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The media and Gaza

‘No profits in peace’

Published Dec 12, 2010 11:04 PM

WW presents the fifth and last installment of “The media and Gaza,” a chapter from an upcoming book on the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people of Gaza who are fighting for self-determination.

Lockheed Martin, with sales in 2008 of $42.7 billion, is the world’s largest weapons contractor. It makes the Hellfire precision-guided missile system, reportedly used in Gaza. Israel also has 350 F-16 jets, some purchased from Lockheed Martin. The F-16 is considered the most sought-after fighter plane. Israel’s fleet is the largest outside the U.S. (Indymedia Corporate Watch, 2009)

Lockheed Martin has a $4 billion deal to co-produce with the Israeli military a version of the F-16 fighter plane called the Sufa (meaning “storm” in Hebrew). Production begins near Tel Aviv and is finished in Ft. Worth, Texas. (Frida Berrigan)

Lockheed Martin has interlocking directors with the Washington Post and Gannett.

Caterpillar: delivered bulldozer that killed Rachel Corrie

With more than $30 billion in assets, Caterpillar is the world’s largest maker of construction equipment. It is one of scores of U.S. companies that are technically not weapons makers but whose products are links in the chain that makes Israeli aggression possible or especially devastating.

Caterpillar makes the D9 military bulldozer, designed for use in invasions of built-up areas. Since 1967, Israel has used these bulldozers to destroy tens of thousands of Palestinian homes and uproot hundreds of thousands of trees. Caterpillar has profited from the construction of the West Bank apartheid separation wall.

The D9 bulldozer was extensively used by Israel in its 2001-2002 Operation Defensive Shield attack, particularly during the invasion of the West Bank town of Jenin, where countless homes were destroyed by bulldozers and a disabled man was crushed to death.

U.S. activist Rachel Corrie was run over and murdered by an Israeli soldier driving a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in 2003 as she tried to stop it from destroying a Palestinian home in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza.

Caterpillar interlocks with the Tribune Company, owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Raytheon: No profits in peace

Raytheon, with annual revenues of $20 billion, supplies electronic equipment for the West Bank apartheid wall. Since 1998 Raytheon has sold Israel more than 200 AIM-120 advanced, medium-range, air-to-air missiles at a total cost of more than $100 million, as well as 14 Beech King B200 fixed-wing aircraft for $125 million and a Patriot missile system for $73 million, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

Raytheon made the 100 bunker-buster bombs flown by the U.S. to Israel at the height of the bombardment of Lebanon in 2006. (Counterpunch, May 28, 2008) These weapons were also used in Gaza.

This company makes the Tomahawk missile, the Sidewinder and other high-tech missiles that Israel has in its arsenal. These missiles have very sophisticated, heat-seeking targeting components that interface with GPS. (Frida Berrigan)

Raytheon is jointly marketing one of these missiles, the Black Sparrow ballistic target missile, with the Israeli weapons-maker Rafael. Raytheon’s program manager for this project, Adam Cherrill, actually advocates further expansion of “Greater Israel” and believes Israel has “a far stronger claim to Judea and Samaria, which is considered the West Bank, than the Arabs.” (Counterpunch, Feb. 11, 2003)

This might seem like Cherrill has been “unduly influenced” by Israel. The wars against Arabs that follow from this view, however, would bring billions in profits to Raytheon. After all, weapons are made to be destroyed and then to be ordered again. For weapons makers, there are no profits to be made in peace.

Raytheon has an interlocking director with the New York Times.

The media have developed selective amnesia when it comes to the Palestinian people because, like all corporations, they are drawn to greater profits like a moth to the flame. U.S. companies make the profits when Israel makes the kill.

The corporate media are in on the killing. They use their vast communication fleets to bombard the population here with fiction that confuses people and disarms them politically. By finding ways to justify Israeli aggression, they help pave the way politically for the next Israeli attack on Palestinians.

Media-industrial-military behemoth has soft underbelly

But this corporate media empire cannot fool all the people all the time. Its weak underbelly is that it underestimates the power of a people united and determined to resist. All the weapons in the U.S. arsenal couldn’t bomb Gaza into submission. Gaza still stands strong, and its resistance has inspired solidarity from millions of people. Many of these people are also fighting for their own rights, often against the very same corporations that profit from Gaza’s anguish.

Another weakness of the corporate media is that the World Wide Web and other forms of instant communication they dominate can be used by the Palestinian people and those in solidarity with their struggle. Through online blogs, posting photos and YouTube videos, Facebook, Twitter, e-mails and texting, activists have provided instant coverage of their solidarity trips, their reception in different countries and the conditions in Gaza.

Palestinians from the Occupied Territories have spoken directly to U.S. demonstrations via satellite cell phones. Freedom Flotilla videographers have posted their footage of the Israeli commando raid on the web.

There is a people’s media that is breaking the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX blockade of the truth. They will not be stopped.