The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine-Palestine
A new documentary film narrated by legendary musician and activist Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame trains a harsh light on Israel’s decades-long propaganda war in the U.S.
The Occupation of the American Mind examines how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and pro-Israel lobbying groups have waged a series of coordinated PR campaigns to manage political fallout from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and shape American media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Israel’s favor.
“We’re talking about a sophisticated and sustained campaign that for decades has silenced meaningful debate about Israel’s repression of Palestinian human rights while vilifying proPalestinian voices,” said Sut Jhally, the Executive Producer of the film. “The point of the effort is to make sure nobody questions U.S. support for Israel, and there’s no question it’s been amazingly effective. What we’re trying to do with this film is simply clear some space for rational and balanced discussion about the conflict and U.S. support for Israel.”
The film traces the development of pro-Israel “hasbara” – or propaganda – efforts in the U.S. over the past four decades, ranging from government information campaigns devised after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in the early 1980s to the specific media strategies implemented during Israel’s recent bombardments of the Gaza Strip and throughout the occupation.
“This is less a film about the details of the conflict than it is about how the conflict has been framed to the American people by U.S. news media and political leaders of both parties,” said Loretta Alper, who co-directed the film. “The American people give billions of dollars a year to Israel in aid – and there have obviously been a lot of powerful interests at work to make sure that doesn’t change. The result has been an organized and sustained propaganda effort designed to deflect attention away from some of the most basic realities of Palestinian life under Israeli military occupation.”
The film, produced by the Massachusetts-based Media Education Foundation, features leading experts on media, public opinion, and the Middle East, including Israeli journalist Amira Hass, former pro-Israel lobbyist M.J. Rosenberg, former MSNBC commentator Rula Jebreal, author and activist Noam Chomsky, scholar Rashid Khalidi, and Yousef Munayyer of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Source: Gaza Post