Education or Brainwashing?

Inculcating youngsters with national myths is a key way for societies to control their populations – as is clear in how Israel defines acceptable history – in defiance of educational ideals, says Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

Education is one of those words that has a positive connotation for almost everyone – usually generating a warm and fuzzy feeling that suggests a richer and brighter future. But that is just an idealization of the concept. As I have stated before, as far as the state is concerned, education has two major purposes: to fulfill the vocational needs of the economy and the political need for ideologically loyal citizens. It is in the pursuit of this last goal that education can reveal a darker side.

Palestinian boys prepare to welcome Women’s Boat to Gaza, which was intercepted by the Israeli naval blockade on Oct. 5, 2016.

Here are a few stories concerning the interface between education and political ideology. I take them from the annals of Israeli/Zionist education, but one can certainly find other examples worldwide.

Story One: David Sarna Galdi is an American Jew who attended Jewish schools in New York City, went to Jewish summer camps, attended synagogue regularly, and vacationed often in Israel with his parents. In his own words he had “a quintessential Zionist Jewish-American upbringing,” and as a result, “I never heard one word about the [Israeli] occupation [of Palestinian territory], or even the actual word, ‘occupation.’” Only after immigrating to Israel did he “become aware of the occupation and all its ramifications.”

The Israeli occupation is 50 years old and ongoing. Can Galdi’s story really be true? It certainly can be true if you grow up within a closed information environment – an environment where elements of non-local reality are simply left out of the educational process. That seems to be the case when it comes to Zionist Jewish-American education.

Story Two: Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, which this year was on April 24, is a time for remembering the Holocaust and learning its historical lessons. Yet there are two ways of approaching those lessons – one is universal and the other particular.

Most of Israel’s educational system has chosen to forgo the universal message of the need to promote human rights and stand up against oppression wherever it is practiced. Instead the particularistic message Israeli schoolchildren have always received is that the Jews are eternal victims. Indeed, “Israel and its strong army are the only things preventing another genocide by non-Jews.”

Emphasis on Consensus

Very few Israeli educators have dared break with this official point of view. However, those few who have describe a systematic “misuse of the Holocaust [that is] pathological and intended to generate fear and hatred” as an element of “extreme nationalism.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu making opening remarks at a joint White House press conference with President Donald Trump on Feb. 15, 2017. (Screenshot from White House video)

Again the key to such a process of indoctrination embedded within the educational system is the maintenance of a closed information environment. As one Israeli educator, who has grown uneasy with the propagandistic nature of his nation’s schooling, puts it, “increasingly they [the students] receive no alternative messages in school.”

Story Three: Finally, let us take a comparative look at two reports on Israel’s educational system. One is a 2009 Palestinian report (PR) entitled “Palestinian History and Identity in Israeli Schools.” The other is a 2012 report (IS) produced by the Institute for Israeli Studies at the University of Maryland and is entitled, “Education in Israel: The Challenges Ahead.” What strikes the reader of these reports is how much they agree on the nature of specific problems having to do with the education of minority groups in Israel.

Here are a few of the problems both reports highlight:

(1) Both the IS and the PR reports agree that the Israeli educational system is at once a segregated and highly centralized affair controlled by the Israeli government’s Ministry of Education. As a consequence, according to the IS report, “Arab schools are significantly underfunded compared to Jewish schools,” and this is reflected in an unfavorable “differential student-teacher ratios in Arab schools” (IS report, p. 12). The PR adds the following information: “Public education for Palestinians [one quarter of all students in Israel] is administered by the Department for Arab Education, which is a special administrative entity within the Ministry of Education and under its direct control. The Department for Arab Education has no autonomous decision making authority” (PR, p. 1).

(2) As described in the IS report, because curriculum in Arab-Israeli schools is controlled by the Ministry of Education, sensitive subjects such as Palestinian history are censored (not allowed to be “openly discussed”). The PR elaborates: Israeli textbooks are highly selective in their “choice of facts and explanations, ignoring contradictory arguments, especially facts connected to Arab-Palestinian history.” Ultimately, “they erase modern Palestinian history” (PR, p. 1). Arab-Israeli students are forced, at least superficially, to absorb a Zionist interpretation of history because without being able to repeat it on their graduation exam they cannot successfully finish high school. Palestinian students do, of course, know their own version of history, which they get from numerous non-school sources.

However, the Israeli Jewish students also are deprived. They are systematically kept away from this same Palestinian narrative – one ardently believed in by over 20 percent of their nation’s population. Under these circumstances, as the IS report points out, “national cohesion” is hard to build.

The IS report recommends “strengthening within the schools the democratic and pluralistic view embodied in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, focusing on building shared values and acceptance of diversity. To strengthen communal understanding and build a stronger common identity” (IS, p. 21).

Unfortunately, these recommendations are impossible to implement, and I suspect that the authors know that this is so. In the case of Israel, education has been subordinated to ideology to such an extent that it cannot promote diversity, shared values and a common identity with non-Jews. Thus, given the Zionist ethic as practiced by Israelis and their diaspora supporters, the Palestinian identity and values are anathema and represent threats. Thus, IS recommendations become the equivalent of taking poison.

Ideology Bests the Ideal

Any ideology represents a closed information environment. By definition it narrows reality down to a limited number of perspectives. Ideology also invites hubris, rationalized by nationality or religion and their accompanying peculiar take on history. It becomes the goal of an ideologically managed educational system to promote political loyalty and the hubris it seems to justify. The current terminology for this condition is “exceptionalism.”

A map showing Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Territories.

All of this is a far cry from the way education is idealized:

According to Aristotle, “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Thanks to the Zionist educational system both in Israel and the diaspora, there are many otherwise educated Jews who cannot even entertain the thought of shared values and common identity with Palestinians.

According to Malcolm X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” However, those being educated are usually passive and someone else has prepared what they will learn, and therefore has prepared their future.

According to Martin Luther King, Jr., “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” In an ideal situation that may be true, but in practice it runs against the historical political mission of post-industrial educational systems.

Finally, one might consider this observation by Albert Einstein: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” This is a welcome insight, yet the problem is that relatively few people forget the political and cultural imperatives of their education. Those who do, including Einstein himself, are often considered by their fellows as “social mistakes.”

Now we know why it is so hard for Israelis to embrace the imperatives of peace, or for the rest of us to go beyond our present era of nation-states be they democratic or otherwise. Our self-destructive stubbornness is a function of a successful, ideologically managed education.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism. He blogs at www.tothepointanalyses.com.

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40 comments for “Education or Brainwashing?

  1. August 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Lawrence Davidson’s anecdotes are very informative, i especially like the quotes from the three wise men.

  2. Joe Tedesky
    August 11, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    I’m 67, and while attending school through out the 50’s & 60’s we kids back then were taught that Russia was bad, but now here I am a grandfather of many grandchildren, and my grandkids tell me they are being taught by their teachers in school, of how bad the Russians are. Add to that, the kids honestly are being told that the U.S. is in the Middle East fighting ISIS & al Queda, and that Assad is bad, as so was Gaddafi, and on, and on, but no mention of why we are fighting people who are fighting each other, or any of that. It’s like being taught, that America is the good guy, and everyone else is bad. Lastly, the U.S. is exceptional and indispensable, is laid on as thick today with our kids and grandkids, as it was when I was growing up.

    • john wilson
      August 12, 2017 at 4:49 am

      So what’s new Joe? I am older than you and have slightly different story about schooling in the UK. Over here it was more about King and later queen and country, but mostly about the Bad Germans. I don’t recall hearing much about the Russians. The real worry as I see it is how little young adults (and some not so young) seem to know about whats’ going on today. I spoke to a reasonably educated young woman in her twenties the other day about Syria. All she could tell me about Syria is that Assad is a mass murderer and is going around gassing his people with chemical weapons! In the case of Libya she seemed to think that we and the Americans saved the people there from mass extermination under Gadaffi. I pointed out that Libya under Gadaffi, who had been in power for many years and seen out more British prime minsters than I could remember, had the highest standard of living for his population than any other country in Africa and indeed, some Eastern European countries now in the EU as well. She just didn’t believe me and just kept on saying she had seen the little babies on TV that Assad had gassed and that Gadaffi did the same to children in Libya. Frighteningly, she is not just a one off. As far as I can 40% or more British people have the same ideas. Education isn’t just at school, it on going and even more warped than what teachers are telling the kids in the classroom !!!!

      • Paranam Kid
        August 12, 2017 at 6:51 am

        John, you, Joe & the rest of your generation who have grandchildren have a duty to expose them to a wider view about the world than what they are blasted with by the main stream media, to show them there are alternative views, that there are real facts and to help them distinguish real from alternative facts, and, perhaps most importantly concerning this, to show them where to get those alternative views. And I can let you in on a secret here about the last point: a very good starting point is …..Consortiumnews.com !!! ;-)

        • Virginia
          August 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

          Right on, Paranam!

        • Joe Tedesky
          August 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

          I’m on to it, just ask my grandchildren. Thanks for the advice.

        • Steve Naidamast
          August 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

          Paranam Kid…

          I have tried that for years. It doesn’t work. Many in the younger generations are very narrow minded people who can’t get their heads out of their smart-phones. On the other hand, there are quite a few that want to know and are trying to work to bring about social change in the States.

          Unfortunately, our daughter and son-in-law are the former. Bring up anything controversial or important to discuss and we receive blank stares or worse, being told “We don’t discuss politics…”

      • Gregory Herr
        August 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

        It is remarkable that television still has such a powerful influence. Flash some images, repeat a narrative, and voila! By adulthood a little skepticism and questioning might be in order. And why such resistance when presented with ideas that don’t corroborate personal understandings? Does the idea that there are things about Gadaffi’s Libya or Assad’s Syria that one didn’t realize provoke no curiosity? Or does that threaten to make reality just too complex or discomforting? How sad when grown people need the “coddling” of a belief system with no gray areas!
        Recently visiting with my ten year old great-nephew, he made a remark about war with Russia and I asked him why there should be such a horrible thing….he said because Russia is our enemy….I asked where he got such an idea and he said “on television”. I did my best to explain that we shouldn’t have enemies, that Russia had people just like us who wanted to be friends, and that war is horrible. Can’t blame a child for picking up ideas from television, but this highlights how ideas are shaped. Damn the lying manipulators and their abrogation of responsibility.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm

        John the perils of a ‘news junkie’ are never ending. I too run into the terribly uninformed like you do, and I often turn their heads, if I decide to counter their believed narrative, which was drilled into them by our ever ardent misinformation bureau the MSM. It’s an uphill battle, but a battle worth fighting. Sometimes us truth keepers do win over some of these misinformed, and even if only we save but one is a terrific victory.

        • ravioliollie
          August 16, 2017 at 6:50 am

          As with many of you, I can echo your comments. One nations patriotism rant =’s another’s propoganda rant. At 74 years old, I’m beginning to not even read current events ,(gave up on the boob tube many years ago). As happenstance, I have consortium news in my inbox daily byt rarely read it, trying to saty sane in these turbulent years. As for the young…. can’t respond to it.

    • Bob Van Noy
      August 12, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Joe as I have become used to doing, let me jump in here…
      It occurs to me that we’re more regional than I thought, so let me tell two stories that are West Coast stories: Where I live, we have a large population of Japanese Americans, probably better stated as Americans of Japanese Decent, and the salient feature of those Japanese Americans of my age, is that they were up-rooted prior to and during WWII and sent to detention facilities (Concentration Camps). Not only that, but they were relieved of their property and might well have been relieved of their dignity too but because they have an incredibly strong sense of unity and inner strength, they have survived the overt prejudice. Not only that (And this is the remarkable part) they have never lost their American Identity. I have gained through the years a devotion to them that is deep and lasting…

      One more story that I think you’ll appreciate. My dear lifelong friend has been with me since childhood, and I always assumed he was of Hispanic Heritage, so fairly recently I asked him, “————, Where Is your Family from?” And he answered, Here. I said what do you mean? He replied, “My Family has always been here.” It turns out that he is Shoshone, and his oral history goes back some 300 years right where we were standing at that time! I was stunned by my ignorance! I’ve thought about that ever since, realizing the extreme injustice and the dilemma of This American Condition that We find ourselves in right now, and my new statement is that, America truly is The Melting Pot. It represents a strength, and if we recognize it, if we embrace our differences and accept modify our prejudices, not allowing others to further divide us, we will come through this time too, a stronger Nation, a Nation, literally of all people. And, we can all be proud of that…

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        Bob I wish I could clone you, because you are what the world needs more of. Joe

      • Joe Wallace
        August 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm

        Bob Van Noy:

        Thanks for sharing two fine and inspiring stories!

        • Bob Van Noy
          August 13, 2017 at 5:40 pm

          Thank you…

    • Peter Loeb
      August 13, 2017 at 7:07 am

      “EDUCATION” AS INDOCTRINATION

      Lawrence Davidson presents a cogent elucidation of the use/misuse of
      “education” in Israel. Joe Tedesky (above) adds other uses.

      In his landmark book STATE OF TERROR Thomas Suarez calls it
      plain and simple “indoctrination” Unfortunately, these recommendations are impossible
      to implement, and I suspect that the authors know that this is so. In the case
      of Israel, education has been subordinated to ideology to such an extent that
      it cannot promote diversity, shared values and a common identity with non-Jews.
      and traces its origins and practice
      within Israel. Children placed in homes were abducted by
      Zionists and placed in indoctrination centers. They became the
      terlorists of the past, present and future in Israel.

      “…Unfortunately, these recommendations are impossible to implement, and
      I suspect that the authors know that this is so. In the case of Israel, education
      has been subordinated to ideology to such an extent that it cannot promote diversity,
      shared values and a common identity with non-Jews….”

      Suggestions that Palestinians and Israeli’ could ever get together and share values
      and so forth are inevitably “pie in the sky” dreams. The horrors implemented
      by Zionists in the past, present, and as far as is known in the future, preclude
      that. It seems more like a slave master telling his slaves “let us talk reasonably
      together. (Holding a whip in hand), you go back to work and stop complaining.
      And..we can all get along together…”

      Perhaps there are a few Palestinians and Zionists who can share and share alike.
      Little camps of innocent children and so forth. (?) To maintain this as
      any significant road to a meaningful solution is bunk. It represents a common
      set of illusions of well-intentioned charitable society.

      Everyone should be indebted to Davidson for his article.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston,M, USA

      • JWalters
        August 13, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Thanks for the reference to State of Terror by Tom Suarez. For readers who haven’t seen it, here’s an article by Mr. Suarez based on that book.
        Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/terrorism-israeli-state

        I agree with you on the prospects for a kumbaya settlement between the Zionist oppressors and their victims. It’s now clear to any reasonable person that the Israelis only talk about talk to further their oppressive goals. Your slavery analogy is apt. Dislodging slavery in America required extreme force, and a president willing to use it. This will happen with Israel when enough Americans see that they, too, have been victimized by Israel.

  3. Kalen
    August 12, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Those anecdotal evidences are just a top of an iceberg such practices of edu-indoctrination are rampant and ubiquitous under all social systems.

    Here is a expert from excellent essay about what educational systems now in existence everywhere are for:

    https://contrarianopinion.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/education-blessings-of-enlighten-serfdom/

    “In the core of our modern educational system is an extreme nationalism, national chauvinism and statism. It is true in the US, in China and it was true in the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. Just examine history books of any two neighboring countries; contradictions of the facts as well as interpretations are shocking even about well-documented historical events that occurred centuries ago between current political allies.

    Why is that? Simply because every country’s mostly illegitimate elites can’t afford changing their false, fantastic narratives about grandiosity of their nations, fearing total rejection of their rule. So for example, Germany slowly becoming a victim of Adolph Hitler, an Austrian by birth, and Japanese became victims of the China’s communist plot and bad circumstances [etc.,. Whitewashing of the history taught in our educational systems from kindergarten to graduate schools in every country on Earth is shocking and unbelievable unless we understand the true purpose of educational system. “

  4. Realist
    August 12, 2017 at 8:54 am

    The brainwashing starts in the home, is reinforced in the church (synagogue, temple or mosque), proceeds through primary, secondary and higher education and then persists throughout life via the various forms of media.

    In the earliest days of human civilisation when all there was were tiny hamlets and villages, I suppose the only education one received was by direct word of mouth from family, friends and one’s local tribesmen. If none of them knew of a fact, you were never going to learn about it, unless an innocuous stranger or a traveling party that was not intent on raiding your camp happened by and shared some of their knowledge. By the time humans had congregated into actual city states with a governing hierarchy and a religious clergy, and those city states interacted via trade, warfare, and intermarriage with other city states, education was slowly but surely becoming the province of the rulers and their religious minions. Beginning in antiquity the scribes who conducted the king’s business and the priests, seers and soothsayers who ministered the prevalent religions kept the records, passed down the history and myths, such as they were, to the young and trained the elect from their numbers to replace themselves.

    Hence the beginnings of “formal” education, and the origin of “dogma” and “heresy,” the former facilitating benefit to the rulers and stability to the state, the latter identifying who needed to be rooted out as a threat to the rulers and preservation of the society. It’s why the Greek aristocracy forced Socrates to drink the hemlock. It’s why the Sanhedrin and the Roman governor crucified Jesus. It’s why the Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered dissenters. It’s why the Puritans burnt “witches” at the stake. It’s why the Saudi monarchy has funded the building of Wahabist madrassas throughout the Sunni world. If I left anybody out it was purely for lack of space, because every society and every culture has done the same to ensure that the extant polity and customs are not changed, because that would mean that wealth and power might change hands. And, truth be told, most people are cool with that because change always means unpredictable turmoil and bloodshed. Most are happy to not rock the boat and passively receive the same conventional wisdom taught to their fathers and grandfathers before them. In fact, they may get vicious if those fairytales are ever challenged by a bright boy or outsiders who can see the contradictions to truth. Takes us right to where we are now, does it not?

    Driving along in my automobile once again yesterday, I perchanced to tune in NPR for a second day running. It was the most stunning example of a full-throated witch hunt that was being directed at Donald Trump that you could possibly imagine. The woman presenter was practically orgasming over the news that Robert Mueller now has at his disposal a veritable army of experienced and distinguished lawyers and prosecutors who, during their illustrious careers, have investigated and locked up a multitude of notorious criminals. Moreover, they have the services of a grand jury before whom they can publicly (through leaks and perfectly legal interviews of witnesses by the media) lay out all the malefactions of Mr. Trump and his cadre of treasonous co-conspirators. She was obviously delighted that the prosecution had the guns needed to bag the president. In all probability, most Americans listening to her “take” on the matter probably accepted her words as informed, factual and authoritative, because she is ostensibly society’s interlocutor to the truth, she is there to “teach” us what is reality and what is in our collective best interests. Surely a teacher wouldn’t try to brainwash us, would she?

    • Gregory Herr
      August 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Pass the hemlock please, the dogmatic nature of conventional “thinking” is becoming unbearable.
      Please keep exposing the contradictions and illustrating how we get “right to where we are now”. A pleasure to note an example of “education”.

    • JWalters
      August 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      If I may add to your historical perspective on today –

      In pre-parliamentary governments a country was ruled by a “royal” family and a group of “noble” families. The determination of rulership was by gang warfare among these families. Murder & mayhem, alliances & betrayals, and all manner of skullduggery were standard operating procedures. An central and absolutely essential tactic was the control of information. Suspected leakers were summarily executed (sometimes with a facade of due process).

      The 1st Amendment was clearly intended to end (or dramatically curtail) such rule by brutality and secrecy. As President Kennedy said, “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society”. But America’s mainstream press today is not a free press, as shown by the large amounts of central information that it conceals (though revealed by honest, smaller outlets like Consortium News). A consistent, uniform mainstream suppression of information can ONLY come from one gang controlling the mainstream press. The recent anniversaries of the Balfour Declaration (a letter to banker Rothschild), of Israel’s “independence”, and of Israel’s ’67 storming of Jerusalem all went by with a scandalous absence of historical review in the mainstream press (including the PBS Newshour). Probably not coincidentally, other anniversaries for which volumes of new information were totally ignored have been the JFK assassination and 9/11.

      While there are multiple gangs in Euro-America, as with the old situation of “noble” and “royal” families, there is only one dominant gang. Currently a complete blackout of critical information and analysis covers Israel. Despite Israel’s well-documented, longstanding and ongoing crimes and atrocities, and its well-documented, deep and extensive influence on Euro-America’s politics and media, serious reporting and discussion of Israel is ENTIRELY absent from mainsteam news outlets. The news should be the public’s education about current affairs. The Euro-American news policies mirror exactly Israel’s internal education policies described in this article.

      This blanket pattern could not possibly be due to statistical chance in a society with a truly free press. Therefore the press is not free, and its few financial control points are, at the very least, in collusion, defrauding the public. THAT is a collusion staring Congress in the face. Euro-America is in dire need of laws to break up this collusion, and prevent it from arising again. It definitely should not be permitted to start another war, with Iran, with Russia, or anybody else. The deep psychological pathology behind these crimes must be acknowledged frankly, despite their facades of college degrees and suits.

      • Bob Van Noy
        August 13, 2017 at 12:17 am

        Thank you J Walters, I agree, and I wanted to point out specifically your inclusion of JFK’s statement about secrecy, I think that even at that point in his administration JFK was preparing to expose the CIA’s wrong doing. And, I will provide a link to a past Consortiumnews article by Ray McGovern that shoes how a month after President Kennedy’s death President Truman attempted to expose them also. Thank you.
        https://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/22/trumans-true-warning-on-the-cia/

        • JWalters
          August 13, 2017 at 5:58 pm

          Bob, Thanks for the link to the absolutely excellent article by Ray McGovern. I completely agree with his assessment of James Douglass’s book JFK & the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. The book is impeccably researched and brings together much of the evidence that has come out since the Warren Commission report. The blacklisting of this book by the mainstream media shows that the gang controlling the media is STILL afraid of Americans learning the full facts about the JFK assassination. The logical explanation for this is that they’re afraid such revelations would lead to closer scrutiny of their operations today. Which it certainly would.

          I watched the NBC special on the 50th anniversery of JFK’s assassination, and was appalled by its abject dishonesty. JFK’s murder still hovers as a warning over the heads of those who would push for truth and justice.

          • Bob Van Noy
            August 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm

            Exactly! Many Thanks, JWalters…

  5. August 12, 2017 at 10:58 am

    This is a timely article, as a group of 53 Congressional reps and a dozen Latino leaders have just returned from an all-expense paid brainwashing trip to Israel. According to a Tampa Bay Times article:

    “AIPAC gets around restrictions on privately paid travel by using the educational arm, an arrangement government watchdogs have criticized.”

    “A decade ago, the House banned groups from paying for extended trips as part of the fallout from the scandal over lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But a loophole allowed educational foundations to pick up the tab. The Israel trips are estimated at $10,000 per person.

    “Members of Congress feel indebted to someone who provides them with a week’s long vacation. It’s lobbying and it’s more effective than direct lobbying on Capitol Hill,” Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen, who helped draft the 2007 laws, told the Tampa Bay Times in 2013.

    He said the loophole has been steadily abused and privately-paid travel is back to pre-reform levels.

    “This is not what lobbying should be about,” Holman said. “It should be about providing information and expertise so lawmakers can make better decisions, not trying to buy their favors with gifts and travel junkets.”

    • August 12, 2017 at 11:07 am

      A link to the Tampa Bay Times article: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/charlie-crist-enjoys-the-perk-of-office-an-all-expenses-paid-trip-to-israel/2332201

      AIPAC refuses to release the names of those participating. You will have to find out for yourselves if your rep was there.

    • TheSkepticalCynic
      August 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      We are overtly and covertly encouraged to hate Muslims ( I remember when they were Moslems) for their “Islamism”, But question the absurdity of the Holocaust survivor “narratives” and you are in serious trouble. Or point out the scientific impossibility of the gas chamber stories, collecting the Jew fat flowing in little trenches in huge burning pits or able to determine whether it was a fat person or skinny person or Pole from a Ukrainian from the smoke coming out the crematorium chimney.
      Huge burning pits 10 feet deep where the water table is only 4 ft deep. Just a few days ago a Orthodox Holocaustrian on another web site responded to the question of a Holocaust skeptic of what happened to all the ashes of the cremated Jews at Birkenau? With absolute certainty she claimed the ashes were dumped in the “ash pond”. it was beyond her comprehension to recognize the fatuity of her response.
      The ash, unburned bones and teeth of the cremated human cadaver is between 5 and 10 lbs, Using 7lbs for this exercise, he ashes, bones and teeth of the supposed 1,100,000 supposed mostly Jews allegedly cremated at Auschwitz Birkenau would amount to 7,700,000 lbs.. or 3,850 tons of ash. Google Birkenau Images for Birkenau ash pond and imagine dumping 3,850 ton in that pond. Question this publicly and you become an Anti-semite and a pariah in your community, because you hurt a Jew’s feeling. How stupid is this? It’s 90% likely the whiny Jew isn’t even Semitic but an eastern European Ashkenazi whose ancestry goes back to South Central Asia

      • Zachary Smith
        August 13, 2017 at 2:51 am

        Just a few days ago a Orthodox Holocaustrian on another web site responded to the question of a Holocaust skeptic of what happened to all the ashes of the cremated Jews at Birkenau?

        You reference an INTERNET exchange between an UNNAMED pair of people on an UNNAMED/UNLINKED site to demonstrate that the Jewish part of the WW2 Holocaust was a fraud.

        Anti-semite? very probably
        Pariah? I would hope so
        Gullible Ignoramus? without any reasonable doubt

        There are actually many good history books available at local libraries and offered for sale in brick/mortar & online stores. I’d suggest you locate one which wasn’t written by a neo-nazi fool. Or by a person peddling stuff he/she knows is crap to make money from fleeceable folks.

    • Typingperson
      August 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      It always amazes me how cheaply our Congresscritters are bought.

      • JWalters
        August 13, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        Completely agree!

        ALL lobbying should occur ONLY in the congress person’s office, either in DC or their home district. AND it should be on the record. NOTHING of ANY material value should be allowed to pass to a congress person from anyone with a material interest in ANY law. Congressional representatives and lobbyists have proven conclusively that any other arrangement will lead to some, significant level of corruption, human nature being what it is. If this restriction is too burdensome for some members of Congress, then they should get another job. Period. Any member of Congress who would not vote for these restrictions would reveal themselves to be corrupt. Because there is no GOOD reason for any exceptions. Not even the “Aw, he’s my friend” bullshit. The most absurd defense is the adamantly indignant demand, “Are you suggesting I would sell my office for such a trifle?”

  6. Igor Slamoff
    August 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    These are harsh and accurate criticisms of Israeli political ideology.
    The Palestinians, for their part, do the same thing in reverse.
    Hajj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was the undisputed leader of Palestinian nationalism from 1920 until 1960 and is now a revered figure in the Palestinian pantheon. How many Palestinians know that Husseini was an important participant in the Holocaust? He was a major figure in the Nazi genocide of Jews and Serbians. As a matter of fact Husseini’s record was likely one of the main factors that motivated Stalin to support the Zionist cause and sell the Zionists the Czech machine guns that decided the 1948 war.
    To denounce one side while concealing the crimes of the other side is one definition of propaganda.

    • Brewer
      August 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      “How many Palestinians know that Husseini was an important participant in the Holocaust?”
      None. This is probably because he wasn’t.

    • Zachary Smith
      August 13, 2017 at 2:36 am

      Um, you forgot any links/sources, Mr. Israel Propagandist.

      To denounce one side while concealing the crimes of the other side is one definition of propaganda.

      You did get that part of it right. But you personally don’t see any current or recent historical Israeli terrorism, do you?

      Telling Big Lies and hiding Big Truths is what your paid / unpaid job consists of, doesn’t it?

  7. dave
    August 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    “[Israeli education] cannot promote…a common identity with non-Jews”.

    That would seem to be a pretty tall order in a country defines itself as a “Jewish state”.

  8. Zachary Smith
    August 13, 2017 at 2:26 am

    A little bit ago I was searching for English-language South Korean Newspapers. None of them were exactly satisfactory, but one in particular struck me as mighty odd. How does it happen that a newspaper site titled “Seoul Times” has two articles by “Zvi November” on the front page?

    Someone asked: How can you live in Israel, a country under constant threat of extermination?

    That sets the tone – Poor Little Israel under eternal threat! Wading way on down:

    If one loves the truth and disdains falsehoods then Israel is the place to live. Here we know for sure that the “religion of peace” is really the religion of war. Here we know for a fact that Jews and Judaism promote peace in the world to the very best of our abilities.

    We have no doubt whatsoever that Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the Taliban along with their terrorist allies around the globe are full of hate that they liberally export. These BARBARIAN folks (see Robert Spencer’s videos on YouTube), like the Nazis and Tojo’s Japan eighty years ago are deceitful warmongers bent on destroying our imperfect, feeble democracies and freedoms.

    Peacemakers! Those BARBARIAN folks in Germany and Japan hammered the same kinds of BS into their kids as the Israelis are doing today. As expected, the result is a bunch of deceitful warmongers bent on destroying our imperfect, feeble democracies and freedoms.

    Only in this case, the “our” refers to such little democracy and freedom remaining in the US of A. That’s what properly indoctrinated little Israeli children will do when they grow up to be big Israeli people. Scream for more US taxpayer money, and more and better laws to restrict the goyim in the wag-the-dog land from complaining.

    h**p://theseoultimes.com/ST/?url=/ST/db/read.php?idx=13408

    The other is about Temple Mount Violence. The damned towelheads just don’t appreciate the loving care lavished on them by the Peace-Loving Israelis!

    One would think that Muslims would welcome measures designed to protect them when they visit the Dome of Rock Shrine and the al-Aksa Mosque which is the third holiest site in Islam.

    The propaganda put out by the Zionists is much more widespread than I’d ever supposed. When they’re offering free BS to a South Korean site, I’m guessing it will be available to anybody willing to accept the crap. If the propaganda isn’t going over too well, just lean on/bribe a bunch of US Congress-Critters to make offending God’s Favorite People a felony punishable by a million dollar fine and 20 years in prison.

    In The Prince, Machiavelli sets forth several guidelines and a summary of behavior for a ruler and establishes that, “It is best to be both feared and loved, however, if one cannot be both it is better to be feared than loved.”

    They want us to love the ancient (as old as China!) land with great music and great food and great science and universally known as addicted to Peace. But if they can’t have that by planting their propaganda everywhere, they’ll get out the billy clubs and teach us FEAR. Thanks again, Senator Donnelly and the other hacks and *hores who always put Holy Israel above their own constituents.

  9. Mild-ly Facetious
    August 13, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    education or brainwashing
    — our fundamental (Primary – High School) education system is constructed upon Systemic Brainwashing.

    Trump is the Personification of the Product of an American High School ‘Education’.

    The Trump administration’s alternative Christianity
    Phil Zuckerman

    Evangelicals have never had it so good, politically speaking.

    Since President Trump took office in January, the White House has become a Christian roundtable, with just about every top-tier seat filled by a faithful member of the fold or someone who is happy to further the fold’s agenda.

    The lineup of believers who are in positions of power is truly dizzying. Betsy DeVos, who leads the Department of Education, has stated that her goal as a public servant is to “advance God’s kingdom.” Secretary of Energy Rick Perry employed mass prayer as a means of addressing social problems when he was governor of Texas. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, believes that the theory of evolution was encouraged by the devil.

    It doesn’t stop there. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has said that people who don’t believe in God can’t be truthful. Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency chief, is a devout Baptist who denies that climate change is real. Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is an evangelical who opposes abortion even in cases of rape. The president’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, another evangelical, has defended school prayer at the Supreme Court, and Trump’s spiritual advisor, Paula White, is a Pentecostal televangelist who teaches that if people give her church thousands of dollars, God will reward them with favors. Vice President Mike Pence might be the most piously anti-gay politician in America.

    Jesus loved and protected those who were targeted and deemed outcasts by society’s reactionaries.
    What’s really remarkable about this group, however, is not that so many ardent worshippers of Jesus are running the country, but how non-Christian this ostensibly Christian government is proving to be. The Trump administration’s Bible devotees are pushing an agenda that flies in the face of their own savior’s message.

    Jesus taught that wealth was deeply problematic, if not inimical to spiritual health, for instance. He preached that a person cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16), that it is nearly impossible for the rich to get into heaven (Matthew 19) and that if you want to be in good graces with the Lord, you ought to support the poor (Matthew 19). It’s those living in poverty, Jesus said, who are truly blessed (Luke 6).

    And yet Trump’s appointees are doing all they can to increase the wealth of the wealthy and cut funds and services for the poor. Some of the most supposedly Christian members of the administration have worked the hardest to take away healthcare from millions of poor Americans.

    Jesus was big on mercy (Luke 6) and forgiveness (Colossians 3), and was himself tortured and murdered by a brutal regime. Trump and his administration have called for harsher penalties for nonviolent drug offenders and more draconian sentencing in general.

    Consider what Jesus taught about violence and weapons: They’re bad. “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword,” he said (Matthew 26). The White House embraces America’s powerful gun lobby and does so despite terrible mass shootings that have become routine.

    Jesus loved and protected those who were targeted and deemed outcasts by society’s reactionaries. But it’s Trump’s associates and other Christian politicians who show the least empathy for gay people, transgender people, Muslims and other vulnerable groups.

    Oh, and how about that inn? You know, the one where poor Joseph, and pregnant, unmarried Mary couldn’t get a room (Luke 2). Surely Jesus would welcome the outsiders and refugees of the world to the most wealthy of nations. Yet his most zealous followers in the White House want to keep the poor and persecuted out. No room at this inn, they say. You have to wonder: Do they make such decisions before or after Bible study?

    Millions of Christians across the world take the teachings of Jesus seriously, of course. They work in soup kitchens, homeless shelters and orphanages. They help people overcome addiction. They support the most vulnerable, advocate nonviolence and compassion, fight for human rights. They care about the pain climate change will cause. Unfortunately, they are not the Christians running this country.

    Many Americans shuddered when Kellyanne Conway used the phrase “alternative facts” to defend White House claims about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration. But the administration’s alternative Christianity may prove just as detrimental as its loose grasp on truth. While these men and women profess love for Jesus, they create suffering and misery in his name.

    Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College and the author of “Living the Secular Life.”

    http://www.latimes.com

    • Mild-ly Facetious
      August 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      I know. I apologize; it’s Sunday
      So, I present this political rant
      in a speakeasy construct sung
      As if recited from the hymnal.

      Only truth is freedom.

    • JWalters
      August 13, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Many nominal Christians are, unfortunately, fixated on the wrath in the Old Testament. Fear is more effective for fundraising.

  10. anarchyst
    August 14, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I see we have some hasbara types on this thread…. I refrain from naming them out of pity for their misguided anti-American views.
    “To ascertain who rules over you, observe who (or what) you are allowed to criticize (and freely investigate)”…
    As to educational indoctrination, both my grandchildren and children required “deprogramming” from their school system “education” and are today, freethinkers who can spot BS a mile away…

  11. peon d. rich
    August 14, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    No, education that is designed “to fulfill the vocational needs of the economy” IS already a dark ideology. Yes, the political, ideological indoctrination described has sinister aims and consequences, but the presupposition that the other purpose of education without criticism is naive to the extreme. “Preparing students for 21st century jobs” is a kind of mantra that has destroyed education in this country – an ideological coup that is far more insidious and ubiquitous. Blatant ideological political and cultural distortions crumble, the drive for economic success – in an unsustainable economic system – blinds and corrupts.

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