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Smoke and Mirrors in Palestine

Grimesy, Class Consciousness Project

Oct 20, 2023

As an ardent anti-imperialist, as any working-class man should be, I have been following the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupiers. To understand the truth, you have to move away from the capitalist media (BBC, ITV, CNN Sky News et al). The capitalist media will only take either of two positions: A rabidly pro-imperialist one, which calls for the complete eradication of Hamas (actually meaning all Palestinians), or calling for calm ‘from both sides’, which still favours the more European-like Israel. The Arabs are, in their view, far too uncivilised to have more than a passing sympathetic glance. Phil Ochs described this mentality well in his memorable song ‘Love me, I’m a Liberal’:

“I love puerto ricans and negros. As long as they don’t move next door!”

Ask any Guardian reader to put a pound in a pot for Palestine and they will do so gleefully, but they would much prefer to sit down to a mocha chocha chino with Elijah and Esther from Israel.

The loudest opprobrium that was heard about “Hamas” was the accusation that they had “beheaded forty babies”. If there was a grain of truth to this wild accusation, then everyone should be rightly appalled. The problem is the claim was never substantiated. The CNN reporter Sara Snider (Snider by name, snidier by nature, it seems) heard this allegation from IDF soldiers, so decided to report this allegation as if it were fact, even going so far as to claim that she had seen this alleged atrocity herself.

Once this was proven to be untrue, her weak reply was that she “needed to be more careful with her words.

The problem is that this allegation, as well as others of its ilk, have entered the public consciousness. Any correction or retraction is barely heard above the initial gasps of horror. The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated this allegation several times, but it should be remembered that this is a man who regards truth as rather inconvenient at times. Another leader who is frequently a stranger to the truth is President of the USA, Mr Joseph Robinette Biden. Biden pronounced he had seen proof of this alleged atrocity; this was retracted hours later by his own press team, who confirmed he’d seen no such thing. Biden’s habit of choosing his own version of the truth is notorious. He had to drop out of the 1988 Presidential campaign after being rumbled for plagiarising a speech by former British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock, where he spoke about his own youth!

These are two of the world’s most influential men who are outright lying to the public, which shows how much disdain they have for working class people of the world.

The Gaza strip is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, with around two million people living in a strip of land 25 miles long and 7.5 miles wide at its widest point. Due to appalling living conditions, life expectancy is lower, so the vast majority of the population are young, with just under half the population being under the age of 16. Israel’s most recent, and heaviest, bombardments of Gaza with lethal rockets and white phosphorus have killed a disproportionate number of children. These are facts. Not vague, passed on information, but facts! Israel knows this fact every time they fire a rocket at Gaza, but like western liberals, they find Arabs distasteful.

The shyster Netanyahu announced on Israeli TV that residents should leave North Gaza and head south to the border with Egypt. This is a clear attempt to displace even more Palestinians to a foreign land and to continue their ethnic cleansing of occupied Palestine. Decreasing the population of Palestine has always been a goal of Israel, so concerned are they with the Arab population massively outstripping the Israeli birth rate. This is always a concern of regimes based on the idea of racial supremacy, which Israel very much is. They fear the “superior” group eventually being outnumbered, and so use every trick in the book to force Palestinians into exile and to imprison those who remain. 

After Netanyahu’s announcement, many Gazan residents decided it would be better to take his advice than wait in hope that a rocket does not land on them. Columns of flatbed trucks and cars, carrying mostly women and children, started making the journey to the southern tip of Gaza and hopefully away from danger.

Then the unthinkable happened.

An Israeli rocket hit the fleeing civilians, killing seventy people instantly and injuring another two hundred. This inexcusable act sickened me to my core. These people were assured that they would be safe if they left, and a rocket was fired at them as they fled.  Anyone who has read the history of the Nakba in 1948 and all that has followed will know that killing innocent Palestinians has never been a problem for those seeking to create the Zionist state in Palestine.There was video footage of this event. It was difficult to watch, as it showed the carnage of what a missile attack on a column of civilians can do. Once again, this is a factual incident, unlike the proven fictitious ‘beheaded babies’ claim.

Where is the clamour? Where is the furore? It is non-existent. Suella Bravermen’s comments about waving a Palestinian flag being a criminal offence, whilst bloviating reactionary rhetoric, shows us our Government’s appalling but unsurprising position on this conflict. The alleged Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, has agreed wholeheartedly with the Government’s support of Israel. In an interview with LBC, he gave Israel the green light to remove the human right to water from the inhabitants of the Gaza strip. This is why stories like the forty babies, whether true or not, are granted instant coverage. As Joe Biden said:

“..if there wasn’t an Israel we would have to invent one to protect our interests in the region.”

Israel is critical to western hegemony. Normalisation of Israel is the end goal and to do that, they must manufacture consent. De-humanising the native Arab populations to prevent large scale objections to their treatment of Palestinians.

Another part of creating class awareness is understanding the insidious nature of imperialism and its control of the media narrative. We will always seek to dispel these false allegations and tell the truth about the working-class people of the world.

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