Israeli struggles with his brainwashing


Elliot and DaBakr, had a dialogue about the threat posed to Israel by anti-Zionism in the Middle East. DaBakr repeatedly accused Elliot of misreading Israeli history. Elliot allowed u Mondoweiss to publish his response as a post:

Elliot is like many israelis very decent, a fellow human trying to figure it all out. Israelis are particularly affected by the massive barrage of “hasbara”, pure propaganda that they are fed from the day they were born. The schools system is an indoctrination machine with little encouragement for critical thinking,

Ever since the new historians in the late 80s (Flapan, Segev, Pappé, Shlaim) blew the “Palestinians left on their own accord” myth out of the water, Israel has been reeling, knowing that in the information age, you can only hide the truth for so long. The new breed of historians were not propagandists but real historians. As Segev says , we were not the new historians, we were the first historians.

As far as the israeli propaganda to North American Jews go, it is simply greenwashing. “You too can help with forestation here in Israel’ (see symbol above). It should read, “Help us hide the remnants of the Palestinian villages we have planted over.”

Here is Eliliot below:

I assume you know that I am Israeli. I was indoctrinated with so many distortions of history that left me cold to Palestinian suffering. I would see the empty houses of Lifta every day at the western entrance to Jerusalem, I played in those houses yet I never made the human connection to the people who built those houses and lived there before I came along; in all my years in Israel I never befriended a Palestinian; it took me until just a few years ago to really own the simple fact that over 750,000 Palestinians had to leave Palestine to make way for me and my fellow Jewish Israelis; I had no sense that Palestinians had roots in the land, that it was their land that I was taking.

The best I could do was find overt anti-Arab racism distasteful, reject the occupation and generally try to be nice. I was the successful product of an education system that – to use your word – brainwashes as essential mental preparation for every Israeli’s first job as an adult, i.e. enforcing the Occupation and terrorizing other Palestinians in Gaza and Lebanon. Because that is the main job of the Israeli Defense Forces.

I never understood that the Jewish National Fund’s forests are literally a coverup for the Nakba. These wonderful green forests (“look how brown and bare South Lebanon is next to the green Galilee”) were planted on the ruins of hundreds of Palestinian villages. I never questioned the fairness of bringing millions of non-residents from around the world into an already populated land.
I could go on and on. And I am still uncovering more of my prejudices born in ignorance. If I could lay my hands on even a small part of the supposed’ billion (dollars?) that you say the Palestinians have earmarked for PR as payment for the time I’ve spent undoing the damage of years of Israeli and American Zionist indoctrination, let me know who to go to for that. Much appreciated.


  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    By running these stories it helps keep the spotlight on one of the greatest injustices on the planet. Sadly, many Canadians who visit Israel are just as deceived by the grim reality of the plight of the Palestinians.

    Strange how people go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and not see the real biblical story.

  2. 2
    mushafta Says:

    A note to Ted…
    Bring back Fr Sardduci!

    Francesco 49

  3. 3
    mushafta Says:

    Where is Ted?
    Are you with Pope Francis?
    Where is your commentary on his upcoming visit?

  4. 4
    mushafta Says:

    Well Ted!
    Everything you said about this Pope Francis has come true. I never did doubt you Ted and I doubt that I ever will. This man is a Ted Schmidt in a pontifical suit. Francis mixes politics with religion just like you Ted! Socking it to them in front of the White House! What a wonderful day!!

    Unbelievable! Loving it all!
    Viva il papa!

  5. 5
    mushafta Says:

    Pope Francis speaks to Congress…powerful stuff Ted, singling out Moses, Lincoln, Dorothy Day, Matin Luther King and thomas Merton.

    These are powerful images!
    This guy is prophetic!

  6. 6

    Ted Schmidt in a pontifical suit? Let’s see:

    Pope Francis says, on the plane back to Rome: “Third, on women priests, that cannot be done. Pope St. John Paul II after long, long intense discussions, long reflection said so clearly. Not because women don’t have the capacity. Look, in the Church women are more important than men, because the Church is a woman. (Using masculine and feminine articles in Italian) It is “la” Church, not “il” Church. The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests.”

    No, that’s not Ted. Selection bias….you’re guilty as charged, Mufa.

  7. 7
    mushafta Says:

    Not sure what you’re getting high on Francesco but you sure aren’t making one bit of sense.
    The visit by Francis was a success and he sure showed the conservatives his true liberal colours! He was brilliant!

  8. 8

    What liberal colors? You see, you can put forth a hypothesis and then look for confirmation, but it is only when that hypothesis is falsified that we should discard it. You said P.F is Ted in a white cassock. That was falsified on the plane back to Rome. That’s how the scientific method words. You have a hypothesis, you make predictions, test the predictions, if the evidence is contrary to the predictions, the hypothesis is falsified. If P.F is Ted in a white suit, then he would have answered the questions differently, in accordance with the mind of Ted. Instead, he remained faithful to Church teaching.

    There are no liberal colors. He just preaches what all the Popes of the past two centuries have preached. What did he say that was liberal? What did he say that previous popes did not say?

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