Along with the club, the Taser, tear gas and the gun, imperialism maintains its grip over the oppressed and workers around the globe by spawning falsehood after falsehood.
The reason for this is quite simple. When they have to rely on brutality alone, it’s a sign they’re in trouble, losing ideological control of the population. But the more desperate their lies and the less believable they are, the more trouble the imperialists are in.
Thus, we examine two statements made this October, one in the U.S. and one in occupied Palestine, that strain credibility so much that their repetition may boomerang on the liars.
Netanyahu’s Big Lie
The first was so unbelievable that it defies all reason. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned to a vicious, racist lie to attack the new Palestinian rebellion. In a speech Oct. 20 before the 37th Zionist Congress, Netanyahu stood history on its head. He said that, until 1941, Adolf Hitler had only planned to expel Jews from German-occupied Europe, not kill them, and that it was the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al Husseini, a religious leader from Jerusalem, who convinced the Nazi leader to exterminate the Jews.
There is absolutely no evidence that such a conversation ever took place. Every non-Nazi historian, including Israeli historians who have contradicted Netanyahu, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, agree that the systematic murder of European Jews was entirely the idea of Hitler and and other Nazis.
Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erakat pointed out that by telling this Big Lie, Netanyahu is “further fueling the political issue into a religious one, and underscoring his commitment to the continued occupation and violence against Palestinians.” (cnn.com, Oct. 22)
At least 45 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces and racist settlers since a new Intifada rebellion erupted in early October, in further proof that the Israeli oppressors even within Jerusalem have to rely on brute force. In this case, Netanyahu exposed his desperation and further exposed the racist nature of apartheid Israel.
The FBI’s Big Lie
A few days after Netanyahu’s speech, FBI Director James Comey made his own fabrication. Comey tried to argue that the Black Lives Matter movement, by its criticism of police shootings of unarmed Black people, is causing a huge increase in crime. He claimed, on Oct. 23 at the University of Chicago Law School, that the cops are not as aggressively enforcing the law because they are intimidated.
This Big Lie is what the U.S. police establishment calls the “Ferguson Effect,” where the militant demonstrations in the U.S. and indeed worldwide against the murders of Black people, such as Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and so many more, at the hands of police have emboldened “criminals” and spawned a nationwide crime wave.
The Ferguson Effect is a myth. Study after study shows no correlation between the crime rate and the Black Lives Matter movement. There is no evidence, either, that cops are killing fewer unarmed Black people. There does exist evidence, however, “that many officers unfairly singled out African Americans for stops and arrests, and too often used force that was unjustified.” (nytimes.com, Oct. 24)
What binds together these two slanders, one from Israel’s bloody leader and the other from the chief U.S. cop, is their goal: to undermine the growing strength of oppressed people to throw off their chains and to achieve liberation from the racist forces arrayed against them.
Young people today, however, both in occupied Palestine and the imperialist U.S., seem to be adhering in greater and greater numbers to the words of Malcolm X when it comes to Big Lies and the struggle: “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.”