Alison Fisch Katz
Don't ask why something happened; ask what for

A Propaganda Triumph

Notwithstanding the fact that I was born and raised in England and am culturally biased towards it, I’m almost always hooked on practically any British TV series. They’re so much more sophisticated than the American equivalent & the actors are so wonderfully convincing. During a recent visit to London I was watching a late night rerun of ‘Spooks’, a series I generally quite like even if it isn’t filmed at the real MI5 HQ. But I was truly horrified by the story line that went something like this: focus on the map of Israel with the entire west bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza won in the 1967 war marked in red as potentially Palestinian land in a never-ending territorial conflict. Enter MI5 that now has to tackle the threat of a series of assassination assaults against promoters of the two-state solution by an unidentified Israeli insurgency that supports a one-state solution. The struggle against these unlawful killings on British soil by the nasty, land grabbing, fanatic, right wing Israelis begins.
Seriously? Yes.

Well, I belong to the faction that believes in a one-state solution & I know of no group, individual, or government agency that advocates knocking out the opposition by assassination, let alone in a foreign country. Neither is this position an attempt at ‘land grabbing’. It is one based on 3,000 years of historical fact that precludes handing back land won in a defensive war unless negotiations are completed between the parties to that effect. Indeed, if the conflict was really about territory it would have been resolved in 1947 when the UN first suggested splitting what was left of the British mandate after creating Jordan, between the Jews and the Arabs that Jordan had ousted. The Jews accepted that offer, the Arabs did not, and they have consistently refused ever since even when Jerusalem itself was placed on the negotiation table. Why is that? Because this isn’t about territory, it’s about religion. This is a religious war driven by the Islamic concept of the ‘infidel’ whose presence simply cannot be tolerated regardless of Jewish indigeneity in the region two millennia before the Arab conquest.

Anyway, back to ‘Spooks’. So I’m following this narrative with widened eyes & thinking, where do they even get this stuff from? The answer is simply, propaganda. Systemic propaganda works. Supporters of a Palestinian state on British University campuses know this and the British press imbibes it and disseminates it, formulating the following lie: only the two-state solution is a viable pathway to peace in the Middle East; Israel cannot remain democratic without the two-state solution; those who oppose this solution are obstacles to this peace and are therefore seekers of a quasi-fascist government and promoters of continual conflict between Israel and the Palestinian population – a conflict which is responsible not only for the troubles of the whole region but which has implications for the world at large.

Around the dinner table I discovered that some younger members of my family were unaware of the fact that Israeli hospitals treat wounded Syrians on a regular basis at full cost to Israel alone. We bring over children and their mothers, applying our best surgeons and technology to help Syrian children walk again. This story was never reported in the British press. The question then was, ‘Are they sent back again to their bombed out villages in Syria?’ I explained that asylum was not being sought, but treatment, and I somehow found my country being half-heartedly congratulated for the humanitarian effort, yet undermined for apparently not being able to resolve the Syrian civil war at its root! ‘Did you know that we have also adopted 100 Syrian orphans and they are being given full citizenship?’ I asked. No they didn’t know this either. Why not? Because that story doesn’t merit the criteria for ‘news’, it doesn’t meet the requirements of the media’s agenda. As Joseph Goebbels, the world’s foremost practitioner of propaganda once said, “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.”

Are the majority of British influencers so susceptible to this propaganda because they are inherently anti-Semitic? I hate to think so. But there are barely 200,000 Jews in Britain today so where does the obsession with us come from? The Jews were expelled from Britain in 1290 and weren’t allowed back for nearly 400 years; Shakespeare had never met a Jew when he wrote ‘The Merchant of Venice’. All the more kudos to him for Shylock’s famed soliloquy. Does that mean, then, that the current intelligentsia in Britain is just stupid? If today’s story tellers have their way, I suppose they deserve to be.

About the Author
Dr. Alison Fisch Katz hails from England. She has lived in Israel for 35 years and is Head of Academic Studies in English at the Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Leeds, UK.
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