This is a guest post by “Maror”.
The background to this post concerns a speech given by a young English girl, Leanne Mohamad, in the framework of a debate competition. The speech was nothing more than an anti-Israel propaganda video, yet it received first place in the regional rounds. A pro-Israeli blogger, Edgar Davidson, wrote to the organizers in protest, who replied to him that the speech was going to be disqualified in any case because it violated their basic rules. However, because Edgar had publicized the problems with the video, it all went downhill from there. Read on for more.
A new version of a well-established strategy
Up until about the mid-1970s, the world in general could clearly see that Israel was a tiny country faced with a large number of implacable enemies.
But following the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Israel’s Arab neighbors realized they were going to have a very hard time destroying Israel militarily so they developed an ingenious new strategy: Replace the image of “plucky little Israel facing 5 large Arab armies” in the world’s imagination with that of “expansionist, powerful Israel attacking plucky little Palestinians.”
This strategy has, as we all know, succeeded beyond our wildest nightmares, and it is now accepted as axiomatic that Israel is the Goliath to the Palestinians’ David, while their powerful backers are completely invisible to the average onlooker.
If you haven’t seen it yet, please look at this take-down of Leanne’s speech by Brian of London, a blogger with Israellycool:
Watching the storm on social media in the last few days surrounding the polished, well-delivered lie-laden “ISIS recruitment” speech of British schoolgirl Leanne Mohamad, I am struck by the parallels.
Here we have a talented teenage girl living in a comfortable London suburb, attending a school that specializes in the Performing Arts and whose tuition fee alone is almost £21,000 per year (as of academic year 2014/2015):
Seniors includes age group 12 – 19 years old or students in class 7th – 12th. In Wanstead High School London fee for senior students is higher than juniors. The tuition fee is £6972 [per term]. Fee does not include other charges. Other charges are based on their uses. [my emphasis]
This puts Leanne squarely in the comfortable middle class of a comfortable Western democracy–a privileged position by any criterion.
Her speech was a masterful mélange of implication, misdirection, and downright lies–in short, a formidable piece of demonization against Israel. Building on her own undoubted talent, her coaches have trained her very well to present a moving and convincing blood libel.
Although Leanne has been groomed and is backed by a large and well-organized propaganda machine that has been operating and growing for decades, the fact that a 15-year old has been weaponized for this war of public opinion means our outcry against her lies is framed in social media as “nasty Zionists harass and abuse defenseless refugee girl.” Edgar Davidson, one of the first to delve into this story, has been viciously attacked on his blog and on Twitter; Brian Thomas, who created the anger-fueled rebuttal video above, has likewise been receiving abuse (including death threats) and, as of this writing, has been banned from Facebook for 24 hours.
Once again, the “poor, defenseless Palestinians facing massive Zionist forces” is working its propaganda magic in the minds of millions.
I would like to end on a less depressing note, but I’m afraid I can’t think of one. I would only encourage you to sign the petition to the Jack Petchey Foundation to Keep Hate Speech out of UK Schools.
Maror, I’m not sure that “thank you” is the correct term for this rather horrifying post, but I welcome your bringing this issue of propaganda and weaponizing children in the fight against Israel to the public eye. If we bury our heads in the sand we will never win the war.
David Collier, in Applauding the Nakba, comes to the same conclusion as Edgar Davidson – that there is no future for the Jews in the UK. He very coolly and deliberately writes:
This isn’t a forewarning of imminent doom, nor is seen as the result of an irreversible trend. It is simply a logical analysis of the river’s current, the shape of the valley, and the input of ancestral memories, stirring a reflexive, Darwinian urge to flee.
He also has advice for us and for those who hate us:
There is only one thing you need to remember when you hear the adoration of the nakba crowd. The alternative to ‘nakba’ was a second holocaust. The only way the Arabs would not be commemorating their ‘nakba’ today, would be if they could celebrate the annihilation of the Jewish presence. Either/ Or, take your pick. It really is that simple.
The applauding has to stop.
But are the people who need to listen paying attention?