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The “New Normal”…the NY Times Magazine Weighs in the Israeli Occupation; the Palestinian Narrative Hits the U.S. Mainstream

April 1, 2019

Palestinians in Israeli prisons

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It is close to an acknowledgement that seventy-odd years of U.S. blind support and financial aid to Israel has left the United States in a hole in the Middle East where – if the results of the failed U.S. led effect to partition Syria are any indication – U.S. influence is on the wane. It suggests that much of the rationale often offered for the US-Israeli connection (“the only democracy in the Middle East,” nonsense about “shared values”) is bogus.

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Yesterday, the Sunday NY Times Magazine published a long piece “How the Battle Over Israel and Anti-Semitism Is Fracturing the American Politics.” The title should read “How the Battle of Israel and the Palestinians is Fracturing the American Politics” but it is still too much for the NY Times to acknowledge the Palestinian cause in the title of an article. It is a  long and detailed article, more honest from where I am sitting than most pieces written on the subject that the Times has published, although recently, if the op-ed written by Michele Alexander suggests, “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine” there has been the beginnings of a shift.

Still, that said, this is, by any standard – as the friend who sent it to me by email noted “absolutely astonishing” – and I agree. Everybody should read it. It’s basically yet another indication of how – when it comes to public views – there has been a sea change in attitudes among the US public on Israel and Palestine. It concentrates on how those changes have taken place within the Democratic Party and on that score is accurate enough. But the change in public perceptions, the growing sympathy for the Palestinian cause, and the understanding that the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian territories is an egregious violation of human rights, and a down right case of ethnic cleansing has grown significantly.
But the article is more than that. It is close to an acknowledgement that seventy-odd years of U.S. blind support and financial aid to Israel has left the United States in a hole in the Middle East where – if the results of the failed U.S. led effect to partition Syria are any indication – U.S. influence is on the wane. It suggests that much of the rationale often offered for the US-Israeli connection (“the only democracy in the Middle East,” nonsense about “shared values”) is bogus. All the mechanisms Israel and its U.S. supporters have used to deny the Palestinian reality are wobbling. Nothing can whitewash the punishing horror of what Israel is doing in Gaza with U.S. weapons nor the thousand insults Israel commits daily against the Palestinians in the West Bank. It turns out that the extraordinary resilience of the Palestinian people is breaking through AIPAC’s p.r blitz and John Hagee’s proto-fascist “Christian” misuse of the bible to defend the Occupation.
To read this in what is probably the main ideological shaper of news – second to none even after all these years – (it leaves FOX news far behind as far as I am concerned) in the country, is to understand the degree to which public “perceptions” have changed.. and that when it comes to this issue, there is as a late friend of mine put it “a new normal”… As I have noted elsewhere recently… the new normal is the result of more than half a century of peace and solidarity work on behalf of the Palestinian people and the continual efforts to jab away at deconstructing the Zionist narrative. We should not be surprised that besides the peace movement folk that have contributed to this new understanding, that it is people of color in this country, Blacks, Browns, Reds that have led the way and will continue to so…
One Comment leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    April 1, 2019 8:57 am

    Fantastic, it would be wonderful if we could live to see justice for Palestine. Hopefully things are speeding up. Thanks for the article.

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