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Reflections on a Passing Year

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Reflections on a Passing Year

Oussama El-Mohtar

2023 will go down in history as a pivotal year of change, especially relating to the Palestinians. In the next few lines, I’ll try and summarize a few of those changes.
Palestine, back to the roots:
The events of October 7, 2023, and the genocidal war on Gaza that followed, revived the Palestinian cause from near extinction. We’re not talking about the diminishing Palestine of the defunct Oslo accords, but the question of all of Palestine. People are now asking why and how a vibrant, multicultural society was turned into an ethno-religious-centric state based on the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians.
The vibrancy of the Palestinian Youth Movement was also astonishing. These are 2nd and 3rd and maybe 4th generation diaspora Palestinians who sprang to action as if the 1948 Nakba just happened yesterday. The world thought they had forgotten; they proved the world wrong.
To these Palestinians and their supporters, “Palestine Must be Free, From the River to the Sea.” Now, this slogan has cost more than one individual their jobs in government and in business. It has been labeled as antisemitic and a call for genocide. This is an attribution of an arbitrary meaning, a projection and a deflection of the real question of occupation, theft and genocide.
Attribution, Projection and Deflection: the three fundamentals of Hasbara:
What do these three words mean in the Palestinian context? How do they apply to Hasbarah?
Attribution is when we ascribe a meaning that suits our purposes to a certain word or phrase and build a case around it. This “Attribution of intent” can lead to behavior which is destructive to self or others.” How does this apply? In a congressional judiciary hearing not too long ago, Rep Matt Gaetz asked Dr. Pamela Nadell, Former President of the Association for Jewish Studies, the following question: “Is it possible to criticize George Soros without being antisemitic?” Dr. Nadell had great difficulty answering the question, finally she said: “We use different code words to disguise antisemitism. Soros has become the code word to describe the Rothschilds.” She then continues to say, “Globalist has become the new code word for ‘Internationalist…’” and so on. Gaentz did not let this go by without saying: “You ascribe that motive. When I criticize Globalism, I am often criticizing the UN…That is the great hypocrisy of what I think is frankly a reverse Trope that any criticism of Soros or any criticism of globalism is somehow antisemitic. Sometimes, they are just criticisms of Soros and globalism.”
Projection: “In psychology, projection refers to placing your own negative traits or unwanted emotions onto others, usually without reason.” A perfect example would be accusing those who chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Shall be Free” of calling for genocide against Jews in Palestine, while the Israeli government is engaged in actual genocide in Gaza and in ethnic cleansing of the West Bank as we write this article.
Deflection: “The act of attacking or blaming another person rather than accepting criticism or blame for your own actions. It is a psychological defense in which you deflect blame to others.” A perfect example of this would be Israel’s response to South Africa referring Israel’s genocide in Gaza to the International Court of Justice. The headline was two words: “Blood Libel”!
Any student of Zionist propaganda, or Hasbara, can see these three fundamentals at work from the early phases of the Zionist project. “God promised us the land.” “It was a land with no people.” “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” “The Palestinian terrorists use civilians as human shields.” “The Palestinians rejected every peace offer Israel has made.” “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” “We have no partners for peace.”
The good news is that people worldwide, especially young ones, are seeing these for what they are, attributions, projections and deflections.” They are rejecting them and are not stopped by them.
Israelism: “We came to Israel, and we left from Palestine.” This statement from the trailer of this important documentary film sums up the changing attitude within young Jewish Americans towards Israel. It reveals a “deepening generational divide over modern Jewish Identity.”
The trailer alone, which could be viewed at the link above, points to one conclusion, Israelism is a cult, and cult members will do their utmost to make the life of those who dare to leave it, hell. Highly recommend renting it; It is only five dollars.
From Sentiment to Vote: all the above changes, no matter how important, will have no material impact if not converted into winning votes at the next elections in key countries. Israelism, as witnessed by the stranglehold AIPAC and its supporters have on US elections must be defeated. The big question is this: could the great sentiment for the liberation of Palestine, as witnessed in sustained demonstrations worldwide, be converted into electoral votes that will defeat the supporters of Israel in major western capitals?

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