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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 public.

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 Palestinians.

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 under a Creative Commons License.
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