Nobody Who Gets Gaza Wrong Is Worth Listening To: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

I saw a comment from an Israel defender saying “You just lack the intellect to comprehend the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!”

Just in the last few days we learned that Israeli snipers have been deliberately picking off children in Gaza by shooting them in the head, that Israeli troops summarily executed a prisoner in handcuffs after sending him into a hospital to deliver a message to evacuate, and that Egypt has begun constructing refugee camps in the Sinai Desert to facilitate the ethnic cleansing of Gazans.

“Complexities”. This isn’t complex.

“It’s complicated” is just some nonsense people say about things they don’t want you looking at too closely, like their dysfunctional relationship or their active genocide.

I’ve actually stopped following people for getting Gaza wrong. People I’d previously followed for years. I disagree with literally everyone I follow on some issues at some times, but Gaza quickly became my red line. If you can’t get that one right, nothing else you have to say is worth a damn.

I’ve never done that before, made a single-issue red line like that. In anti-imperialist circles you normally have to accept that a lot of people who get one issue right will get other issues wrong — someone who’s right on Israel-Palestine might swallow propaganda about Russia, someone who’s good on Ukraine and Syria might swallow the propaganda on China, etc. I also frequently have ideological differences with people I agree with on foreign policy, like US libertarians.

But Gaza is just SO obvious, such a clear-cut black and white case of right and wrong, that I have to assume there’s something seriously wrong with your internal navigation system if you can’t see it. If the teens on TikTok can see it but a professional foreign policy commentator cannot, then there’s something wrong with that professional foreign policy commentator.

And after four months I have no regrets. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I try to cultivate diverse and heterodox information sources, but not so diverse and heterodox that it thinks genocide and ethnic cleansing are fine. Keep an open mind but not so open your brain falls out, as they say.

Next time the US-centralized empire is preparing to stage a “humanitarian intervention” to rescue the people of some resource-rich nation from their evil tyrannical overlords, remember how they backed an open genocide in Gaza.

The claim that it’s Hitlery to say true facts about the things Israel is doing and the claim that everyone Israel wants to bomb is secretly Hamas are like lies that a child would make up if you put a child in charge of administering propaganda.

Whenever I’m sad about a musician I like having died before their time, I comfort myself with the thought that at least they didn’t live long enough to become another Bono.

All you have to do to ensure that the so-called “free press” function as propaganda services for the western empire is make sure the mass media elevate people who are loyal to the empire while denying a voice to those who oppose it. That’s all it takes.

And that’s exactly what happens. You can’t get a prominent job in the mass media if you oppose the profound evils the US and its allies are inflicting upon our species around the world, if you seek the dismantling of the empire, if you endorse the end of capitalism. You’ll never get a notice saying “YOU ARE BARRED FROM ALL MAINSTREAM PLATFORMS ON ORDERS OF THE EMPIRE” — you’ll just find yourself unable to get work. You’ll encounter locked door after locked door while watching your peers who toe the imperial line shoot to the top.

This doesn’t happen as part of any monolithic grand conspiracy for the most part; it primarily happens because those who are wealthy enough to control a media platform of major influence are also wealthy enough to have a vested interest in maintaining the political status quo upon which their wealth is premised.

In the early 20th century Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays began his work showing that the public can be made docile and compliant via mass-scale psychological manipulation. Flash forward a century and we’re in a mind-controlled dystopia that is saturated to the gills with a constant deluge of propaganda, and we’re allowing those who rule over us to inflict unfathomable horrors on our fellow humans in our name.

If we were living in a truth-based society instead of one where our understanding of the world is obfuscated by propaganda, government secrecy, censorship, Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation, and the exclusion of dissident voices from all major platforms, none of this would be happening. The powerful wouldn’t be able to manipulate us into sitting idly by while they commit a genocide in Gaza, or while they prepare to extradite Julian Assange to a US prison for the crime of good journalism. There are a whole lot more of us than there are of them, and if we didn’t consent to their actions they’d never dare stand against us. Our consent for this has been carefully engineered by those who have a vested interest in maintaining it.

Israel-Palestine has long been a kind of gateway drug for anti-imperialist sentiment in the west. People see that their government is backing something horrible and their media are lying about it, and they get curious where else that’s been happening and their eyes snap open.

Gaza has poured rocket fuel on this phenomenon. For months our social media feeds have been full of glaringly obvious evidence that a profound evil is being inflicted upon our fellow humans with the full support of our governments and with the propaganda cover of our media, in a much clearer and easy to understand way than the plight of the Palestinians has looked at other times. And a huge number of westerners are having their “Are we the baddies?” moment because of this.

It’s only a matter of time before this moment of clarity starts translating to other aspects of western foreign policy. Russia. China. The middle east. Latin America. Africa. Millions killed by US-led wars of aggression in the 21st century alone. Hundreds of US military bases circling the planet. Nuclear brinkmanship. Starvation sanctions. Proxy warfare. Staged coups and color revolutions. Nonstop election interference. The US empire working relentlessly to subvert and destroy any nation who disobeys it, anywhere in the world.

Already we’re seeing the Biden administration’s attacks on Yemen, Iraq and Syria receiving way more pushback than such aggressions normally would, because those who’ve been shaken awake by Gaza understand those acts of military violence are related to Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians. Their consciousness has already begun to expand.

It’s not going to get any easier for the empire from here. Those eyes that have been opened will not be closed again. Insight beyond the veil of propaganda and information distortion is only going to penetrate more and more deeply. The imperial narrative managers certainly have their work cut out for them.

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