Friday, January 02, 2009

Gaza Action: American Divisions Not Reflected in Washington, Corporate Media

A poll out December 31 showed Americans were about evenly divided over whether or not they supported Israel's military bombardment of the impoverished Gaza strip. The same poll also showed a majority, 55%, of Democrats are against the action. Glenn Greenwald analyzes this issue fairly well, though I think he is too ambiguous and unwilling to condemn the belief, whether held by political leaders or ordinary Americans, that Israel is simply defending itself and has every right to bomb Gaza

Israel does not have the right to bomb Gaza - a land that it occupies and controls, a land full of refugees that it created, and a land that is punished daily in multiple ways by Israel, and was even before the latest escalation. This part of the story is rarely acknowledged by political leaders or the American corporate media, who tend to simply repeat what Israeli officials say or at least treat their words as their starting place and maybe add a bit about the unfortunate suffering of civilians in Gaza.

See Nancy Pelosi's view that "when Israel is attacked, the United States must continue to stand strongly with its friend and democratic ally," this story on the White House spokesperson's statement that Israeli actions were "in response to the mortar and rocket attacks on Israel," and rather than sift through the right wing and reactionary cable news pundits' views on this, try the liberal Rachel Maddow who describes Hamas rocket attacks as "unprovoked" and concedes that Israel was a country "conceived by war," but not because of the war and ethnic cleansing it conducted against the Arab inhabitants of the land it desired (even before declaring independence), but because a day after it declared independence, neighboring countries declared war on it?!

This is why the poll showing Americans are about evenly divided is so remarkable. Despite all of the propaganda from and unity among American politicians, and despite all the misinformation and biased coverage in the American media, ordinary Americans have not entirely bought the lies. As more Americans learn the truth about the situation in Israel/Palestine and that their tax dollars are largely paying for the injustice, I hope American policies toward Israel will finally begin to move in the right direction.


JH said...

I, as an Irishman, cannot believe that ordinary Americans could reflect or support the vote of the U.S. Congress in effectively supporting the wholesale killing of children and women in Gaza by the state of Israel.
If it is the case, I despair of humanity ...

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