A Call Out for Citizenship Media


If ever there was a time for citizenship media, today’s 21st century America is definitely that time.  This article clearly demonstrates how dangerous corporate media easily manipulated or agenda driven can become, and that’s not to say citizenship media won’t suffer the same problems, but the increase in the number of sources to choose from opposed to the monopoly that’s slowly enveloping mainstream media offsets that risk.  There are a lot of examples of good citizenship media and one of my favorites is Consortiumnews.com an excellent blog run by Robert Parry, but there are certainly others.  We are not defenseless in the face of corportate media’s onslaught; while it has its place, main stream media has become increasingly irrelevant in covering or even defining today’s issues.  The article below is just one of the reasons why (emphasis in red mine)

Declassified files from a Senate investigation into Israeli-funded covert public relations and lobbying activity in the United States were released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on July 23rd, 2010. The subpoenaed documents reveal Israel’s clandestine programs for “cultivation of editors,” the “stimulation and placement of suitable articles in the major consumer magazines” as well as U.S. reporting about sensitive subjects such as the Dimona nuclear weapons facility. Documents are now available for download from http://IRmep.org/ila/azc include:

Dimona (excerpt): “The nuclear reactor story inspired comment from many sources; editorial writers, columnists, science writers and cartoonists.  Most of the press seemed finally to accept the thesis that the reactor was being built for peaceful purposes and not for bombs.” http://www.irmep.org/11-121960AZC.pdf

Content placement and promotion (excerpt): “The Atlantic Monthly in its October issue carried the outstanding Martha Gellhorn piece on the Arab refugees, which made quite an impact around the country.  We arranged for the distribution of 10,000 reprints to public opinion molders in all categories… Interested friends are making arrangements with the Atlantic for another reprint of the Gellhorn article to be sent to all 53,000 persons whose names appear in Who’s Who in America…Our Committee is now planning articles for the women’s magazines for the trade and business publications.” http://www.irmep.org/09101961AZC.pdf

Pressure campaigns (excerpt): “It can be said that the press of the nation…has by and large shown sympathy and understanding of Israel’s position.  There are, of course, exceptions, notably the Scripps-Howard chain where we still need to achieve a ‘break-through,’ the Pulliam chain (where some progress has been made) and some locally-owned papers.” http://www.irmep.org/11-121960AZC.pdf

Magazine Committee achievements (excerpt): “We cannot pinpoint all that has already been accomplished by this Committee except to say that it has been responsible for the writing and placement of articles on Israel in some of America’s leading magazines….” http://www.IRmep.org/10301962_AZC.pdf

According to Grant F. Smith, director of IRmep, “It is frightening how easily some in the American news media surrendered to a foreign public relations campaign that spent the 2010 equivalent of $36 million over two years. Time has proven most of the planted content to be misleading, if not dangerous.  These historical documents hold many important lessons for Americans who have long needed—but rarely received—straight reporting on key Middle East issues.”

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation’s record keeper.  It retains 1%-3% of the most important documents of business conducted by the United States Federal government.  The Israel Lobby Archive, http://IRmep.org/ila is a unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington.

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They’re baaaacccckkkk!!


idfThe timing couldn’t be more accurate.  We’ve pointed out how the Israelis are usually the first to kill after conflict pauses that last more than one week.  In fact the empirical evidence says  over 90% of the time the Israeli government acts provocatively to end truces with its Palestinian neighbors/prisoners but less than one week after announcing a unilateral truce the Israelis are  at it again this time in the West Bank, kidnapping civilians from Jenin and Qaryut as well as shelling Gaza from naval boats off the coast.  Both actions are nothing more than a provocation designed to get the Palestinians to respond in a way that will justify a disproportionate military response on the order of a week ago.

If that doesn’t work, the Israelis are quite content to sit back, tighten the screws on their already strangling blockade and let the Palestinians starve until they try to break the blockade, at which point they’ll return militarily.

“This war and the ceasefire have not brought about a lifting of the siege on Gaza. People might not be dying by gunfire, but they may still starve to death or succumb to easily treatable ailments. This brutal siege has crippled Gaza and most importantly the children”, he ( Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP) emphasised, referring on the siege policy that Israel has heavily imposed on the Gaza Strip for 14 months.

Of course the Israelis will say the blockade is to restrict the flow of arms to Hamas, but much needed supplies are being denied to the few remaining civilians  of Gaza and the blockade has become a political tool to ratchet up pressure on Hamas or Gazans in general.  The Israelis are offering the excuse that they want the people of Gaza to disavow their elected officials, but that’s not happening anytime soon.

“Hamas is now our army, the only ones fighting to defend the Palestinian people,” said Gaza resident Ahmed al-Sultan, standing outside the rubble of the north Gaza City home his family has lived in for 40 years. “I saw how they fight, their courage and their sacrifice, and so I’ve changed my opinion about them.”

After it won control in Gaza, Hamas sentenced Mr. Sultan to death. He won a reprieve through a connected relative. Today, he calls the Palestinian Authority leaders he once served, who are based in the West Bank, “donkeys” and says Hamas, his onetime nemesis, are “rightful defenders of the Palestinian people.”

Most nationalist movements are not motivated or moved by outside pressure while their country is occupied.  The US tried it with Iraq after the first Gulf war, with little or no results, despite the thousands of deaths and the utter ruin of the Iraqi economy, and it’s really foolhardy to think Gazans will reject Hamas or vote them out of power.   What the Israelis have done rather successfully is a play on the old divide and conquer philosophy, where they have pit one group of Palestinians against another.  Hamas is a by product of this strategy and the Israelis will perpetuate the lie that  Hamas  doesn’t recognize the state of Israel as a a casus belli for any military action against Palestinians, prolonging the conflict, keeping the region unstable, while appealing for and getting  massive military and economic aid from the US.

President Obama should know all this.  The patterns are really very clear and well discernible.  The Israelis can go on with this game of abuse and genocide as long as they are enabled by the US specifically and western powers generally.  The pressure to change will have to come from the citizens of America and the west on their elected officials who are, for the moment anyway, in the back pocket of the Lobby.