Don't get used to it
A recent study by Glasgow University on what
the British public knows about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
turned up some damning answers. The majority thought that the
Palestinians were occupying Israeli land instead of the
reality, which is the other way around. Some 80 percent of the
British people get their news through television, which has
prompted a look at how television news ends up disinforming the
We predict that if a similar study were made in the U.S., it
would show similar results. The media here, if anything, is
even more deceptive in concealing the roots of the
longest-running conflict in the Middle East. That's because
Washington has an even bigger stake in the struggle than
London, having funded Israel's militaristic growth and
expansion almost single-handedly. Similarly, in Anglo-U.S.
domination of the region's oil resources, it is Wall Street
that now holds by far the lion's share.
It is only the stubborn resistance of the Palestinian people
themselves that has brought this widespread media bias to
light. They now are struggling to keep Ariel Sharon's apartheid
wall from so fragmenting their communities that the people
could be forced to leave their homes and land for lack of jobs
and access to schools, hospitals and other necessary services.
Every day Palestinian workers, students and people seeking
medical help have to spend hours at Israeli checkpoints before
they can reach destinations only a short distance from their
homes--but now on the other side of the wall.
This is how Sharon and the Israeli right expect to continue
Israel's expansion and land grab at the expense of the
The results of this British study recall once again how the
capitalist media here have warped public perception of the U.S.
role in Iraq. Up through last year, most people in the U.S.
thought Iraq was somehow deeply implicated in 9/11. The media
had drummed into them as fact the sly innuendoes the Bush
administration used to justify a war intended to bring that
country to its knees. Many a young soldier went to war against
Iraq thinking he/she was defending this country against
terrorism. Only when it became clear that the Iraqi people
weren't going to succumb to U.S. domination did enough reality
get into the media to bring down the poll results.
But, then, wasn't it said a century ago that truth is the
first casualty of war? That should be taught in every high
school history class.
Truth in class society is usually what the ruling class
wants it to be. In the days of U.S. slavery, the "truth" that
was spouted from every pulpit, every newspaper and every
political tribune in the slave states was that owning human
beings of African descent, forcing them to exist in inhumane
shacks, selling their children and loved ones when the market
for slaves was profitable, and working them half to death were
all part of the so-called God-given natural order. It took the
huge social upheaval culminating in the Civil War to bring the
real class truth to the fore.
Today's ruling class truth says there will always be
extremely rich and extremely poor nations and individuals,
there will always be war, there will always be exploitation and
profit, there will always be discrimination and oppression
based on national origins, sex, gender expression, sexuality or
disability. So get used to it.
The Palestinian people refuse to get used to it. So do the
Iraqis. As the U.S. imperialists over-reach around the world,
more and more people are rejecting the worsening status quo and
deciding to sacrifice and struggle for a better world. Our
movement is growing. Let the ruling classes get used to it.
Reprinted from the July 1, 2004, issue of
Workers World newspaper
This article is copyrighted
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