IDF propaganda ignores occupation when explaining Palestinian violence (Updated)

on 28 Comments

The IDF has a brand new graphic. It appears they’ve embarked on an inflammatory propaganda campaign expunging themselves and Israel’s decades long occupation, apartheid, land theft, extrajudicial executions, administrative detention, home demolitions and systematically institutionalized oppression of Palestinian people, including imprisonment and torture of children, from responsibility for violent Palestinian resistance. In their fairytale world, it is Palestinian society, and not the elephant in the room — Israel’s occupation of Palestine — that “cultivates hate, violence, and a willingness to kill.”

Here’s the graphic:

Graphic: IDF Facebook page

Graphic: IDF Facebook page

Yep, they blame Palestinians for “institutionalized incitement“.  Needless to say this racist inciting propaganda, in English, implying a bigoted rational for resisting occupation, is directed at the international community. Heck, even Ban Ki-moon knows Palestinian frustration is “growing under the weight of a half century of occupation” and it’s “human nature” to resist occupation.


British human rights activist Gary Spedding (reference by Haaretz as a “veteran campaigner on Israel-Palestine” in a recent article on allegation of anti-Semitism at Oxford) has written numerous crucial tweets today critical of the IDF graphic. He also posted this 5 step list of intent regarding IDF objectives:


In conversation with Mondoweiss, Spedding elaborated:

 This kind of incitement is far more dangerous as it is often overlooked or ignored. We must scrutinize the IDF’s political advocacy with much greater care. We must remember that this is from an official spokesperson for the Israeli military — this is incitement and dehumanisation from an Israeli official.

A great deal of the propaganda that they promote is designed to justify or excuse serious human rights violations and the continued oppression of the Palestinian people. This kind of ‘othering’ is specifically designed for an international audience, encouraging us to be less caring about the systematic violation of Palestinian rights. We are taught that they are undeserving of our sympathy because they’re brought up to be terrorists. That it’s acceptable to kill them, and that we shouldn’t ask questions regarding due process or whether what is happening might be unlawful.

This is how the IDF operates. It convinces us that everything it does is for security – using this narrative it’s possible to justify and normalise just about any heinous act of barbarism or violence. The IDF spokesperson wants us to give them total impunity. We must not allow this to continue. There are valid human rights arguments which unravels this hasbara.



Hat tip Gary Spedding



About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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28 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    March 10, 2016, 3:06 pm

    OMG, Annie, that is hysterical! I first saw this on Twitter this morning and nearly busted out laughing. The IDF gets Billions every year, yet they outsource their hasbara to someone’s middle schooler.

    That’s right, it all starts when they give you that teddy bear with the rock(?)

    • Annie Robbins
      March 10, 2016, 3:37 pm

      blah chick, it occurs to me they think, after years and years of hammering the same basic message out to the international community, it’s going to convince us it’s true. this ‘kill a jew’ thing is stupid, redundant, manipulative and obsessive.

      no one could withstand decades of this oppression regardless of who is doing it. it has nothing to do with the oppressors being jewish and everything to do with the fact they are oppressing. if they were chinese (instead of jewish), palestinians would be resisting. but i suppose israel, and the idf, think the ‘kill a jew’ meme is somehow powerful messaging. but it doesn’t impress me in the least, after decades of this kind of anti anti semitism messaging. the claim of anti semitism (claim of victimhood) is their biggest crutch. their numero uno fallback position.

      and only a brainwashed idiot would fall for it.

      • a blah chick
        March 10, 2016, 4:23 pm

        I have often wondered why they waste our (and their) time with such obvious lies and distortions. Their own security people have said publicly that it’s the occupation fueling the violence so who are they trying to convince? It has to be “ammunition” for the Zionist diehards who flood Twitter and Facebook with stories about human shields and incitement. We spend so much time debunking these stories that the truth gets lost. Also it doesn’t help that the Pro-Israel people have better access to the MSM than we do.

      • Mooser
        March 10, 2016, 7:11 pm

        “and only a brainwashed idiot would fall for it.”

        I bet if you changed the head just a little, that last one’d be a bang-up logo for a barbecue place.
        It never occurs to the IDF that in a world awash with guns, what that mostly points out is how imprisoned the Palestinians are? No 2nd Amendment for them.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 10, 2016, 10:10 pm

        I bet if you changed the head just a little

        i’d have to check w/my editors ;) ha! too late anyway, but they have final say on all headlines either way and i doubt that one would float.

      • Marnie
        March 11, 2016, 10:21 am

        Only a brainwashed idiot would fall in love with it – remember?

      • Mooser
        March 11, 2016, 11:28 am

        “have final say on all headlines”

        When I see the guy with the chef’s knife, it looks like the logo for a barbecue place. Like he’s about to go slice some brisket, pull some pork or something.

  2. amigo
    March 10, 2016, 4:39 pm

    I dunno , sounds a bit desperate to me.Much like rearranging the deckchairs before the ship goes down.

    Anyone know where these slimy signs are to show up.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 10, 2016, 5:00 pm

      as far as i know, thus far they are only on line amigo. both at the iof blog and their FB page.

      i think it sounds desperate to me too. but gary spedding (seasoned british activist) who i hat tipped for the story (he was really tweeting up a storm about this earlier today and someone alerted me to his tweets w/the graphic, where i first saw it) thinks it’s very dangerous. his points have a lot of validity.

      hence, i contacted him for a statement and updated the article at the base.

  3. oldgeezer
    March 10, 2016, 5:47 pm

    I don’t see it as desperate so much as just more of the same old crap. The whinging of a two bit criminal state about Palestinian incitement while ignoring it’s own daily incitement, provocatiosns, illegal actions and outright murder of civilians. Just more of the same.

    The idf internal presentations to the knesset and press aren’t as childish and factually wrong.

    • amigo
      March 10, 2016, 6:34 pm

      Hello OG ,

      Israeli leaders /IDF and most Jewish Israeli citizens believe they are being forced to occupy the Palestinians, ergo they can come out with self serving garbage like this.They are always right and the rest of the world is wrong and antisemitic.This one of the main symptoms of narcissism.I bet the sales figures for mirrors are pretty low in Israel.

  4. bryan
    March 11, 2016, 1:52 am

    This is beyond laughable, infantile, pathetic, ludicrous, ridiculous, absurd, grotesque. Contrary to Spedding’s assertion of “a sophisticated propaganda campaign” this hatred of Jews begins at birth when your first fluffy toy contains a rock for the swaddling to hurl from his / her cradle???? They really have lost the plot, haven’t they? Talking of which, where’s Jackdaw when you want him?

  5. eljay
    March 11, 2016, 7:31 am

    Among other things, Zio-supremacist Jews and their religion-supremacist “Jewish State” have spent decades:
    – stealing, occupying and colonizing the lands of non-Jews;
    – oppressing, torturing and killing non-Jews;
    – destroying the lives and livelihoods of non-Jews;
    – refusing to honour their obligations under international law (including RoR of non-Jewish refugees).

    One would expect non-Jews to offer eternal gratitude or undying loyalty in return, but all they do is “stab a Jew”. It defies explanation.

  6. Ossinev
    March 11, 2016, 7:48 am

    To be fair and credit where credit is due it is marginally better than the Yahoo`s back of a fag packet cartoon bomb at the UN. What gives the game away and illustrates just how desperate and twisted these morons are is the teddy bear / rock insert.

    Now that is up there right alongside the best of the Nazi anti – Jewish tropes.

  7. gamal
    March 11, 2016, 8:41 am

    World War P

    I have never read anything so stupid in my entire life, it is satire proof, (sorry Mark) because it is itself the apogee of ridicule,

    at Birth ” You receive a stuffed animal with a stone to throw” ?? a great comfort to those who immolate Palestinian babies.

    This is Zionisms despair, this can only have been written and released, sorry John, by a confederacy of dunces,

    I wouldn’t fly in any helicopters with the officer responsible for this. Stupidity of this magnitude is a national threat, thanks Hunter.

    the sheer dribbling moronic malice of it.

    I saw Kates column they just gunning people down left right and center,

    Israel made it “Top of the world Ma”

    • a blah chick
      March 11, 2016, 4:56 pm

      “White Heat” is one of my all time favorite movies. That final scene is a perfect metaphor for how I think Zionism will end, in self-emolation.

  8. James Canning
    March 11, 2016, 2:02 pm

    Yes, in fact the OCCUPATION, and the steady illegal colonization programme of Jewish settlers in the West Bank, is the REAL PROBLE,M. A problem foolish American politicians help to enlarge, year after year.

  9. diasp0ra
    March 11, 2016, 4:09 pm

    This article has made me realize one very important thing:

    I was not issued a rock when I was born.

    Who do I sue for my compensation?

    • gamal
      March 11, 2016, 11:02 pm

      “I was not issued a rock when I was born.”

      get your rocks from Ulster

      “Cúchulainn made a pledge now that whenever he caught sight of either Ailill or Medb that he would let fly at them a stone from his sling.

      He lay in wait in the trees by the ford, and the host arrived and discovered the three dead warriors and the three charioteers Meslir, Meslaech and Meslethan.

      In rage and grief, Medb came down to the reed-strewn bank of the ford, her pet squirrel fretfully leaping around her shoulders. Cúchulainn let loose a shot south across the river and it struck the squirrel as it sat nestled into her neck. To this day that area of the river’s edge is called Méthe Tog, Squirrel Neck.

      Further up the river as it turned away to the east Ailill had been with his guard and a stone took the head off his pet bird, which also had been perched close to his neck, and that place of ground is now called Áth Méthe nEuin, the Bird Neck Ford. This is open to dispute, however, as some say that both creatures were perched on Medb’s shoulders when their heads were torn off. At this same time Reuin was drowned in a lake now called after him, but that is another story.

      Anyway, with the bodies of the men at the bank and the sudden death of the two animals, the army took shelter wherever they could find it, flattening on the ground behind bushes and trees and stones. And so they stayed until Ailill recovered somewhat and shouted for his men to rise from their cowardly concealment.

      ‘Find him! He cannot be far off!’ he ordered his son Maine, who selected a group of men near him to rise and start exploring the area. One caught a fleeting glimpse of Cúchulainn, however, and promptly dropped to the ground again, which prompted the others to do likewise in a sudden panic. When they recovered from their fright one of the braver men raised his head from the tall grass, and his head shattered in a spray of bone and brain.

      ‘You brave men!’ called out the jester Maenén. ‘I heard your boastful declarations last night. If I were you I would have taken his head by now!’ But his head flew from his shoulders as another stone winged from Cúchulainn’s sling.

      ‘From now on I’ll cut in two any who makes a joke of that youth. I swear by the god of my people I will!’ said Ailill. But they still waited for a long time until they were sure that Cúchulainn had left the area of the ford. Aillill then said they would depart the place and make all speed to Cuailnge, travelling day and night.

      ‘If this continues as it has done the youth will have killed a full two thirds of us before we get there,’ said Ailill as they started off.”

      Al-Hakawati could do the Tain, Cuchulain in Palestine, the Dun (Red) Bull of Cualnge, there are paralells.

      • diasp0ra
        March 12, 2016, 4:47 pm


        That was a fascinating read.

        Thanks Gamal!

  10. ritzl
    March 11, 2016, 5:09 pm

    Thanks Annie. Important.

    And at the risk (hahaha) of being redundant, this is why the distinction between “occupied territories” and “occupied Palestine” is critical. “Occupied Palestine” tells readers at a glance that Palestinians are resisting because their country is being stolen and are really angry about it.

    Using “Occupied Palestine” doesn’t explain everything but it does counter this kind of deliberately context-free BS for skimmers.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 11, 2016, 8:10 pm

      at the risk (hahaha) of being redundant

      no worries. i do recall this being an important issue for you. i don’t recall ever using the term occupied territories — and nothing comes up in a search of my comment archives to suggest i have. sometimes i reference palestine without saying occupied palestine. in this article i said israel’s occupation of palestine. anyway, it’s fine for you to remind people. i don’t think of your commenting pattern as redundant — unlike some other commenters ;)

      • ritzl
        March 11, 2016, 10:41 pm

        No. No. Sorry. That wasn’t about you at all.

        Just a general observation about the importance of countering the deliberate, pervasive, machine-like ambiguity like this graphic, with phrasing that is as specific, descriptive, meaningful, and concise as possible. Advocates for context and justice in Palestine don’t get as many chances to make their points.

        Great article. Thanks again.

  11. rosross
    March 12, 2016, 12:34 am

    Good post Annie.

  12. oldgeezer
    March 12, 2016, 11:47 am

    I thought facebook had a policy of taking down posts that incite and/or hate speech. Is this graphic still up?

    If I had the skills I’d work up a counter graphic. From birth you are taught that their homes and land are yours by virtue of their god. Your rabbispreach it’s ok to kill their children and babies. They destroy and vandalize your churches and graveyards. They imprison you and encircle you. They mow your lawn. They execute you without arrest.

    They claim victimhood and wonder why you’re angry.

  13. Talkback
    March 13, 2016, 4:10 am

    Nakba denial is as despicable as Holocaust denial.

    • rugal_b
      March 13, 2016, 9:42 am

      Agreed. Let us not forget also the ongoing holocaust against the natives of this country, as well those in Australia. Palestinians have the birthright to their land in Palestine, Natives and those with Native ancestry have the actual birthright to the land on America, which they are being denied by the white settler government through the use of state violence and population transfer from Europe. Exactly like what Israel is doing, but in a bigger, more continental scale.

      We can’t neglect our own complicity in genocide and continual oppression by myopically focusing on the Zionist atrocities in Palestine. Palestinians won’t be free until all under oppression are liberated, so we must not lose sight of the big picture here.

    • MHughes976
      March 13, 2016, 4:27 pm

      It’s rather hard to deny that the Nakba happened. The 1948 Palestinians aren’t there and the State of Israel,is there, proud of all that it has done. It’s all too easy to fabricate and proclaim pseudo-justifications for that damnable event. That is the equivalent of saying that the holocaust happened and a good thing too, something I do not expect to encounter often.

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