Monday, February 05, 2024

Gaza Massacre (7) Doublespeak

I get really upset by the twisting of words and doublespeak that goes on with respect to Israel. I am especially concerned that Christians have fallen for this propaganda trick. We are supposed to be people of the truth. We have the Spirit of Truth. So when Christians are deceived by twisted words and doublespeak, something is wrong. I get really concerned when Christians demonstrate double standards in assessing the behaviour of other nations. The following are some examples of double standards and twisting of words.

  • Various word games are played to equivalise the actions of the oppressor and the oppressed. When the oppressed people fight back against their oppressors, they are called “terrorists”. When the oppressor bombs the oppressed and kills thousands of civilians, it is called “self-defence”. The reality is that oppressor nations always cause far more terror than the population of the people that they are oppressing. They have to use excessive force to keep control.

  • Israelis captured by Hama are called “hostages” even though they were soldiers controlling the observation cameras and automated machine-gun posts that enforce the blockade on Gaza (all the civilians have been freed). In contrast, the thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, many without trial, are called “prisoners” or “terrorists”. Those who have had a trial appear in military tribunals (because Israel is an occupying power) in which normal rules of justice do not apply. Some have been tortured. These are the real hostages.

  • Statements made by Israeli government leaders and officials tend to be accepted as true by mainstream news media, even though they have been caught lying on numerous occasions. When Israeli claims are refuted by independent investigations, the media don’t retract their statements, they just pretend it has not happened. In contrast, statements from Hamas are usually assumed to be false. When the media report on the announcements of the Hamas Health Authority about the numbers of deaths and casualties in Gaza, they discount them as being exaggerated.

  • Israel is allowed to maintain powerful military forces to defend itself (and control Gaza), whereas the Palestinian people of Gaza are condemned if they have any weapons at all. Why are they not allowed to defend themselves?

  • When the United States supplies bombs to Israel that are used to smash infrastructure and kill civilians, it is just a Christian nation doing what it should do. If Iran supplies weapons to Hezbollah, which emerged to defend the Shia population of southern Lebanon after they were invaded and brutalised several times by Israeli forces, it is portrayed as evil.

  • When Israeli troops disguise themselves as doctors and nurses and enter a hospital, forcing out the medical staff and killing young men who were receiving medical attention (one who was unconscious was shot in the forehead in cold blood), the Christian world just yawns. If Hamas had taken this action, the entire world would be screaming about the evil murderers.

  • The way that Israeli propaganda techniques work is to make outrageous claims, knowing that by the time the lies are debunked, most people will believe that they are true and will not change their minds. This strategy works, because in the West, there is a bias towards believing the claims of the Israelis and a reluctance to believe the claims of Palestinians. For example, Joe Biden claims that he had seen photos of Israeli babies beheaded by Hama. A leading newspaper has debunked his claims, proving that the photos never existed and the event never occurred. However, most of the news media never correct their accounts, so many people in the West continue to believe that what he said was true. Similarly, the Israeli defence minister had to walk back his claims about mass rape because he had no evidence, but most western media ignored his retraction.

  • Israel claimed that Hama had headquarters in a tunnel under hospitals, but never produced any evidence to prove their claims. All they produced was a photo of an old tunnel that was not currently being used. Even the New York Times has admitted the Israeli claims were false, but most media never retracted them, so most people continue to believe that they are true.

  • Worse still, these false claims are often used as justification for terrible destructive violence. However, even if Hamas did have headquarters in tunnels under a hospital, the solution is to send troops into the tunnel and clear Hama out. It would not justify forcing the medical staff and sick people to leave the hospital, leaving adults on life-support and babies in incubators to die. Nor would it justify destroying the hospital with bombs. That this is widely accepted as justification for destroying hospitals and killing over 400 doctors and nurses shows how warped Western moral thinking has become. Even German Nazis generally protected doctors and nurses, and their medical facilities.

  • Many Christians believe that the nations around Israel want to invade Israel and destroy it. That was probably true fifty years ago, but the situation has changed significantly since then. Israel now has the most powerful army and air force in the Middle East. It has nearly 200 nuclear weapons. The surrounding Middle Eastern nations realised that driving the Israelis out of the land is impossible, even if they all worked together. These nations seem to have accepted this reality and seem to be resigned to Israel’s existence. Many of them have negotiated peace treaties with Israel. I don’t see efforts to “take Israel out”, whereas the International Court of Justice found plenty of evidence of serious efforts to take the Palestinians out. Hostility to Israel will only increase if it persists with an apartheid-type, exclusively Jewish state, as it has been doing, and if it continues with ethnic cleansing of Gaza and the West Bank.

  • Israelis employed in various NGOs continue to train with the military reserves each week, and will serve with the IDF if they are required. On the other hand, if Palestinians work for a UN organisation (it is difficult to get employment in Gaza) and work with the Palestinian resistance in their spare time, there is outrage. This is a clear double standard.

  • When a nation invades and occupies territory beyond its borders, it is required by international law to provide food, shelter, health care and education for people in the occupied territory. Israel has always refused to do this and demanded that other nations support the people in the territory that it has occupied. Providing this humanitarian support was the reason that UNWRA was set up. So when Israel tries to get UNWRA defunded, it is trying to destroy the organisation that is doing what it should be doing itself. Defunding UNWRA would ultimately result in the starvation of the Palestinian people in Gaza, because Israel will continue to refuse to provide humanitarian support to the occupied peoples as required by international law.

Jesus said that the devil was a liar right from the start.
He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
Therefore, it is not surprising that the people of the world believe lies. But it is worrying when followers of Jesus succumb to lies, half-truths and double standards.

No comments: