Posts Tagged propaganda
The above photo was released by the Spokesperson’s office at the Israeli Defence Forces to promote its role in the upcoming gay pride parade in Tel Aviv. The photo has come under flack because one of the men depicted was not actually gay. I will note first that I use the word “gaffe” ironically, click here to see why.
Regular Karnage interlocutor Liam was one of the people giving the photo flack:
Advocates for Israel have every right to point to positive elements of the country’s socio-political makeup, regardless of other parts of the equation that are less than flattering. That doesn’t mean it excuses the negative parts though, which is where the main problem develops. It becomes an issue when hasbaraniks come to believe their own propaganda, when they start, in their mind, to dismiss the occupation, the lack of gay marriage, the lack of full civic equality for Palestinian-Israelis and think that it’s okay because gays can serve openly in the military. It’s not okay.
The IDF was downright stupid manufacturing this photo. They could have found an openly gay couple, surely. But instead they went the half-assed route and got sprung. That is pinkwashing — they’re making stuff up to get the good news story. That’s unacceptable and works against people trying very hard to stand up for Israel where it’s needed most.
A long email chain ensued. Below is an edited sample of my responses, Liam may publish his at his own prerogative.
My gut reaction was similar to Liam’s, but having thought about it:
So the photo was staged… does anyone looking at that photo really think that they were walking around Tel Aviv and happened to snap a pic of two male soldiers holding hands?
Clearly it’s a staged photo, which happened at a photoshoot. That is how promotional photos are taken. Generally, the people in promotional photos are not really what they look like — for example, this woman does not really play for Liverpool:
The IDF picture is a promotional photograph. It was attached to a press release from an official military outlet and not a news-reporting service. It is openly a piece of propaganda and does not make any pretences about that. It is not claiming to be an accurate depiction of any real events, it is only supposed to be representative of the IDF.
While you’re getting all indignant about the fact that the soldiers in the photo weren’t actually gay, there are people who are genuinely angry about the photo because they think that the IDF should not be so outwardly gay-friendly.
So instead of praising the IDF for doing something that is actually quite remarkable and completely unprecedented (an ARMY marketing itself as gay-friendly. An ARMY, that is OFFICIALLY participating in a gay pride parade — that is totally unheard of anywhere else in the world, whatever the motivations), you are castigating them for a minor detail that no one would even know had some journalist not done a little digging and that is really of no consequence to anything.
The sexual preference of the guys in the photo is really immaterial, it has no bearing on whether or not the IDF is gay-friendly. In fact, as one gay blog noted, it may even be better that one of them is not gay:
Before anyone cries “Foul!”, this is actually better. A gay man and a straight man holding hands couldn’t be a more comforting sign of acceptance, friendship, alliance and unity between gay and straight soldiers. The army isn’t about finding romance. It’s not about gay soldiers hooking up. It’s about fighting for your citizens while standing by your fellow countryman, regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Gay and straight holding hands together in joint cause is the greatest symbol of equality we can think of. We’d love to see a similar gesture from two American soldiers, wouldn’t you?
I got kinda angry after I saw the article below. There is still a fight to fight here, the IDF has not always been as accepting as it is and there are still senior figures in the IDF who do not exactly agree with this stance, as well as people who are pressuring the IDF to stop being so open to gay people. These “pinkwashing” accusations attack the people who are doing the right thing and empower those who would sooner see the IDF regressing to a less tolerant place.
By attacking the photo, you’re playing into the hands of dickheads like this:
Less than a year ago, religious cadets were kicked out of officers’ course because they had trouble listening to female singing. The IDF sacrificed them on the altar of political correctness, and this is precisely what it does now with the photo of the two gay soldiers in uniform.
This photo makes no contribution to the original IDF mission; it merely offers blatant flattery in line with the taste of shapers of public opinion.
After a few Jerusalem Post articles detailing Norway’s anti-Israel history, the Norwegians figured that they would respond. Some of what they say is fair enough, but others seem a little far-fetched.
One that I found particularly amusing was this:
Claim: In October 2010, Norway’s Foreign Ministry announced that it would not permit the German shipbuilder HDW to test its Dolphin-class submarine, built for the Israeli navy, in Norwegian territorial waters.
Fact: It is true that Norway has strict rules for the export of arms, including services, to countries that are at war or where there is a threat of war. This applies to many countries around the world, so there is no singling out of Israel.
So Norway will not export arms to a country that is facing a threat of war. Why else would a country possibly buy arms? That’s like a restaurant that only serves people who aren’t hungry.
Palestinian state media on demolitions:
Cohen says if Medico International abandons development work in Area C, moving to Palestinian Authority-controlled areas where permits are not a problem, they would do little more than “painting the walls of Bantustans.”
“We cannot just facilitate a nice jail cell, and a system where people don’t have rights.”
… Green energy advocates saw a chance to circumvent the spiraling demolitions of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank, which doubled in 2011 according to the UN.
This is basically a refusal to implement the Oslo agreements, which left Area C under Israeli control. They clearly tried to find a loophole by building European-funded power stations on Israeli-controlled land without Israeli approval, thinking that Israel could not demolish them as it would create a problem with EU countries (which has been partially successful according to the article).
I am not defending the Israeli demolitions policy and I do recognise that it is quite onerous for Palestinians to get building approval (although this has as much to do with Israeli incompetence and corruption as actual discrimination – it’s not easy for anyone to get building permits in Israel unless they bribe the right official), however it strikes me that this is an attempt to do exactly what the Palestinians always accuse Israel of doing: build facts on the ground and grab land in lieu of an agreement. Yes, they would argue that it is rightfully their land, but so would the settlers. However correct either party is, building there is counter-productive.
I have written before in praise of, or at least amusement at, hacker group Anonymous, but then I saw this Haaretz article on a video they just posted about Israel. Now, I am well aware that Anonymous is not one entity and this could easily be some rogue idiot with nothing to do with the group, but it is still quite frightening.
The video and a transcription are below, remind you of anything? I’ve bolded the important parts.
(Thanks to Daphne Anson for saving me from having to transcribe this myself).
“To the government of the state of Israel.
We are Anonymous.
For too long we have tolerated your crimes against humanity and allowed your sins to go unpunished. Through the use of media deception and political bribery, you have amassed the sympathies of many.
You claim to be democratic, yet in reality this is far from the truth.
In fact, your only goal is to better the lives of a select few while carelessly trampling the liberties of the masses. We see through the propaganda that you circulate through the mainstream media and lobby through the political establishment. Your Zionist bigotry has displaced and killed a great many.
As the world weeps you laugh while planning your next attack. All of this is done under the veil of peace but so long as your regime exists peace shall be hindered.
You label all who refuse to comply with your superstitious demands as anti-semitic. And have taken steps to ensure a nuclear holocaust.
You are unworthy to exist in your current form and will therefore face the wrath of Anonymous. Your empire lacks legitimacy and because of this you must govern behind a curtain of deceit.
We will not allow you to attack a sovereign country based upon a campaign of lies.
Your grip over humanity will weaken and man will be closer to freedom.
But before this is accomplished the people of this world will rise against you and renounce you in all your worth. Our crusade against your reign of terror shall commence in three steps.
Step one will be initiated after the release of this video and will be comprised of systematically removing you from the internet.
Step two will be later disclosed and is already in initiation.
And as for step three, well think of this one as a present from Anonymous to you. We will not stop untill the police state becomes a free state.
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Israeli government, expect us.”
In case you didn’t get it, I took the liberty of using the same words, but switching pronouns and making it a call to action:
We see through the propaganda that they circulate through the mainstream media and lobby through the political establishment.
They are unworthy to exist in their current form and will therefore face our wrath.
Their empire lacks legitimacy and because of this they must govern behind a curtain of deceit. We will weaken their grip over humanity and man will be closer to freedom.
The people of this world will rise up against them and renounce them.
Step one will be initiated after the release of this video and will be comprised of systematically removing them from the country.
Step two will be later disclosed and is already in initiation.
And as for step three, well think of this one as a present from Anonymous to you. We will not stop until we achieve the final solution and there are none of them left on this Earth.
I am not generally one to invoke the Holocaust or to throw the “antisemitism” card around lightly, but seriously, it sounds like Anonymous have been taking tips from Joseph Goebbels. “The Jews rule through deceit and cunning, they have a secret grip over our society and the only way to end it is to be rid of them” – that is exactly the kind of thing that was being said in 1930s Berlin.
For shame Anonymous.