The indefatigable Phil Weiss has written an excellent summary of Israeli propaganda and how (under the Hebrew name hasbara its has run its course.
Israel always knew the theft of Palestinian land and the ethnic cleansing of 750,00 indigenous people in over 500 villages was indefensible so it had to embark on a massive hasbara campaign with propagandists in the only country that mattered, the USA.
In the post 1948 world this was easy. The “Christian West” suffering under holocaust guilt gladly sacrificed Palestine. Granted the largely rural population had nothing to do with the Jewish tragedy but as Edward Said wrote presciently in Orientalism, Arabic people were deemed expendable in this regard, “This was made by a European power … about a non-European territory … in a flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority resident in that territory”. The Balfour Declaration of 1917
And how about Lord Balfour’s shocking arrogance:
The Four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land’.
President Wilson”s right of self-determination was ignored.
The Palestinians who comprised 96% of the country in 1900 had been devastated in their first intifada of 1936-1939. Their revolt was against Great Britain complicit in its imperial arrogance of handing over this area to the Zionists (largely Russian Jews) as part of the Empire’s military adventures.That this called for the annihilation of the Palestinian people was irrelevant.The promise of Balfour that nothing would be done that would prejudice the existing civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine, was totally ignored, Also ignored were the protestations of Palestinian leadership
In the Third Palestinian Congress in Haifa in 1920. It rejected the British government’s plans to support the Zionist project as a violation of international law and of the rights of the indigenous population. But who listened to Arabs at this time?
Then came the Nakba the catastrophe of 1948, the silence of the West. then 1967, the 6 Day War, more Palestinian land taken and now 500,000 illegal settlers living there. They can vote in Israeli elections but indigenous Palestinians, no vote.
Then the shock to Israel, the computer, the launch of omnipresent multimedia, the cell phone, You tube, all laying bare the lies of Israeli democracy, the brutal day to day life of Palestinians, the revolt of young Jews of conscience more attuned to to the universal values of Torah Judaism than their elders. A blogger below in response to Weiss frames this well:
After a while it gets harder for the hasbara to keep trying to defend the indefensible. How long can apologists in the US media, keep pretending what the world sees in live pictures, unarmed civilians being killed by precision bombs and snipers, is all the fault of the victims. The justifications for massacre after massacre, is sounding lamer, weaker, and it makes those carrying the water for Israel, look like they are full of BS.
Now if the Congress can find the courage to stop the aid, weapons, and unwavering support, going to the zionists, and stop enabling them, the end game will be swifter.