A carefully cultivated mythology sustains Israel’s territorial claims to Palestine and rationalizes Israel’s ethnic cleansing of millions of Palestinians from the land. Challenges to those myths are typically met with fierce counterattacks, as Lawrence Davidson discovered.
Exclusive: Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as “mowing the grass,” a process underway again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray learned.
The new round of violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza is receiving the typical U.S. media treatment, blaming Hamas and absolving Israel. But the origins of the latest clashes are much more complex than that simplistic and one-sided version, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Freed from pressures of reelection, President Obama has the opportunity to chart a more daring foreign policy in his second term, taking chances for peace. But he will still face determined political opposition if he crosses powerful lobbies, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With President Obama’s reelection, prospects for progress in Middle East disputes have brightened but no one expects the resolution of crises in Syria, Iran, Israel, Palestine and elsewhere to be easy. An offhand remark by a Palestinian leader shows how complex some issues remain, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
False national narratives play key roles in controlling human behavior, especially when enforced by an aggressive propaganda system that demonizes factual counter-narratives. That has long been the case as Israel minimized its harsh treatment of Palestinians, but the truth has begun to break through, says Lawrence Davidson.
Islamophobes, including some involved in the ugly protests over an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, are now taking their case against the “savage” to billboards, urging greater U.S. support for Israel. But this message is designed to justify ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, says Lawrence Davidson.
A “peoples” tribunal, modeled after an examination of U.S. war crimes in Vietnam, is exploring Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians. Meeting in New York City, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine sometimes was legalistic but addressed frequently ignored issues, says Danny Schechter.
Mitt Romney’s casual dismissal of Israeli-Palestinian peace as simply something to “kick … down the field” was perhaps meant to sound tough, even coolly cynical, but actually revealed a stunning naiveté and ignorance, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Mitt Romney told supporters behind closed doors that he’s disadvantaged because he was born to a rich white family, that he’d have a better chance to win if his dad were a Mexican. It’s getting hard to decide if Romney is simply a country-club racist or delusional, writes Robert Parry.