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Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States

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“The Occupation of the American Mind” documents how the US major media present Americans with the Zionist propaganda version of the Israel-Palestine conflict. “It’s very easy to blame the victims, it’s very easy to pull out a terrorist label… It’s exmemely difficult to do make clear to people that is basically a propaganda’s story…”

The “Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States” is an excellent documentary (2016) showing how the characterizations of the Israel-Palestine conflict that Americans are familiar with is essentially equivalent to the false narratives presented by Zionist propagandists. Despite receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from those who have actually seen it, The Occupation of the American Mind has been repeatedly attacked and misrepresented by right-wing pressure groups and outright ignored by virtually all mainstream media outlets and North American film festivals. To bypass this campaign of misrepresentation and suppression, the production has decided to make the film available for free online so that people can make up their own minds about its analysis of U.S. media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“It doesn’t matter if justice is on your side. You have to depict your position as just.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

Over the past few years, Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world—except the United States. The Occupation of the American Mind takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S.

Narrated by Roger Waters (english rock musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. He is best known as the bass player, co-lead vocalist, lyricist, and principal songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd) and featuring leading observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. media culture, the film explores how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. From the U.S.-based public relations campaigns that emerged in the 1980s to today, the film provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people in the face of widening international condemnation of its increasingly right-wing policies.

Praise for the film / Les éloges

Deepa Kumar, Associate Professor, Media Studies, Rutgers University “This hard-hitting, fact-based documentary is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its distorted coverage in the corporate media — and how the American public has been systematically lied to again and again. An indispensable resource for both the novice and the expert.”

Avi Shlaim, Professor Emeritus, Oxford University “A remarkable achievement. Anyone who wishes to understand the deeper reasons for America’s utter failure to bring peace to the region should begin by watching this powerful film.”

Jonathan Cook, journalist, author of Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair “A superb documentary that makes a devastatingly persuasive case that the U.S. public is being systematically subjected to disinformation from its media on the Israel-Palestine conflict. For audiences who have relied on U.S. television and the press, the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation shown in this film is likely to be deeply shocking.”

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink “A powerful film that exposes an infuriating reality. You cannot watch this film without grieving for the Palestinians, for the propaganda we’ve been subjected to, for the terrible mistakes we’ve made supporting horrific Israeli policies that have caused such suffering.”

Neve Gordon, Professor of Politics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel “Not only land, but also minds can be colonized. The brilliance of this documentary is that it manages to tell the story of both forms of colonization simultaneously. The first story reveals how Palestinian land was colonized and how the Palestinian people have been struggling for self-determination ever
since. The second story uncovers how the American media has colonized the minds of its audiences and inverted the concrete relations of subjugation by transforming Israelis into victims and Palestinians into oppressors. The Occupation of the American Mind is a must see for anyone who is against colonization.”

Robert W. McChesney, co-author, People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy “One of the most brilliant and important documentaries I have ever seen. If a student wishes to understand how powerful interests manipulate the news and politics in a ‘free’ society, and have turned the Palestinians into a non-people who have no rights and deserve no justice, this powerful film is mandatory viewing. It will change the way you understand the world.”

Robert Jensen, Professor, School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Arguing for Our Lives: A User’s Guide to Constructive Dialog “Why is Israel/Palestine the world’s most intractable conflict? One key part of the answer is U.S. public support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This incisive film explains how Israeli public relations and a compliant U.S. media keep the American people confused and co-opted, derailing a serious debate about international law and moral principle. The Occupation of the American Mind not only lays out the case for mainstream media malfeasance but also provides a clear and concise explanation of the history and contemporary politics behind the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

Henry Giroux, McMaster University “As courageous as it is informative, brilliantly produced and faithful to its search for the truth, The Occupation of the American Mind makes clear how the current right-wing government in Israel has weaponized knowledge, eviscerated a range of critical interpretations, and obliterated the voices of reason in the interest of controlling the media and public relations apparatuses in the United States. Everyone should watch this film, debate its assumptions, and test its insights against the issue of what education and public relations should look like in a democracy.”

Vijay Prashad, editor of Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation “Every American needs to watch this film in order to understand how the culture industries and the political pundits have shaped a one-sided narrative of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and erased the basic human dignity of the Palestinians from the American media landscape. The Occupation of the American Mind seeks to restore that dignity for American viewers. It is an essential film.”

Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination “Compelling, revealing, and chilling. Not only demonstrates how hasbara — Israeli propaganda — became American common sense, but it offers one of the best accounts of Israel’s violent dispossession and occupation of Palestinian lands. For over half a century, Americans drank the Kool-Aid concocted by the Israel lobby, the U.S. media, and virtually all elected officials because there were no alternatives. This film — like the movements that inspired it — is the antidote.”

Chris Toensing, Executive Director and Editor, Middle East Report “A cutting, carefully argued expose of the decades-long campaign of Israel and its defenders to deceive the U.S. public about the historical roots and present realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. … The film also offers a measured analysis of the role of the pro-Israel lobby in forming U.S. Middle East policy
and the complicity of the United States in the perpetuation of the conflict. Let’s hope the filmmakers are right that the tide of public opinion is turning in favor of equal rights for all and that U.S. policy will eventually be forced to follow suit.”

Andrew Ross, New York University “This terrific and memorable film comes at just the right time, when the lockstep mentality that promotes Zionist sympathies in the U.S. is eroding fast. The Occupation of the American Mind lays bare the fictions that underpinned this mentality for so long, and shows us why these fabrications are now
being challenged so confidently.”

“The Occupation of the American Mind”

Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Jeremy R. Hammond, 538 pages, editor Worldview Publications, July 9, 2016 Obstacle à la paix: le rôle des États-Unis dans le conflit israélo-palestinien

Obstacle to Peace shatters mainstream propaganda narratives about the conflict, revealing the true reasons for its persistence and illuminating the path forward to a just resolution. What is the root cause of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinans? Why has it persisted for so long? How can peace and justice finally be realized?

Obstacle to Peace not only provides the answers, but also explains why you won’t hear them from the US government or mainstream media. With incisive and provocative analysis, award-winning journalist Jeremy R. Hammond provides a meticulously documented account that explodes popular myths and deconstructs standard narratives about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

For anyone seeking a better understanding of the conflict’s root causes, the true reasons for its persistence, and the way forward, Obstacle to Peace delivers the knowledge and insights to effect the paradigm shift required to achieve justice and peace in the Middle East.

Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst and publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal (www.foreignpolicyjournal.com). In 2009, he received the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his coverage of the US’s support for Israel’s 22-day full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip, “Operation Cast Lead” (Dec. 27, 2008–Jan. 18, 2009). He is the author of The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict… JeremyRHammond.com

“The Occupation of the American Mind” (L’occupation de l’esprit américain) montre comment les principaux médias américains présentent aux Américains la version de propagande sioniste du conflit israélo-palestinien. “Il est très facile de blâmer les victimes, il est très facile d’afficher une étiquette de terroriste… Il est extrêmement difficile de faire comprendre aux gens que c’est essentiellement une histoire de propagande… ”

“L’occupation de l’esprit américain: la guerre de relations publiques menée par Israël aux États-Unis” est un excellent documentaire (2016) montrant en quoi les descriptions du conflit israélo-palestinien connues des Américains sont essentiellement équivalentes aux récits erronés présentés par les propagandistes sionistes. Malgré une réponse extrêmement positive de ceux qui l’ont visionnée, ce documentaire a été attaqué à plusieurs reprises et présenté sous un faux jour par des groupes de pression de droite et totalement ignorée par pratiquement tous les grands médias et les festivals de films nord-américains. Pour contourner cette campagne de déformation et de répression, la production a décidé de rendre le film disponible gratuitement en ligne afin que les gens puissent se faire leur propre opinion sur son analyse de la couverture médiatique américaine du conflit israélo-palestinien.

«Peu importe que la justice soit de votre côté. Vous devez décrire votre position comme étant juste.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Premier ministre d’Israël

Au cours des dernières années, l’occupation militaire du territoire palestinien par Israël et les invasions répétées de la bande de Gaza ont provoqué une vive réaction contre la politique israélienne presque partout dans le monde, à l’exception des États-Unis. L’occupation de l’esprit américain jette un coup d’œil sur cette exception critique et se concentre sur les efforts de relations publiques pro-israéliens aux États-Unis.

Raconté par Roger Waters (musicien de rock anglais, auteur-compositeur-interprète et compositeur. Il est surtout connu pour ses qualités de bassiste, co-chanteur principal, parolier et auteur-compositeur principal du groupe de rock Pink Floyd) et mettant en vedette des observateurs de premier plan du groupe israélien. Conflit palestinien et culture médiatique américaine, le film explore la manière dont le gouvernement israélien, le gouvernement américain et le lobby pro-israélien ont uni leurs forces, souvent avec des motivations très différentes, pour façonner la couverture médiatique américaine du conflit en faveur d’Israël. Depuis les campagnes de relations publiques basées aux États-Unis qui ont vu le jour dans les années 1980 jusqu’à aujourd’hui, le film fournit une analyse approfondie de la bataille que mène depuis des décennies Israël pour le cœur, l’esprit et les impôts du peuple américain face à la condamnation croissante par la communauté internationale de sa politique de plus en plus à droite.

Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Jeremy R. Hammond, 538 pages, editor Worldview Publications, July 9, 2016 Obstacle à la paix: le rôle des États-Unis dans le conflit israélo-palestinien

Obstacle to Peace brise les discours de la propagande traditionnelle sur le conflit, en révélant les véritables raisons de sa persistance et en éclairant la voie menant à une résolution juste. Quelle est la cause fondamentale du conflit entre Israéliens et Palestiniens? Pourquoi a-t-il persisté si longtemps? Comment la paix et la justice peuvent-elles enfin être réalisées?

Obstacle to Peace fournit non seulement les réponses, mais explique également pourquoi vous ne les entendrez pas de la part du gouvernement américain ou des principaux médias. Avec une analyse incisive et provocante, le journaliste primé Jeremy R. Hammond fournit un récit méticuleusement documenté qui explose les mythes populaires et déconstruit les récits classiques sur le conflit israélo-palestinien.

Obstacle to Peace offre à tous ceux qui recherchent une meilleure compréhension des causes profondes du conflit, les véritables raisons de sa persistance et la voie à suivre, les connaissances et les idées nécessaires pour réaliser le changement de paradigme nécessaire à la réalisation de la justice et de la paix au Moyen-Orient.

Jeremy R. Hammond est un analyste politique indépendant, éditeur et rédacteur en chef de la revue Foreign Policy Journal (www.foreignpolicyjournal.com). En 2009, il a reçu le Project Censored Award pour le journalisme d’investigation exceptionnel pour sa couverture du soutien américain à l’attaque militaire à grande échelle de 22 jours menée par Israël sur la bande de Gaza, “Operation Cast Lead” (27 décembre 2008 au 18 janvier 2009). Il est l’auteur de “The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict”… JeremyRHammond.com

Sylvie FOURCADE

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