Propaganda and indoctrination Recent blog posts

Propaganda and indoctrination

I am an Israeli Sabra researching Ontology.  I am becoming more and more fascinated with propaganda and indoctrination


Prof Karl Rogers, the director of the Dewey The John Dewey Center for Democracy and Education

asked me

how do we avoid the partisan assertion of bias (propaganda), self-indulgent solipsism, or the retreat into relativism?

And I am reflecting and posing very difficult questions that clash with everything the Zionist narrative is emerging into as this conflict gets out of hand.


This is my personal blog that helps me with my own research and teaching practices, and does not represent my institution or its views.  Except that I live by and abide by my institution welcoming of democratic, pluralistic discourse, freedom of speech and  critical thinking and challenging.  Never again we shall have an apartheid here in South Africa and anywhere in the world that is combined with propaganda, indoctrination and terror.  Challenging and criticism of the mainstream view is essential.


This whole Middle East conflict is one large propaganda game. And it is sickening –

I speak Hebrew, not Arabic - which is a part of the problems.  We were taught literary Arabic and most of the time we were allowed and left to draw and chat.  This was obviously not allowed in the other lessons. I went to excellent schools in Israel that my experience with SA education shows me how lucky I was.  I am listening to the Israeli radio, read Israeli blogs and many talkbacks, and look at the recurring themes and threads that come up.


I value Israel's great achievement in science, healthcare, welfare (as much Netanyahu and Likud did not manage to destroy), education (ditto) and technology.


I am challenging a lot of the narrative I grew up on as propaganda and indoctrination to get Israelis into the army, accept the poorer life security of shelters, job tenure, growing socio-economic inequalities, and to remain in Israel and support the regime and the elite that is becoming more and more neo-liberal.


The same discourse exist and getting worse and worse. 




I am asking and radicalize my questions to prove a point about propaganda and indoctrination


Are the Arabs apparently really all bloodthirsty beasts who are taught from birth to kill all Jews and us Israelis are just perfect civilization who try to cultivate those beasts and making them human?


Do they only understand force?


Is the only way to deal with them and protect Israelis and Jewish life to really hit them so hard it will serve as a deterrent to be learned from and behave, as politicians from the right continuously tell us on the Israeli radio?  Isn't this dehumanization the Palestinians into animals in the sense that the only way to tame and teach them something and for them to understand something is through negative reinforcement and I suppose positive reinforcement by not hitting them and giving them carrots like releasing prisoners, allowing more food and materials into Gaza? Don't people understand the dehumanization and degradation in treating them in this way? But, then part of the message and indoctrination is that all Palestinians, Arabs and now Muslims are animals and beast who are not human beings like us, and not as moral and kind as us? Look at what happens in Syria and Iraq, the propagandist says. Of course, as they are not human, their blood and pain is not a human one that is equal to our blood.   So we can shoot at the kid who throws stones, at the shadows on the wall. So the life of an Israeli is worth a lot more than the life and blood of an Arab.  An Israeli security men will not dare harming a Jewish settler or a Jewish child that throws stones.


Is any Arab who dares to express a different view really destined to be killed?  We are given Saadath as an exmple. But Saadath was murdered because of internal Egyptians motive and discontentment?  


Did the Palestinians really vote for Hamas because they hate us so much? No! That is false.  They voted for Hamas because the PLO is extremely corrupt and they were fed up by this corruption and wanted to prove a point to the PLO.  It was nothing to do with us.  Not everything has to do with us?


No! they are not democratic because they did not vote for the party we wanted them to! The PLO/Fatah.  We know, After all, we are the only liberal democracy in the whole Middle East.   Together with our big daddy. Ask the South Americans about the great American liberal democracy. 


Are we really that innocent? Are all the Arabs just inhuman beasts who want nothing else than to throw us into the sea and kill us?  This is their favourite pastime. Indeed.  They can think of nothing more fun than protest and fight one of the world's great military, industrial and economic powers with very primitive weapons and face a certain death.


Isn’t anything they say about the Naqba, their misery over the last century factitious and nothing more than excuse to kill a poor little Jew?




Whose interest does this propaganda and narrative serve?


Are we not twisting history too much and eliminate the Palestinians from our shared history in this land?


Is another Auschwitz really a possibility? Is another holocaust a real possibility for such a powerful military and economic force, especially when facing a few hundred individuals with such primitive, homemade, metal stick?  Isn't this an exploitation of the Shoa and belittling it, desecrating it?  Am I really a Kapo and a new anti-Semite for writing this?  Is any one who is telling the Israelis, stop, think about what you are doing and saying really a new anti-Semite, a lefty liberal and the new word invented (Smol, which a play on Small and Smol (left in Hebrew))?  Are we really collaborators with the enemy for refusing to take part in this propaganda and indoctrination game? Isn't the war against me and us who refuse to follow this propaganda and indoctrination discursive game part of the propaganda and indoctrination? And an attempt to scare us off and alienate us? 


Can Israelis really call themselves/ourselves a democracy when they call me/us Kapos and enemy collaborators during war that need/s to be re-educated, persecuted or executed for interfering with the national moral.  All because I refuse to heed and play along with the propaganda? 


Does the whole world really want us in Auschwitz?  Doesn't it have better things to wish for?


Isn't this terror of being placed in Auschwitz not paranoia, and a pathology that is being exploited?  By whom? Many arm dealers and manufactures are making a fortune?  Among others with economic, social and political interests


Sometimes - it all seems to me a brutally and sickened sexual game and conquest when an army person, or politician, not particularly smart or paid attention to intellectually, is getting sexually excited and arouse by the talk, his own discourse on force teaching a lesson, deterrent, destruction and elimination of those subhuman bloodthirsty terrorists.  


 Any South Africans remember this discourse about the people now in government, leading the country, the new democracy.


Recently, female politicians, or politicians-want-to-be and military  women compete with the men and use even more brutal sexual conquest, shouting at poor non-Jewish economic immigrants, refugees, Arabs, homosexuals, and lefty liberals, threatening them and using aggression that men can only wonder about.  We still remember Golda Meir and her actions in the early 1970s and her aggressive male discourse about the Palestinians and the Oriental Jewish protestors.


 Shoah and Auschwitz is yelled at anyone at any discourse about the Middle East.  The only people who collectively desecrate "the memory of the six million Jews (actually more), and millions of non-Jews,  are the Israeli Jews.  Sick.  Go and universalize the lessons of the Shoah as human rights and equality, dignity and humanity for all..



It seems to me that some Israelis enjoy it all in some sadistic way.  They feel meaning. They feel belong, and a sense of  comradely and fraternity that they do not experience in their normal lives? They love playing the victimsed poor little Jews that the whole world wants to destroy.  We are a small nation surrounded by enemies. 

Is that really true?  Israel is a very powerful economic and military power that acts like a little poor bullied Jew in the Shtele of Eastern Europe, or at least a Dreifus.  I am very proud of our tremendous achievements in science, technology, healthcare, high education, literacy, IT.  Living in a poor African country and outside the traditional developed world for the first time in my life, I appreciate and value Israel's achievements very much.  Perhaps getting so powerful and advanced too quickly whilst maintaining the poor victim discourse is the problem here.


Those days are over.  And it is a pathology to act like a bullied poor little Jew when you are the fourth military and nuclear power in the world.

 Apparently, we represent the eternally victimized Jewish people.  Any Jew who says that he or she is a citizen of the country he/she lives in, and sees Israel as the home of Israelis, both Jews and non-Jewish, is called a self-hating Jew and a Kapo collaborator. 


What right does Israel have to speak for the Jews abroad? Who gave it to them? It is a self-declared right.  Which came first the chicken or the egg? 

Are Jews in Europe and elsewhere being hurt and targeted because of  their association with Israel, or  because of anti-Semitism as the well-oiled propaganda says?  Another propaganda.  The task of any liberal democracy is to defend and protect its citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender.  The French and the EU governments are doing it exceptionally well.  Much better than the way Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, does it with its Palestinian minority.  I still recall the graffiti "Death to the Arabs" on my Jerusalem wall that stayed there for months after I complained.    




Are we really doing any good to our children and people by doing this distortion, or biased and this  partisan assertion of bias (propaganda), self-indulgent solipsism, or the retreat into relativism?l?


Is it fair to them?


When is enough enough? At one point we will go and shout  - Will you stop this narrative assertion of propaganda?  And the propagandists will shout back - You are nothing but sick and mentally ill - based on what mental criteria? - self-hating Jews and new anti-Semites. And I will shout back - I had enough of this propaganda.  Stop it.


Isn't there a link between recent and growing corruption scandals, growing inequalities, difficulties for people to find decent shelters and good working conditions and the very military propaganda against the Arabs? 


Isn't it a disguise and excuse and a way to indoctrinate people into accepting their poorer quality of life and wellbeing and security and to be free in their country, as the national anthem states, dismissing of course, the very large non-Jewish Palestinians living inside Israel 1948 borders by talking about the Jewish soul and Zion?


What do we do about propaganda discourse? - challenging it continuously, refusing to play along with it, writing about it, questioning it, dialoguing with the Palestinians, reading their poetry, stories, novels, in any language. 



And the Palestinians are most welcome to do the same exercise of posing difficult questions in Arabic.  I am an Israeli, Hebrew is my home native language.  And this is my critical reflections on my identity and country.


I am saying this as another trend now of the propaganda is to send critiques and criticisers to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt or Libya and see how wonderful Israel is for being so kind to kill only 20 Palestinians a day and not hundreds  a day.    I refer them to google Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Iranians or Egyptians' blogs and read what those bloggers say.  And yes Arabs can blog and be critical about their regimes.  I think it is awful what is happening there.  But I speak Hebrew and know my own identity and ontology.

And we shall see each other as human beings wanting to lead a good and fulfilling life together in this bloody land. 




 Will it hurt us to listen to their misery and cry and understand it?  Now that we are so powerful economically and militarily?


Israel will be a much better place by changing the disk - as they say in Hebrew.  It really grew too boring and tiresome.  Could it exist without this discourse?  Yes, South Africa did.  Just reflect and think.  And make demands.

Posted by Alon Serper on 18 July 2014 11:26:11

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