06 August, 2006

Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land

When we started forwarding mailers for our demonstration outside Israeli Embassy we were met with reactions laden with smugness ranging from utter ignorance to cocky arrogance and even ridiculing our efforts to protest against the killing of 55 civilians in Qana. Some of the reactions even expressed shock and goaded us for our naivety.

The most bogus argument that I keep hearing is that Israel has the right to self-defense. Well, I do not understand how could you be defending yourself on somebody else's land, which you have illegally and forcibly occupied, in contravention of all International laws and conventions, and where you have brutally repressed the local population. This documentary will perhaps make all these erudite, all-knowing, right to self-defense advocates understand as to why West Asia is the singular most issue affecting the world peace today.

What you read next is a description of this documentary. The words are not mine and are provided by Google Video.

Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites--oil, and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others--work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how--through the use of language, framing and context--the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied terrorities appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one. The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel's PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism, and the relationship between media and politics.


Blogger Patrix said...

Thanks for sharing. Have linked it on DesiPundit.

6/8/06 05:56  
Anonymous Harini Calamur said...

Hi Danish
how goes life.
completely agree with what you are saying here - it is almost as though the media is blotting out the fact that Lebanon is the only middle eastern democracy. That the Shia's, Druze Christians and Palestinins had been inching their way slowly towards peace, democratic systems and a civil society.
And, the Israeli bombing and the world's inaction is going to destroy all that.
Sort of a media apartheid, a media caste system. Some lives are not as important as other lives! And, given the media influenc on society in general - the response to the march is hardly surprising!

6/8/06 14:08  
Blogger Dan Husain said...

Thanks P. Surely our efforts will be read by a larger audience now. :-)

6/8/06 15:58  
Blogger Blue Athena said...

Brava, Danish and everybody. Truly takes courage to believe in something, more so when that something doesn't directly seem to affect our cosy lives.

6/8/06 23:38  
Blogger lovemarks said...

Not just words but action too! Great going guys!:)
I have forwarded your mail to all my contacts...

7/8/06 11:34  
Blogger Abhishek said...

Now is this coordinated-with-the-help-of-media brainwash not too prominent? Even in our country, parts of J&K where PTV signals are stronger than DD and other Indian Channels, Pakistan too has been painting India and Indians in a bad light.
Ofcourse in this (Israel) case, the whole thing is being done by a higher control.
Good Job Dan. I have forwarded the link to all my contacts.

7/8/06 19:10  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

while the painfully notable unproportionality of Isreal's excessive military response to the circumstance that ostensibly first provoked it (viz., the launching, from Lebanese soil, of missles directed randomly at civilian populations in Isreal -- a launching which continues without even the facade of military targets, so far as I'm aware) is patent, I fear you strike a note of the disingenuous, when you remark,
<< The most bogus argument that I keep hearing is that Israel has the right to self-defense. Well, I do not understand how could you be defending yourself on somebody else's land.>>

If Hezbollah missles were not coming from the adjacent land, flying across a border, and hitting civilians in Isreal, the provocation would not have been a provocation. If you do not understand, in principle (not to say it justifies the extremes in the instance), how going to the source of missle launchings might constitute self-defense, where would you recommend a person go? If your hand is firing a gun at my face, it may be necessary to go to where your hand is located -- even if to do so involves crossing the border and affecting your hand, along with many innocent fingers.

I certainly do not support either Israel's military actions nor Herzbollah's. I merely wish to bring to your attention the slightly tortured rhetoric you adopt in the quoted passage. Your claim of not understanding is far from convincing; you are intelligent enough to understand so simple a thing as this, I believe. (To agree with its suitability would be another very different thing; but to claim not to understand, I cannot understand.)

your cordial

11/8/06 11:02  
Blogger Dan Husain said...

Dear David

It is a pleasure to have a scholar like you at our blog. Now that you've highlighted that bit, it does seem a bit rhetorical to me. I'd in normal course would consider that as a case of bad writing.

However, allow me to take you one step behind. What made that man fire a gun at your face? Because you (again rhetorical and not the person "you") have clobbered, brutally repressed, robbed him of his dignity, have taken away his home from him, have pushed him to the wall. And now he retaliates with extreme measures. Of course, the Hizbollah's or other terrorists' acts are highly condemnable. Nothing justifies taking human life. But I wish to highlight that Israel and US are reaping what they have sowed. The Taliban, Saddam Hussein, are all creations of skewed American policies to benefit themselves in those particular regions. And who suffers David? Don't you think people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine deserve a dignified living. I don't think Israel or US ever had the goodwill for the local population at the core of their policies. And I guess it's long that they stopped meddling in other people's lives, adhered to accepted internatinal norms, and stopped bullying around the world.

Thanks & best regards,


PS: And please do visit more. You enrich the debate here. :-)

13/8/06 12:56  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

All nation-states have the right to defend their borders and citizens when they are at risk--whether we like or approve of the regime or not. But there is a fine line between defense and aggression. I will go on record to say that Israel felt provoked and reacted as they do in these situations. This in itself, must have been predicted by Hizbollah. So the provocation must have intended a dual meaning--has Israel taken bait that it now would like to spit out of its mouth? Did Hizbollah want to take advantage of the worsening situation in Iraq in order to strike at the heart of the US stronghold and stick it to the Sunnis at the same time? I didn't catch that line that Dan wrote, so David, you have my vote on that. But Dan also speaks well about the quest for human life in a region where it is all too cheap. In both countries, the populations are small--to lose a great deal of people, soldiers or civilians will be devestating. Israel does not want this. But it is possible that Hizbollah is willing to die in order to make its claim. And if that is the case, the Mideast will be a messy place indeed.

By the way, I've been bad lately about visiting blogs. I will visit you soon. Keep posting on Bloodless.

13/8/06 13:08  

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