?

And how would you say that that compares to, for instance, me living here as somebody who’s not of the African diaspora and not of the Indigenous population here?

Jacqueline Luqman: Thank you. That’s, that’s a really great question because I think here is where we do get to talk about the history, right? It’s like, when we talk about immigration in this country, it’s always very political and it’s always, you know, the kind of immigrants we do want and the kind of immigrants we don’t want, and, you know, do you immigrate the right way or the wrong way?

And the people leading this conversation, Eleanor, are always people whose ancestors literally stole this country. Right. There are people, they’re always talking about, we have to have people who immigrate here the right way, and they’re always people whose ancestors came through Ellis Island with a barely legible piece of paper, with no documentation outside of that.

So it’s an opportunity to bring up the illegitimacy of the conversation and the people who are controlling the conversation around immigration in this country in the first place, because then of course we have to get to the part about, oh, and by the way, the very people who are trying to control this conversation about immigration and control immigration itself, they haven’t gotten the opinion of the people who really suffered negatively by all of that illegal immigration you know.

So, because the settler colonial project, until this system is destroyed and we build something better for the people, the settler colonial project is ongoing.

And I don’t want people to mistake or think that now is the time that we get to condemn people, you know, because you’re all settlers and that’s no, that’s not. That’s neither entirely accurate, but it’s also not very helpful. It’s not helpful in advancing liberation.

But this is the time, these are the kinds of conversations where we have a great and really unique opportunity.

And I really don’t see any other way that we have these conversations, Eleanor, with our non organizing family members and friends, to have these conversations connecting these issues of the Indigenous people on this land, how they were in disenfranchised by settler colonialism, how European immigration was seen and treated differently, and how it still is compared to how immigration from other groups of people, Haitians, Africans, Cubans, Venezuelans, Cubans and Venezuelans of a certain political persuasion, how they are used by the continuing settler colonial government of this country, or of this project rather, and you know, the struggle for African liberations: why do African radicals consider themselves African and not American?

Why are we saying we’re fighting for liberation in a country that we’re supposed to be citizens of? Right.

I don’t see another time in all of the organizing that we do, all of the time, that we can have this very unique, and very important conversation, connecting all of these things, making clear to people what this country is, and helping them understand what Palestinians are fighting, and why they’re fighting.

I don’t see a better time for us to be able to do this with people who are not already involved in these struggles. Because the truth is our families and our friends – I’ll tell you the way my dad tells me all the time.

My dad is a minister. He’s an elder in the church of God in Christ. My dad is not radical. He is not, he’s really not. I think I have been able to convince him of some things politically. But there are some religious things, spiritual things, biblical things that I’m never gonna, I’m just not.

So because of that, there are some things we don’t talk about, right? Because we’re just never going to agree. But if I can sit down with my dad and explain to him these things and have him say to me, you know what? I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you because you just tell the truth the way you see it. And even if people don’t agree, it’s important enough to you that you just tell them the truth anyway.

And for a lot of our friends and family members, coworkers, church members, dear God, we’ve got to just, Ooh, that’s a whole other battle right there. But if we can get that in these conversations from people in this moment, seizing this moment where we are watching a righteous liberation struggle of a people play out before our very eyes.

And although people around the world have been rising up against colonialism and imperialism in some way, from Peru to Mali to Guinea Bissau to Atlanta, to Baltimore with, you know, cop city and all over the place, there is something different about this moment.

I wish I could put a finger on what it is that’s different. I don’t know what it is that’s different other than maybe for the only time since maybe Rwanda, the world is watching a genocide take place, like on the evening news. Right. And people are being forced to take a side, right?

Whether they’re being personally confronted with doing that or not. And I think we should personally confront people about where they stand on this issue. And when they tell us they stand with Israel, then it’s our responsibility to tell them you’re wrong, and this is why.

So those conversations are not going to, everybody’s not going to agree. Everybody isn’t going to agree. A lot of people are still going to stand with Israel because the propaganda has been so deep and so long and so effective. A lot of people will continue to believe that Israel is the victim and that Palestinians are the aggressors and the anti Semites, although Palestinians are Semitic people themselves.

But we’re not going to be able to undo the indoctrination, the very effective and insidious Zionist indoctrination with one or two conversations. But if we can get a few people to respond like my dad did and say, you know what, I’m proud of you. Or, okay, I understand, I didn’t know that.

If I can get from people, oh, I didn’t know that when I tell them about some of this history, that’s a victory. That’s getting people one step farther away from the propaganda and the lies, and one step closer to joining the struggle for liberation. That’s how I look at it. I look at it in a very incremental, one day at a time kind of way because we are living in times that I think are unprecedented, in the hope that we should be having for people’s liberation and for the demise of colonialism and imperialism and capitalism. But because we’re that much closer to the demise of those systems, these times are that much more dangerous.

So I kind of measure how I attack dealing with continuing the struggle. I can’t look at it 5-10 years down the line. I can look at: did I do enough today? Did I do enough today to fight for the liberation of humanity away from these oppressive systems? Have I done enough today?

That’s how I look at it.

Eleanor Goldfield: And I think that’s a beautiful way to look at it, and I love the idea of, you gotta meet people where they’re at, right, which is also why when I’ve been speaking to fellow Jews, I use a lot of Jewish teachings, because our teachings are inherently anti Zionist, because they’re inherently anti oppressive. Like I was sending my dad rabbinical statements that were like anti Zionist.

Use tools that speak to people. Like if somebody were to send me something trying to make a point that was made by some radical queer Jewish person, I’d be like, okay, I’m listening. You know?

And I feel like I could talk to you for days, which is always the case, but finally, in just a couple of minutes, I know that this is ridiculous, but I wanted to get in just one last question because I really appreciate that the work that you do has so much of an internationalist perspective, and pan Africanism, which I’ve learned a lot about from you and folks like Netfa Freeman, but how can we take a page from that book in terms of, you know, screw borders?

The powers that be don’t care. And so, liberation must be collective. How can we take that perspective on what’s happening now so as to link it to all of the struggles that we are facing collectively?

Jacqueline Luqman: Well, when you look at it in just a material sense, when we look at the Israeli military, we understand, for people who didn’t know that there are lots of police departments in the United States that go to Israel and train, are trained by the Israeli military and they train them in these repressive, violent techniques that the Israeli military uses against Palestinians that the US police forces come back here and use on us.

This is absolutely true of the Metropolitan Police Department here in Washington, DC, that has a budget of $500,000, half a million dollars and the homeless population is exploding because people cannot afford to live in this city. And this is true across the country, city councils, mayors, lots of democratic city councils and mayors are still voting to increase funding for police, to continue to prop up the 1033 program that takes surplus military equipment from the Pentagon and gives them to local police departments to use against us on the streets: people fighting against this repression, people fighting against racist police terrorism, these people fighting against the proliferation of cop cities, right?

So that’s the connection with Palestine. And Palestinians have, when George Floyd was publicly lynched, Palestinians rose up in support of George Floyd, and Black lives snuffed out by racist police terrorism. In the 2020 uprisings, it was Palestinians who reached out to Black folks in the streets to help us learn how to mitigate tear gas, the effects of tear gas while we’re out protesting. Tear gas that is provided to the Israeli military by the United States government.

And the same United States military that is giving weapons and training and all of this lethal material support to the Zionist government in Israel is the same government that props up AFRICOM, to militarize Africa and suppress populations of people rising up against neocolonialism and imperialism there, in the Congo, in Mali, in Guinea Bissau, in Nigeria, all over the place on the continent.

This is the same militarism that is backing a coup government in Peru. This is the same settler colonial government, the U.S. government and its militarism that is ratcheting up a war against China over Taiwan, which is a part of China. And this is the same U.S. government that started the proxy war using Ukraine against Russia and then turned around and demonized everyone in the US that told the truth about this being a proxy war in Ukraine started by the US, the EU and NATO and said that we were all agents of of Putin. We were all Putin’s puppets.

So, the same government, the same settler colonial white supremacist government in this country exports its ideology, its capitalist oppression, its militarism, and its crushing of people’s movements all around the world. That’s the international connection. We’re not just fighting against one government.

We’re fighting against the head of the snake, Eleanor, and the head of the snake is the United Snakes government. That’s the internationalism that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. and Ella Baker and Amilcar Cabral and Thomas Sankara and Samora Michelle and Maurice Bishop, and that is the internationalism that we continue our struggle founded on.

Eleanor Goldfield: What a powerful and important way to end this conversation. Jacquie, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us. Where can folks follow your work?

Jacqueline Luqman: I can be found now on Black Power Media exclusively since you know what happened.

I can be found, Luqman Nation can be found on Black Power Media on YouTube, and you can support me on Patreon, patreon.com/luqmannation.

Eleanor Goldfield: Thank you so much, Jacquie. Really appreciate it.

Jacqueline Luqman: Appreciate you so much. Thanks.

If you enjoyed the show, please consider becoming a supporting member at Patreon.com/ProjectCensored

 

Below is a Rough Transcript of the Interview with Eleanor and Mickey

Mickey Huff: You’re listening to the Project Censored Show on Pacifica Radio. I’m your host, Mickey Huff, with co host Eleanor Goldfield, and in this segment, we’re going to revisit one of our sort of salon like sessions where Eleanor and I talk about key issues happening around the world through a critical media literacy lens.

We talk about media coverage. We talk about censorship and its many guises. We deconstruct numerous propaganda campaigns that are basically unending, and seemingly around a few different topics they never end. War and peace is one of those big topics where we see that challenge routinely, unfortunately.

And Eleanor, also unfortunate, we have the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, Russia/Ukraine, although that war has seemed to have gone down the memory hole since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, where all eyes have been on Israel, and even in the Western press we’ve seen in the last week or so more attention on Palestinian deaths and the carnage taking place literally in Gaza, which is horrific that it’s happening.

But it’s interesting that media coverage is beginning to somewhat shift and maybe there are some cracks in the narrative in the West, the U.S. pro West, pro U.S., pro NATO, pro Zionist, pro Israel stance that’s almost 100 percent in the media in the West, the corporate media.

Eleanor, we’re seeing such extraordinary reaction for these attacks from Hamas that we’re even seeing AIPAC people like Wolf Blitzer over at CNN show empathy and sympathy for civilian deaths in Palestine.

But there’s a number of things that I know that you want to talk about, and you’ve been talking about on your other platforms, and I’m glad that we’re going to be able to do it today, and we can do it for the Project Censored audience.

So, Eleanor, let’s just get started. There’s a lot to unpack here in that regard, and also, you know, there’s ongoing atrocities, particularly the deaths of civilians, the deaths of journalists, over a couple of dozen deaths of journalists covering this issue.

So many things to discuss and unpack. Eleanor, kick it off for us. What’s one of the things you want to talk about first?

Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, so Mickey, I do want to start off by saying that yes, there are cracks in the facade of the Israeli propaganda machine, and I think that that speaks to a lot of things, and one of them being the power of the people to shift this narrative, and lest we forget, this did not start on October 7th, right?

This started somewhat before 1948. And so people have been trying since then to shift the narrative that Israel has a right to exist, to defend itself, to be a home for all Jews, particularly the whitest ones, lest we forget that Israel has a habit of doing things like forcibly sterilizing black Jews. So the idea that it’s a home for all Jews is in and of itself incorrect.

So, I do want to say that, yes, the facade is cracking, and you have people like Wolf Blitzer, who used to work for AIPAC, pushing a little bit against an IDF spokesperson who was on his show and saying, but you did know that you were bombing a refugee camp that was filled with women and children, like you knew that, right? And the, the IDF spokesperson kind of dances around the question and then Wolf pushes him again. And this is something that you never would have seen from the likes of Wolf Blitzer just, you know, a month ago or something. So I do want to highlight that that is happening.

But at the same time, like Truthout recently reported, the Biden administration has requested that arms deals with Israel be done in complete secrecy because they know that public opinion is against them. So the system is trying to ensure the perpetuation of support for Israel as an apartheid and now genocidal state can continue, but on the down low, while public opinion continues to shift. So I think it’s important to recognize that both of those things are true at the same time.

And with that, I wanted to highlight another important connection that we have here. Of course, you and Kevin Gozstola have been doing these episodes that focus on WikiLeaks and Assange for years now.

And I just wanted to highlight that some of the cracks in the facade that we’re seeing, can also be laid at can be thanked to WikiLeaks for giving us those cracks because already back in 2007, for instance, and folks can follow WikiLeaks on Twitter and on Instagram, and they’ve been posting images of these cables, for instance, like this one from Israeli defense Intelligence chief in 2007, “Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza because IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.” End quote.

I mean, this also lines up with reports that we’ve been seeing that Netanyahu wanted the attacks on Israeli citizens to happen on October 7th, because it would give him the ability to move ahead with this. And we see similar cables back in 2008, for instance, U.S. officials were told by Israel that they wanted, that Israel wanted to keep Gaza’s economy “on the brink of collapse while at the same time just barely avoiding a humanitarian crisis,” which is, of course, what they’ve absolutely done. Although I wouldn’t say they’ve been avoiding a humanitarian crisis.

So these are cables that WikiLeaks has shared with us over the years that allows people to see behind that very facade that we see cracking more and more now, Mickey.

Mickey Huff: Well, and Eleanor, we’ve seen other leaked documents suggesting, historically, that part of the plan around the attacks was to create a forced relocation, or to push the Palestinian population into Egypt or somewhere.

I mean, the whole way the corporate media has been reporting and were reporting this, you know, the idea that the Israeli government was warning Gazans to leave. Where are they going to go?

I mean, again, this has pejoratively been referred to as the largest open air prison in the world. You know, Abby martin’s film Gaza Fights For Freedom shows that, Mnar Adley and Mint Press have done many documentary, documentary video footage around this. We’ve seen it over and over and over again.

What’s missing in the Western press often is that historical context. Just like what’s often missing is agency. When we see reports, Eleanor, of Israelis dying, there’s always somebody doing the killing and doing the atrocities.

When we see Palestinian civilians, well actually we don’t usually get to see civilians because they don’t usually cover the Palestinian deaths, but now, it’s happening so openly and wantonly, it’s impossible not to discuss or cover it, the degree to which that even people like Wolf Blitzer on CNN basically cornered the IDF spokesperson and said, Yeah, but like, aren’t you bombing hospitals and killing civilians? And, you know, the person basically was admitting that they were, but like, that was the goal. And so the audience should just shift its perception that that’s okay, the goal.

I mean, to suggest it’s gaslighting is maybe almost too obvious, but there doesn’t seem to ever be anybody pulling the trigger or dropping the bomb when Palestinians die, right? It’s just a passive language.

And, you know, if you’re not following Alan MacLeod’s work from Mint Press News on Instagram or other places, I’d recommend that too. He does a real time deconstruction of headlines where he’s talking about the current Palestinian “migration,” like the New York Times is acting like this is a migration as if like people are picking up and saying like, it’s time to go do something else when it’s, I mean, people are just being murdered in cold blood, Eleanor, you know, just a couple of those things with the media analysis, I mean, they’re patently absurd yet normalized.

Eleanor Goldfield: Absolutely. And I think this also speaks to the critical media literacy that the Project Censored does, which is being able to read a headline and questioning, okay, but how did they die? And why are you phrasing it that way?

And one of my favorites that Alan MacLeod, I don’t know how he finds all of these to be honest with you, but one of my favorites that he shared was on October 14th, it’s a Reuters headline, and it reads, “Reuters journalist killed in Lebanon in missile fire from direction of Israel.”

Mickey Huff: From the direction of, yeah, yeah. It’s pretty extraordinary, the twisting, the turning. I mean, we could sit here and read the things that Alan has collected all day long.

Another one of the issues is how the media was falling over itself about the 40 beheaded babies, but then whenever it comes to any other Israeli war crimes, it’s “some Gazans say,” or, again, there’s just always a qualification that lends skepticism to one side and automatic belief on the other.

And look, there’s atrocities abounding here. I mean, that’s another unfortunate reality, which is why there’s been record numbers of people protesting calling for a ceasefire. We had over a quarter million people in Washington, D. C. There are people all over the world. I mean, there are people in San Francisco, Washington, D. C., London, Paris.

And another thing that we see happening is the corporate media, like they always do, they grossly undercount the number of people, it’s almost as if Donald Trump’s inauguration bean counters are in charge, you know, in the opposite way. They either overcount one thing or undercount another depending on the topic. And we’ve got over a quarter million people in Washington, D. C., yet at the Washington Post, it’s “some people came out to protest on Sunday afternoon after brunch.” Or in San Francisco, there’s record numbers of people, they’re like “thousands of people march.”

Look, I remember this 20 years ago with Iraq, there were a quarter million people in the streets of San Francisco and they said 10,000 people showed up to talk about something bad. This is just another part of the propaganda.

Just to remind people that this is Monday, November 6 that you and I are talking and we’re pre recording this so when people hear us next week and complain about all the things we didn’t accurately predict they can remember this.

But Eleanor, what do you want to say about that issue? It’s again, it’s back to framing. The corporate media, there are cracks in that facade. There are, and again, Piers Morgan even, one of the staunchest cheerleaders for the permanent war state, even Morgan has had to reluctantly admit that this coverage is biased and these things are problematic.

What else can you say about this, Eleanor? I know that you were out and about witnessing firsthand how many people are at these protests. What can you say to that?

Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, Mickey, I mean, I too remember the Iraq war and remember coming home from protests and being like, there were way more people. But this is classic, and this is also why frontline journalism is so important.

And I’d like to take this moment to also point out that there are people inside of Gaza that are still reporting so that we can have information, so that we can actually know what is going on. And those people are the real journalists. Those people are the real heroes to be perfectly honest.

And again, going back to how this is framed, like, yes, we can, I don’t even want to throw him a bone, but you could say like, oh, thanks, Wolf, for actually doing something quasi-journalistic for once. But he still allowed the IDF spokesperson to say, Yep, well, that’s where Hamas was hiding and it’s unfortunate that they hide in refugee camps where there are women and children. Right. And I’m like, that’s just, that’s such BS. Why would you let him get away with that?

But of course, it’s important for people to walk away from that broadcast thinking, well, that IDF spokesperson didn’t really have it all together, but what is he going to do? Hamas is hiding amongst babies. So what are we going to do? We have to bomb the babies. Like what is the takeaway there? And so the takeaway from corporate media, I think still is largely: but Israel still has to defend itself.

And this continues, even though, you know, the UN has been unwilling to say Israel has killed UN officials. What is it now? It’s like it’s dozens of UN officials have died, have been killed. Well, how, what happened? Did they all get the flu? Like what’s going on?

Mickey Huff: Yeah, yeah. Again, it’s the passive voice. And look, again, I’m going to remind listeners that you and I are talking on Monday, November 6th. This program doesn’t air until the following week.

But we have reports, we’re talking about at least 10,000 deaths in Gaza, just in Gaza. We’re looking at heads of 18 United Nations agencies and NGOs issued a joint statement calling for ceasefire, again, expressing complete horror that this has to stop. It’s been a month. A quote from that statement is, “we need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It’s been 30 days. Enough is enough. We must stop now.”

Unquote.

So we are seeing more and more people coming out and saying what’s happening here is a gross violation of international law. And again, this is not an apologist for Hamas in any way. But it’s curious, too, and I want to go back to Alan MacLeod, because one of the things that he does as a media scholar, and again, I think that that’s something that needs to really be specifically and purposely inserted into this conversation: critical media literacy.

When you take a look at the press, the Western press in particular, it’s a steady drumbeat of propaganda. Right. MacLeod went on to talk about why Israel must fight on there. He talks about how Biden is warning that the arms deals with Israel need to be done in total secrecy.

He’s

talking about here’s another thing they are covering, and things that they are saying. There was another article by Andrew Roberts, an historian that said for a better tomorrow, Palestinians need to forget historical grievances. Well, isn’t the whole argument behind what’s happening with Israel an historical grievance?

I mean, again, when you go and look at media scholarship and you look at the people that are attuned to media propaganda and you look what they have to say about these kinds of news developments, I think that they should be side by side with foreign policy experts, policy analysts, et cetera.

Because without understanding the function of media, we don’t understand the control around the narratives, the messaging, and what’s newsworthy and what isn’t, who’s a worthy victim, who’s an unworthy victim.

We’ve talked about this at length on this program, Eleanor, and we’re seeing much more of it. We’re seeing more and more coverage that, despite the fact that there are cracks in the facade, the overwhelming majority of reports coming from the West are downplaying what’s happening and continuing to lend credibility to what in many cases mirrors Zionist propaganda. What are your thoughts on that?

Eleanor Goldfield: Absolutely, Mickey. And the U.S. is the primary bank roller for the apartheid state of Israel. So it’s not surprising to see that. And when you were talking, I was reminded also of other euphemistic language, for instance, people are calling for a ceasefire, which means that you just stop, right?

Like, technically, we have a ceasefire with North Korea. So ceasefires can obviously last quite a while, and that’s why it’s so important to call for one. But what, what other officials in the U.S. have been calling for and what apparently the Biden administration called Israel and asked for was a “humanitarian pause.”

What, what is that? What does that mean? Like that is absolutely absurd euphemistic language to suggest that you’re doing something that is humanitarian when in reality humanitarian pause is purposely vague enough so that you don’t have to do anything outside of what you were already doing, but you get to put a stamp on it that says we did the right thing. We did the good thing. And even that Israel wasn’t willing to accept. Even that they were like, no, we’re not going to do that.

And of course, then the Biden administration gets to go, well, we tried. When of course, in reality, if the U.S. actually wanted to push Israel on something, they could really throw that leverage behind it, being the ones who hold the purse strings.

And, let’s just say that even on one single issue, let’s say the issue of journalists and free speech and free press. Lest we forget, it wasn’t that long ago that Biden talked about how important it is to have the free press and ya da da da da.

Okay Joe, if you really care about that, how about the recent Reporters Without Borders report that showed that since October 7th, at least 31 journalists have been killed, right? 26 Palestinian, 4 Israeli, and 1 Lebanese. And this investigation by Reporters Without Borders found that these groups of journalists were targeted by Israeli forces. And they say, “two strikes in the same place in such a short span of time, just over 30 seconds, with regards to this one reporter, Abdallah from the same direction clearly indicate precise targeting.” So Israel is targeting, just like they did with the Great March of Return, they are going after journalists.

And this is horrific. And of course, it’s to silence the stories, right? To silence the truth from getting out. And do any of our Western corporate comrades in arms in journalism say anything like you’re killing our colleagues, you’re targeting them, the Israeli forces are targeting journalists?

I haven’t heard anything about that from, from, from the corporate media, Mickey.

Mickey Huff: These aren’t accidents.

We’re seeing people that are trying to tell the stories of wanton destruction and murder, if not outright genocide, but some now are calling it clearly genocide that we see this happening.

If you want to argue and debate that, that’s another issue. But we’re clearly seeing the wanton death of civilians, including journalists. What can you say about this, Eleanor Goldfield?

Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, well, I mean, like I said, Reporters Without Borders has issued, they’ve actually filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court as well about this targeting of press. But they released a report that shows that the journalists who have been killed since October 7th, the vast majority of them Palestinian: 26 Palestinian, four Israeli, and one Lebanese, in particular, one Reuters journalist, Issam Abdallah, was killed in southern Lebanon on October 13th.

And the Reporters Without Borders says in their report that specifically he was targeted by IDF twice in just over 30 seconds, two strikes in the same place. Now I’m not a military woman, but as the report suggests, shows that you were going after a specific person, right?

You’re going after that specific target. And you didn’t just hit the button twice.

Mickey Huff: And their families. And families of journalists.

Eleanor Goldfield: Of course. Of course. And just like we saw with the Great March of Return, right? They are going after press, but they’re also going after vulnerable people. That includes children, that includes elderly, because these people are oftentimes the adhesive, the glue of community, right? The children being the future of a culture, and the elders being the memory keepers, the memory holders. A lot of these elders who were at the Great March of Return were even marching with the keys that they had from the homes that they were forced out of in 1948. So the IDF go after the most vulnerable and important parts of a community.

They’ve done this since the beginning. They have become really, really good at this. And, you know, like you said, Mickey shooting the messenger, this is how you try to ensure that your propaganda, that your story is the one that is plastered all over global news and not the story of the people who are there living it, and who can say, yeah, I saw them bomb the hospital. I’m standing next to it, right? They don’t want those stories to get out.

So it’s vital to target these journalists. And so we’re seeing that in real time and those that are still alive and able to get the messages out have been vital in perpetuating the truth that Israeli forces have and will continue to shoot the messenger here.

And Reporters Without Borders, as I pointed out, has also filed, has requested an investigation by the prosecutor of the I.C.C. The International Criminal Court, to investigate this because these are, of course, war crimes. And, this is not to say that other things that are happening aren’t, of course, there are war crimes every second in the ongoing genocide, but specifically with regards to journalists, these are also war crimes going after journalists specifically.

Mickey Huff: So, Eleanor Goldfield, I wanted to read a quick quote since you’ve been, and we’ve been talking about reporters without borders, rsf. org. I know some people may say what? How does that translate? Well, it translates from French, reporters without borders, reporters sans frontieres, RSF.Org.

And I wanted to read a statement very quickly from RSF Secretary General just to give some context here. “Since 2000 RSF has not seen a war begin with so much violence against journalists. Israel’s attack on Gaza in response to the massacre committed by Hamas will go down in the history books and in the annals of journalism as one of the cruelest episodes for reporters as well as all other civilians.

The Israeli government should realize that horror does not justify horror. The state of Israel will have to take responsibility before history for the deaths of journalists on a scale unknown in the 21st century. RSF, Reporters Without Borders call on the Israeli authorities to end the bombardments which amount to war crimes. This disastrous toll adds a new blood colored stain to an already tragic story. More journalists have been killed in the course of their work in two weeks in the Middle East than in Ukraine since February 2022, as a result of the Russian invasion. This is the sad reality of a grim toll.”

So we’re talking about record numbers of reporters being killed, Eleanor.

Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, absolutely, Mickey. And with that, I can’t recall the exact number, but the U.N. had estimated that roughly 9,100 people have died in the war in Ukraine since it began, and we’re already over 10,000 people in Gaza who have been murdered. So just to give people an idea of what we’re looking at in terms of the amount of time that this specific bombardment has been happening and the loss of life is astronomical, and I personally can’t wrap my head around it.

And again, this of course speaks to the importance of journalists. And this is also, Mickey, why I think it’s so important to have not only critical media literacy, but the access to it and, you know, we’ve seen even before October 7th, if I posted a video or something that said like Israel and Palestine in it or something, it would just get like two views or something. And I know that this is the case with a lot of folks.

And, we look at places like MintPress News that have been absolutely tarred and feathered by the powers that be because they so frequently talk and have talked about what’s happening in Palestine and specifically Gaza for years. And this is that kind of covert aspect, you know, you’re not shooting a journalist, right?

You’re not jailing somebody, but you’re shadow banning them. You’re ensuring that those stories don’t reach people, so that when somebody outside of my filter bubble, like most of the U.S., goes and types in on the Google, what’s happening in Israel? Are they going to see the reporting from Mint Press News first? Are they going to see Abby Martin’s film first? Are they going to see Alan MacLeod? They’re not going to see these stories first. And of course, that’s absolutely by design.

Mickey Huff: Yeah, it’s by design. And, you know, I also want to point out Reporters Without Borders talks about how this is the deadliest year in Israel Palestine since 2000.

A decade ago, there were, a little, nine journalists that were killed there. But again, we’ve seen this continue. I mentioned again earlier, targeted assassinations of journalists to show how far it’s gone since October seven. Several people from Palestine today. The channel director, a photojournalist and co founder of another press agency.

They were killed, they were targeted and killed in attacks on their homes. So this isn’t, this isn’t even just like, you know, how we blew up Al Jazeera in the Iraq war targeting actual, this is actually going after journalists at their homes, killing their families. And I wanted to bring up, I just wanted to bring up one more thing, Eleanor, in the few minutes we had left for this segment, because, maybe we should have brought it up first, but better late than never, the criticism of the IDF, of the Netanyahu policies, his party, the right wing of the Israeli government, is in no way an antisemitic critique.

I’m not saying there aren’t any Semites out there. I’m not saying that there aren’t people that use this opportunistically to advance racism against Israel, which is flat out wrong and disgusting, but criticism of Israeli policy, IDF policy warfare as it’s conducted is not at all anti-Semitic. And so I wanted to put that out there again, because I know some people out there are gonna say, this show was biased.

We only covered these attacks. But again. Let’s remember it’s the Project Censored show. There’s no shortage of coverage of Hamas atrocity. There’s no shortage of hearing the Israeli IDF, Israeli government Netanyahu perspective. In the media in the West, there’s no shortage of it. What there’s a paucity of has been is the kind of coverage that we’re offering today, the perspective that we’re offering that has been so lacking.

And so the people listening to our program, thank you for listening to our program, but also we appreciate constructive critiques, but let’s also remember that this program is trying to fill a really large hole of what the establishment media don’t seem to get around to covering. And even when they do.

Thank you. They don’t do nearly an exhaustive job covering it as Electronic Intifada, Mint Press News, you know, and we can go on and on. The Intercept has been doing coverage here, clearly, there are numerous outlets, even Democracy Now’s coverage has been very consistent. It’s been, showcasing different or alternative views.

So Eleanor Goldfield, last couple minutes here, I wanted to hear you, talk a little bit about that tired trope of people who get accused on the left in particular of being anti semitic and their criticism is Israel and wanted to remind people that leftist critics do not necessarily mirror other critics.

In this case, against the Israeli war in Gaza.

Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, I mean, and I think that this, this also speaks to the issue of critical media literacy and the trouble with the binary, right? That, that, the, the, the truth is that multiple things can be true at once, right? And here’s that truth. We can and must absolutely critique, not critique, we must, fight and struggle against the apartheid state of Israel and we must fight against anti semitism.

Which, by the way, just to nerd out for a second, Palestinians are semites as well. So there’s that little thing. But as someone who is Jewish, and, and grew up Jewish, and my father’s entire family is Jewish, first generation born in the United States, all of that good stuff. I, I’m a card carrying member, okay?

And I can tell you that it is not anti Jewish. To be against the state of Israel. It is actually anti Jewish to be for the state of Israel. And I’ll just take one minute to explain why. To suggest that Jews only belong in one place isn’t of itself. anti Semitic, because you are saying that we are not welcome everywhere.

And just think about how that has related to other groups of people throughout history, right? The idea is that people should be at home wherever they are, and there has actually been a long history since Zionism started in the late 1800s, as a movement, as a colonial movement, there has been an equal pushback from Jewish communities saying, No.

We are at home wherever we are. And I don’t want to go to Israel. I’ve never, I, this, this, this, you know, fairytale land of Israel. I’m not from there. And I recommend that people check out Shlomo Sand’s book, The Invention of the Jewish People, really fascinating perspective into that history. But I do just want to like, basically wrap up here by saying, yeah, we’ll never cover everything that the corporate media isn’t covering, but it’s impossible.

I could spend the rest of my life and still at the end of it be like, I got through 15 minutes of what that should have been covered on CNN. Like, it’s impossible. So we do our best and I absolutely think, and this is, you know, for, for, for those of us listening now, for those of you listening now online, you can check out our Patreon page and that will also allow you to, interact with us and say, Hey, I’d like to hear more of this or more of that.

You can check that out at patreon.com/projectcensored, and we absolutely love to hear from you. As long as it’s constructive, right? Don’t just, I’m, I’m very tired of being called a self hating Jew, so if that’s what your feedback is, you can just save it.

Mickey Huff: So. Yeah, Eleanor, that’s well put, and it’s important, it’s really important, I think, to reiterate.

What’s happening, the loss of life is, period, a horrendous tragedy. That can’t be forgotten. I think really focusing on media coverage and asking people to expand their or broaden their media diet, so to speak, around this, is really important and really significant, especially living in places like the US, the alleged land of the free and free press.

Would also like to remind our listeners that you can go for free to projectcensored.org. Andy Lee Roth, our associate director, has an article making sense of the establishment news media’s distorted coverage of Gaza. We have links to 20 years of censored and under-reported stories going back, looking at Gaza, ISRA, Israel, Gaza, and Palestine.

We had Robin Andersen, Media Scholar, did a whole article on big media facilitating Israeli war crimes. Again, looking for those other perspectives, you can go to ProjectCensored.org for free to see those. And of course, as ever, Eleanor Goldfield and I will be here at the Project Censored show talking about the news that doesn’t make the news while analyzing why week after week.

And we want to thank you all for tuning in. Eleanor. Thank you as ever for the work you do on the show and thanks for, chiming in and, being conversant and participant for this session today. Thank you,

Eleanor Goldfield: Mickey. It’s always a, it’s always a pleasure.

Mickey Huff: Indeed. Thanks everybody for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

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