In 1988 there was Rabin’s order to break the bones of stone-throwers and the resultant videos of soldiers holding youngster’s arms across a large rock for another soldier to drop another in order to break the bone. The videos were so graphic and compelling most media jumped on the story and Americans were disgusted and outraged.
Then there was the Sabra Shatila massacre and videos in 1982 that made Israel look terrible in the eyes of most and led the news for a week until the Tylenol contamination scare bumped it.
How to understand these media events come and go without bringing Palestinians closer to freedom? I think, its more fundamentally not about “the Benjamins” and the “alliance” but about the dominate narrative so assiduously cultivated that the hidden agenda is Israel’s existence, and “Israel’s existence is in question and has the right to defend its self!”.
Many Americans have long understood Israelis are heavy-handed, arrogant, even “disturbed” by their past and do things that are “unforgivable”. That does not fundamentally alter the equation because so many also believe the “ingathering of the Jews” was foretold as a precursor to the second coming of Christ… God’s will so to speak. That belief along with perceptions of history justify Israel’s existence and form the foundation for political support… regardless of Israel unacceptable behaviors.
Altering this narrative, this “weapon” for Greater Israel, that has held back civilization and dominated the American political landscape, should be front and center. It’s foolhardy to think it can be done through force or coercion, especially while the existence/defending narrative has legs.
Changing this narrative will likely not be accomplished when acts of murder are celebrated and rewarded, even though small in number. All violence has become an enemy of peaceful co-existence. I can think of no more effective way to change the narrative than to reach for the moral high ground with a disciplined campaign for human rights to stand side by side with BDS.
Phil writes the Tlaib/Omar affair go traction because they were elected representatives. I’d modify that to say the episode forced MC to avoid colliding with principles Americans hold dear. To avoid the hypocrite charge. When American values take center stage, that alters the equation.
Yes, BDS is non-violent and draws on the strategies of the American and South African human rights movements. But, it will likely not be as effective until it is accompanied by securing the moral high ground with an organized human rights movement as they did. Campaigning for human rights discombobulates the defending narrative… and Americans will develop a new understanding.
Also, there is the game-changing letter by 21 Israeli lawmakers asking Congress to abandon their safe position calling for a two-state solution. That will force many to “reposition” themselves on the matter. The IP conflict is now in flux and serious discussion and debate on the nature of “the struggle are in order”.