The Bear and The Bees
Here we go again. Just like in an endless re-run of an old TV series, the headlines scream “Terror Attack in Israel”, “World Leaders Condemn Terror Attack”, “Israel Retaliates”, “US President Urges Restraint”, etc. Nothing ever changes in the Middle East, Israel is the victim of Muslim terrorists – this is the impression imprinted on the casual observer. And yet this is one of the most perverse, egregious examples of media distortion that should be used as a mirror to our values and the world order in which we live.
And so we are told a story about a bear that is idly sitting under the tree basking in the sun when out of the blue and without provocation it is stung by a bee. Heeding his cries to high heavens, right wing pundits argue that the bear must exterminate all bees. Left wing pundits explain that the bear must kill only the bees that stung him. The bee’s strategy and mode of attack are discussed ad nauseum. The US President extols the bear and acknowledges his “right to self defense”. Nobody, but nobody bothers mentioning the fact that the bear is sitting on top of the beehive, crushing the bees and eating their honey. This fact is completely ignored, taken out of the picture frame and suppressed. All we get to see in our media is an innocent bear being stung by irrational blood thirsty bees. The bear of course never considers lifting his heavy behind from the bees’ nest or to give up their honey. Since none of the pundits mentions this crucial fact, they resort to debating whether the bear is retaliating too harshly or too meekly. Whether the bee has stung him in the behind or on his nose. Whether the bees are a part of a larger conspiracy or just individual attackers. This much is obvious from their debate: this snuggly bear just wants to be left in peace.
Israel wants to be left in peace while millions of people which it expelled from their lands are languishing in refugee camps, while Gaza, home to many of those refugees and their descendents, is officially an open air prison run by the Israeli warden who even decides for the inmates what they are allowed to eat, while West Bank Palestinians are corralled into Bantustans, locked behind walls and barbed wire, while its Apartheid regime makes the every day life of ordinary Palestinians a hell on earth. Yet we are told that pure-as-the-driven-snow Israel is being attacked and is forced to “retaliate”.
So how do so many people get to such a distorted view of reality, which can only be compared to a condition of collective cataract? The complete explanation is beyond the scope of this post but I will try to succinctly mention the major factors:
1. Oppression, dispossession and the daily life under brutal military rule and Apartheid are not news. Terrorist attacks on the other hand are news – they are easy to cover, make the headlines with exciting photos and heated tone, and provide a simplistic but very partial view of the overall picture. Therefore, when the bear is stung it makes headlines around the world. Covering the bear sitting on the beehive and crushing the bees, day after day, year after year, with checkpoints, land confiscations, curfews, raids, extra-judicial executions, torture, mass detentions without trials, crushing discriminatory rules and regulations, life of the dispossessed in refugee camps – these are perhaps subjects for tiresome long documentaries, of interest to only a few.
2. Jews are part of the West and Israel is viewed as a Western colony in the Middle East. Therefore, they are “us” in the immortal Pink Floyd song, while Arabs are “them”. This is not only the view of the West, but Israel itself proclaims itself to be a “villa in the jungle”, i.e. a colonial offshoot of Western Civilization. We rarely see any Arab pundits in the Western Press explaining the Arab point of view, yet most commentators on the Israel-Arab conflict in America are Jewish or committed Zionists and even if not, they have the inherent bias of viewing Israel as “us”. The Palestinian version of “Dances With Wolves” has yet to reach Western audiences.
3. Israel positions itself as a servant of Imperial interests, therefore aligning itself with Power. Rather than integrate in the region and make friends with the natives, Israel has offered its services as an ally and willing executioner of much hated Imperial designs, to those who wish to subjugate the Middle East and control its oil. The raison d’etre may change from time to time but the alignment with overseas powers is steadfast. In the 50’s and 60’s Israel portrayed itself as bulwark against Arab Nationalism (i.e. those Arab leaders who wished to gain independence from Western colonialism and imperialism). In the 70’s and 80’s it was the fight against Soviet influence. Apartheid S. Africa too jumped on the “war on communism” bandwagon, therefore gained Ronald Reagan’s support. As the times change, there is a constant need for a new global war. Today it is the “war on terror” but rest assured that even if this perpetual war peters out, Israel will jump on the new shiny bandwagon of the day to serve imperial interests.
The above explanations hold some water but are obviously insufficient, given the fact that Israel has gotten away with crimes much worse than S. Africa’s Apartheid regime and for a longer period of time without suffering any adverse consequences. The whites in S. Africa were also part of Western Civilization and positioned themselves as bulwark against spreading communism in Africa, yet even their Western family denounced and disowned them. That brings us to the following factor:
4. Unlike whites in S. Africa, Jews hold an immense power and influence in Western Society, media and politics. And since the vast majority of Jews are avowed Zionists who blindly support Israel, their positions in politics, media and academia are used to ensure continued support for the Jewish State through the propagation of the image of Israel as an “innocent victim of Arab aggression and irrational hatred”, a little state that the world must protect at all costs. The most recent invention by supporters of Israel is the imaginary “clash of civilizations”, i.e. a global war between Judeo-Christians (another invention) and Muslims, in which Israel is at the front lines, therefore is “fighting our war”.
But even this explanation may not be sufficient without the last and deepest layer of this complex and seemingly impregnable fortress:
5. The omnipresent spirit of the Jewish Holocaust, which through Hollywood movies, classroom curricula and museums has taken hold a steady place in Western Society as a sort of new religion and a metaphysical event with spiritual aspects that pervades the deepest layers of the soul. The Holocaust cements Jews’ status in the West and awards them the victim title, a class beyond reproach. The effect of the Holocaust is to disarm many well intended people with guilt sentiment and the subconscious feeling that criticizing, let alone abandoning Israel, is akin to siding with the devil and helping bring about another Jewish Holocaust. Israel has been blatantly using the Holocaust as an emotional manipulation tool to disarm any potential critics. Every foreign diplomat and official who visits Israel is quickly whisked to Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum) where he is shown the horrors of the Holocaust. After such a visit, the visitor is assured to sit idly by while Israel continues its policy of ethnic cleansing and strangulation of the Palestinian population.
And so, while the bear is crushing the beehive and eating their honey, the picture that the average Joe views through the mainstream media is that of violent bees attacking the peaceful bear out of spite.
But the bear does not sit in one place. It moves from one beehive to the next, leaving destruction and dispossession in its wake. And so it happened that when Israel conquered the West Bank, Sinai, Gaza and the Golan Heights in 1967 and expelled hundreds of thousands of civilians in the second major round of ethnic cleansing, the debate shifted to the West Bank and Gaza while the original sin, the ethnic cleansing of 1948 was swept to the sidelines or completely forgotten.
One can continue drawing this line and extrapolate how in the future, at an unknown date and under the fog of war, Israel will implement its Nakba II / III plan and complete the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine from its native non-Jewish inhabitants. Needless to mention, it will be portrayed in the media as a “defensive war”, a result of “Arab aggression”. This is not a wild fantasy but a simple analysis of a behavioral pattern, which there is little reason to believe has changed. It is also very much part and parcel of the Zionist grand plan, the one that took over Palestine, expelled and crushed its inhabitants while portraying itself as victim of Arab aggression.
The continued suppression of the real debate and the distorted view that Western Press projects will be abetting to make us accomplices in this future crime against humanity. Since Israel will have to invade Jordan in order to complete its Nakba II plan, it is not unreasonable also to expect it to set up Jewish settlements on Jordanian land (right wing Israeli leaders have not given up their idea to conquer parts or all of Jordan, since some time between 2000-3000 years ago a Jewish Kingdom supposedly held that land for a brief period). The debate would then shift to discussing Israel’s policy of settlements in Jordan while forgetting the bear’s previous raids and the crushed bees, which will be considered fait accomplit, closed to debate.
At this point I must make an apology to bears, a wonderful animal that occasionally indulges in bee honey, not for avarice but for sustenance as part of nature’s design. However, the Palestinians have been suffering continuous subjugation and oppression, not for Israel’s existential need or for its well being, but for something as repulsive as it is obsolete: the idea of a “Jewish State” and “Jewish lebensraum”, the romantic nationalist idea of a resurrection of an ancient Jewish Kingdom from some two and a half millenia ago, which is the national myth at the basis of Zionism, and in which non-Jews have no place. This is the guiding spirit of the Jewish State, which has yet to be confronted, dismantled and demolished for if the world fails to do so, a major calamity will befall the entire region sooner or later, in which Jews too will suffer, therefore bringing about the Christian notion of Armageddon.