End the Propaganda Wars Now

Published On August 3, 2014 | By Bruce Lindner |

Several friends have messaged me asking why I’m not posting about the Palestine/Israel conflict anymore. The short answer, is that I’m sick to goddamn death of the whole thing and how folks turn an otherwise innocuous thread into a bulletin board of misinformation and claptrap. So I’m going to make two statements, then I’m going to STFU. Lest anyone misunderstand where I’m coming from, this isn’t open for debate – at least not from me. These are my own personal observations, and I won’t be goaded into further explaining them. That ship has sailed.

1) I’ve been opposed to the occupation since I was a teenager. Having lived in Israel when I was a kid, I remember it fondly with its pre Six Day War borders, and how different things were when I returned a decade later. Once the “settlement” program began in the late ’70s, that sealed it or me. I knew then that the Israelis had no intention of ever returning the West Bank. One of the people who follows my rants is the father of a girlfriend I had 44 years ago in Israel. He’s well into his 90s and I love him and his whole family dearly. They’re survivors of the Holocaust themselves, so the state of Israel is everything to them. I know that my views probably cause them pain, but I can’t deny what I’m seeing.

How is the demolition of entire neighborhoods in Gaza “defending Israel?” With a casualty ratio (of civilians) presently at 3:1,400, it’s more like shooting fish in a barrel. The people of Gaza have nowhere to hide, and the lopsided body count looks more and more like a slaughter every day. And it doesn’t help when certain idiots (I’m looking at you Jon Voight) accuse anyone who criticizes Israel’s heavy-handedness of being an “anti-Semite.” Wrong. *I’m* Jewish myself, and nobody’s been as critical of this shameful war than I have. So go ahead and call me an anti-Semite Mr. Voight. Or Noam Chomsky for that matter, who holds similar views.

For me personally, the most troubling statistic I’ve seen this past week isn’t how many Palestinians have been killed. It’s this: 91%. That’s the approval rating amongst Israelis for the way Netanyahu’s conducting this war. 9 out of 10 Israelis think its just swell. I do not. Destroy the tunnels if you can, I’m fine with that. Wipe out Hamas too if need be, that would benefit the Palestinians as well as the Israelis. But there can be NO justification for 500 Palestinian civilians killed for every 1 Israeli. So WAKE UP! None of what’s transpired over the past month has been in the “defense of Israel,” nor has it made them any friends. It’s shameful beyond words, and that lie has been exposed.

2) Having said that, anti-Semitism IS on the rise, due in no small part to the policies of the current right-wing Israeli government. When I see someone post; “I’m no anti-Semite, but…” and then they launch into a tirade where they conflate Zionism with Judaism, and go off on a tangent about who the Jews “really are,” then yes, you ARE an anti-Semite. Who do you think you’re fooling? And it would help if you actually knew what Zionism is… or what it once was before the Likudists allowed it to be turned it into an epithet by hate-filled people in search of just the right euphemism. It’s no different than when someone says; “I’m not a racist, but,” and then they denigrate Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama as being representative of “some of the ‘bad’ blacks.” Yes, you most certainly ARE a racist. And a liar too.

I’ve had my fill of all the memes, graphics and maps supposedly telling the story of the problems in the Middle East in one tidy little image, 90% of which are pure propaganda. I’ve been known to make propaganda graphics myself, but they’ve always been tongue-in-cheek or humorous; never designed to mislead someone. Much of what’s circulating today is absolute crap which nobody bothers to fact-check, and BOTH sides are equally guilty of propagating it. Is it any wonder this has become such an incendiary issue?

So that’s it. I’m disgusted with the hyperbolic posts, the hatred, the misinformed rants based on Israeli and Palestinian talking points and the fact that opinions are now so polarized, that the TRUTH is below the horizon from where most folks are now comfortably entrenched. These are my views, and if they offend you, I cordially invite you to unfriend and block me. I wouldn’t want for anything to come between you and what you’ve chosen to accept as the “truth” based on what you read on Facebook.

Let’s talk about the weather for a change.

Bruce Lindner

Bruce Lindner

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Bruce Lindner

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