Palestinian-American journalist Mnar Adley makes the case for one democratic nation with each Palestinian and Israeli having the equal right to vote on their governance on this episode of the Scheer Intelligence podcast.
Vladimir Lenin once said, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” The past couple of weeks in the Middle East have certainly seen a culmination of decades worth of tension and struggle unfurl in the most ugly and vicious way. The war that has erupted in Palestine and Israel has taken over the mainstream consciousness and the horrifying images that are produced daily will not cease anytime soon.
MintPress News founder and director Adley shares her personal experience in and about Palestine, along with her historic and journalistic expertise. Scheer offers his closeness in covering the issue, stemming from firsthand reporting on the ground at the end of the Six Day War, and Adley brings it to the modern-day state of affairs, coming back from Palestine merely a month ago.
Adley gives a comprehensive account of Palestine as she has known it all her life, being a Palestinian American who lived in Jerusalem for some time as a child. As she grew older and began to view the situation through the eyes of a journalist, Adley identified the key points in understanding the situation in Palestine, particularly viewed through the lens of the media. From the failed apartheid two state solution to the recent attacks by Hamas, the full picture is never explored to the level Palestinians deserve, Adley argues.
“If you actually look at the mainstream coverage, they’re giving unlimited airtime to people like Yoav Gallant, an Israeli general, who is calling Palestinians human animals that need to be wiped off the face of the map… They’re not actually giving a voice to Palestinians to talk about what they want,” Adley stated.
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This transcript was produced by an automated transcription service. Please refer to the audio interview to ensure accuracy.
Robert Scheer Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where I hasten to add, the intelligence comes from my guest. It’s a title given to me when the show started, but I live with it. And our guest who, no doubt, has not7 only intelligence but a great deal of personal as well as, you know, a book learning about all this, Mnar Adley. As in Adlai Stevenson, I guess. Okay. And, you know, I really enjoy your work and your site. You have MintPress News, it’s one of the great success stories, actually. You have a big following and you do really important journalism on a whole range of topics, not to exclude the Mideast, but also poverty in America and all sorts of issues. And normally I would look forward to this being just an interesting discussion by way of my own connection.
I happened to go to Egypt in Israel at the tail end of the Six-Day War. And so when I read the news and follow about Gaza and so forth, the time I was the foreign correspondent and then managing editor of Ramparts magazine, I put our magazine into bankruptcy because the subject is so explosive that everybody got all agitated. When I read what I wrote then, it seems quite mild because what I was wrote then and I was told by people like Moshe Dayan and so forth, I went to press corps, I talked to people, I was in the West Bank, I was in Gaza and I had been in Egypt. And there were two things I personally took away from that. One was Egypt was very much an underdeveloped country, and militarily, in fact, their communications were so lousy. I arrived with the guy who helped me get in, had worked for the Arab League, and we were put under arrest for the first 8 hours or so because even though he seemed to be connected, the fact is they were very nervous and the communication is very weak. And at the airport you could see that the Israelis had managed to hit real airplanes but avoided the dummy airplanes.
And I was introduced to the notion that the Six-Day War was a preemptive war that really could have been avoided and that Israel welcomed. And I know on your site you’ve had very good material for Miko Peled and his book, which really now documents all that. And, you know, I didn’t know that then, I suspected and I thought it. And the other thing is, at that time, the Labor government people, including Allon and Dayan, all talked about, you know, if we are an occupying power, if you come back in ten years, I think even five years and you see us occupying this territory, then we will not be a free society. We will not be the Israel that we wanted to be because they still had this appearance, at least, of idealism from the labor or at least part of the Labor Party, whether they were telling the truth or not. And that’s the last thing I’m going to say by way of introduction. I’ve been very much influenced by a movie called The Gatekeepers, made in Israel. You’re familiar with this movie, The Gatekeepers? Everybody should watch it. You can get it on Amazon, three bucks to rent it. Amazon Prime. And the only people talking in the movie are former leaders of Shin Bet, the secretive Israeli organization that has actually administered the West Bank and Gaza. And these were all former leaders.
Mnar Adley I think we actually have played clips of them on our website and social media.
Scheer You have? Yeah, well, anybody should watch that because they very clearly said all that. We never were told about a Palestinian state and they expressed great concern, the former leaders of Shin Bet, that this will destroy our soul. And they even show the killing of Rabin, the one leader who seemed to be able to advance to some kind of two state solution, killed by an Israeli Jewish fanatic, and how Shin Bet had to then re-orient to its own domestic people. That’s a long winded intro, but I just want to brace people for, you know, actually try to understand this history. It didn’t begin a few weeks ago, and what is happening now was a result of a history that most people don’t understand. So I’m going to turn to you now. And for an introduction. And why don’t you introduce yourself, but I’ll just mention that you first went to Palestine as a child. Your parents went there. And why don’t you take it from there? That was 1997, I guess. And then you recently were there, so put yourself in the picture.
Adley Well, I’ll re-introduce myself, starting with my name. So my name is Mnar Adley. I’m the founder and director of MintPress News. We’re an independent online organization that launched a little over a decade ago. I’m the founder of that organization. And we focus our coverage on issues that relate to the profiteers of the permanent war state. And we’ve covered the U.S. empire and its attacks and its exploitation and its occupation of global South countries and pushing its global hegemony. And so the reason I started MintPress actually goes back to 1997 when I first moved to Palestine. My parents are both Palestinian. They are Palestinian American. And although I was born here in the United States and at the age of nine years old, my parents wanted us to go back and live in Jerusalem, where my family is from there, from Shuafat in Jerusalem. And there was my first introduction to what life is like under the boot of U.S. imperialism. And it was living under Israeli occupation and seeing an apartheid system face to face as an American child. You know, Palestinians who are raised in Palestine, that life of militarism and apartheid becomes the norm. But it was completely shocking to myself as a nine year old who had come from Minneapolis, a very lovely suburban American city with pristine neighborhoods and green manicured lawns, to now living in a war zone.
And so it was devastating, to say the least, but it was there that I witnessed how Israel has laws that uphold white Jewish supremacy and treats Palestinians, whether Muslim or Christian, as second class citizens, if at best and, you know, I had to drive through militarized checkpoints to visit family. And so Palestinians are separated from their own family, from checkpoints. And it is a form of intimidation and harassment that Palestinians have to go through every single day when they have to go through these checkpoints. And I saw and lived through Israel cutting off water, electricity, having Palestinians live under curfew, militarized curfews. Although we lived in Jerusalem, a lot of my family lives in the West Bank, in Ramallah, in Bethlehem and Hebron and so we saw all of those things. And I lived in Jerusalem, in Palestine for four years. And when the second intifada had broken out, it just became too difficult for us as Americans, it’s unfortunately that I have to say that as as privileged Americans, my parents could not live there anymore, even in their own country, because we saw a new life and lived a different life in the US. It was hard for my dad to work, to support the family, and so we had to go back to the United States and we moved back to the US in 2001, shortly after the second Intifada, the week before we moved back to the US, Israeli settlers had planted a bomb in my aunt’s elementary school, just to give perspective on how Palestinians live among the settlers. And she was a principal of an elementary school for young girls. And so those were the kinds of daily situations that Palestinians endure. And so we moved back to United States and now I was a traumatized teenager. I had lived and witnessed the brutality of the Israeli military machine.
And even in the weeks ahead of us leaving Jerusalem, I would sit on the rooftop, of my building where we lived, and I would see Israeli planes and jets, military jets dropped bombs on homes in Ramallah. It was just a ten minute drive from our house. And so I was a child and I had witnessed the brutality of the Israeli military machine. And so when I had moved back to the United States at the age of now 12, I’m just about to hit 13. This understanding of the world around me was through the lens of the war. I was suffering from PTSD, from anxiety. I would go to school, you know, all I could think about was the war that I had left behind. And now I’m entering the ninth grade and 9/11 happened. And immediately my first instant, my first introductions to propaganda were when the US media machine, of course, used Palestinian celebrating Eid in Gaza and they planted that video after 9/11 and said Palestinians are celebrating 9/11. And it just didn’t make any sense to me. And the way the media consistently presented the war in Palestine was always to a religious lens, Muslims versus Jews, never through the lens of occupation and apartheid. And so this really became, you know, my footing, I guess you could say, with understanding how propaganda works. 13 years old. I saw how the US media was beating the drums of war after 9/11 to push for the wars in Iraq and then Afghanistan.
I saw how the media would host propagandists on CNN, MSNBC and attack any sort of alternative voices. And so at 13 years old, I remember writing an essay in my class about how I wanted to be a journalist. Excuse me. To become a voice for those living under U.S. military. An occupation. And it became almost my determination to expose the profiteers of the permanent war state, whether it was in Palestine or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the most profitable wars were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And from there, I studied journalism and then went to school for it became a local reporter, but left local media and started my own outlet, MintPress, to get to the bottom of these war profiteers, including the think tanks, the special interest groups, the foreign governments that were pushing the US to support these wars, these regime change wars, these wars for resources and exploitation and press has become, excuse me, become a leading voice in independent journalism from the wars in Syria, Libya, to the sanctions regime and maximum pressure campaigns against Iran and Venezuela and Cuba. We’ve become a leading voice in exposing that mechanism of war. Excuse me, I didn’t mean to cry that’s where it all began!
Scheer Yeah, well, you’ve been under a lot of pressure. I mean, seriously, your life has been threatened. I mean, it’s not mince words here. Anybody who speaks out and with any complex understanding or sympathy for the Palestinian people is going to be vilified. I know because when I wrote my articles for the Ramparts, we were put into bankruptcy. Our funding dried up and we were attacked everywhere. And I know in your personal case, you’ve been under a lot of stress. And what is so amazing to me is the unwillingness to discuss the issue that has tormented not just the people of Palestine and also of Israel and the rest of the Middle East, but of the world. And it’s interesting, 9/11 happened in part because of grievances. But the fact of the matter is there weren’t any Palestinians on those planes. And the irony, let me just cut to the chase here, from my old, you know, 87 year old brain since I was there at the time I went in to Gaza, I went into the West Bank. I talked to a lot of people and so forth, and I talked to a lot of Israelis.
The fact is, people forget Gaza had been occupied by Egypt, was controlled by Egypt, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan, and the Golan Heights was controlled by Syria. Okay. And so the Palestinians did not fight against Israel. You know, this is something that is left… If you want to talk about fake news, the idea that the Palestinians somehow… They were living there, they were living there and they had their own issues with Jordan. There are plenty of Palestinians who live in Jordan now and they had their own issues with Egypt. I experienced that. I talk to ordinary people and there were even some people, believe it or not, there were plenty of Palestinians who were already Israeli citizens who some of them actually gave blood, believe it or not, to the Israeli army, and believing the narratives that they were under attack. And the Palestinians that I got to talk to, you know, they thought maybe something positive could happen. You know, nobody likes being occupied or a war and the consciousness that has to developed that somehow the Palestinians did something wrong by living where they lived for thousands of years and they were, in fact, occupied people in that situation. And what happened? You know, Israel made peace with Egypt. Israel made peace with Jordan. They still not getting along with Syria. They made peace with that Iraq certainly.
And the Palestinians, somehow, they are the threat. They are the threat when they are, in fact, clearly the ultimate victim here, whatever they been driven to. And I want to raise one question. I know you haven’t talked about going back recently, but there’s an interesting position actually we had in our publication ScheerPost by Patrick Lawrence, but he’s quoting really Edward Said’s original idea. It was a he was a great American intellectual professor and Palestinian writer, but Edward Said early on, so he didn’t support the Oslo [Accords] and the Camp David and all that. Because these are what are you giving these people? You’re giving them a little segregated island. And he advocated one person, one vote. If you’re going to occupy these territories, why not then talk about one country? And why then shouldn’t the Palestinians living in Gaza or West Bank or elsewhere, as well as in Israel, have full rights to vote? I’ve always been amazed that issue somehow gets lost.
You know, okay, whatever the merits of their being occupied and as I said, Miko Peled has written a brilliant book exposing that this was not done out of necessity. This expansion of Israel three times its original size was an imperial expansion in the name of defense. But the fact of the matter is, once you’re occupying people for all of these decades, you know, since the Six-Day War, why don’t they have the vote? And I never hear almost never hear that. I want to ask you about that. I mean, if you’re going to control people, you know, and another connected issue, Israel favored Hamas at a certain point. They’d like that weakening the PLO. They liked divide and conquer and since you are recently, you were back there, what, last month? Why don’t you bring us up to date on kind of the politics here. Do you still believe in a two state solution? Might not a better way to think about it is that anyone living in that area under the rule of Israel, which they are, should be able to vote in the election for who governs them. Are you unsympathetic to that? I don’t know.
Adley Well, I’ve never supported a two state solution. I think when you support a two state solution, what that means is you’re legitimizing Israel’s theft of Palestinian land. And so that’s why most Palestinians would reject that. And that’s why a two state solution is constantly being used in political negotiations, because they know the political establishment that Palestinians will not accept that. In fact, what Palestinians have been asking for, believe it or not, is a one state solution where everybody is treated with equal rights, with equal rights. If Israel is to truly call itself a democracy, then it should behave like a democracy where all people have the right to vote. But that’s not what Israel is doing. And actually, if you look at what Hamas has been asking for is also for a one state solution. You know, it’s really interesting how Hamas has evolved over the years.
And you said that, you know, Hamas at one point, Israel favored it in its creation and I would say that is absolutely true as part of its history. But Hamas then versus Hamas, what is today, are two completely different groups. I think today Hamas is a legitimate armed resistance group. And if you actually look at their you know, their proposals and their negotiations and what they’re asking for, they’re not asking for Israel to be so-called wiped off of the face of the map, the way the media has portrayed them, to say that’s a complete fabrication. They’re not even asking for land to be returned to Palestinians pre-1948. In fact, they’re asking for a one state solution with equal rights. They’re asking for the siege to be lifted off of Gaza. They’re asking for the apartheid system to be ended.
And so if the Western corporate media actually gave Palestinians a voice within the media and they were to listen to what they’re actually asking for, most Americans would probably agree with them because they’re not asking for anything outrageous. And that’s why you see corporate media not giving a voice to Palestinians. They don’t even give a voice, if you actually look at the mainstream coverage, they’re giving unlimited airtime to people like Yoav Gallant, an Israeli general who is calling Palestinians human animals that need to be wiped off the face of the map, that they’re giving unlimited airtime to, you know, Israeli officials that are calling for Gaza to be nuked. They’re not actually giving a voice to Palestinians to talk about what they want. And it would make a whole lot of sense if they did. Even Hamas, they released a video of their demands of what they were asking for. They talked about in their video, you know, an end to an apartheid system where people had equal rights, an end to occupation, the ability to have access to clean water. That statement made by Hamas people was never aired on Western corporate media, and they’re just always dismissed as a terrorist group.
Scheer Do you have that MintPress News?
Adley We have I believe we never posted it ourselves just because there’s just so much coverage. But I do believe Ramzy Baroud, he’s an academic and scholar. He writes for MintPress and contributes, and I believe his articles do break down the demands that Hamas has been making.
Scheer So let me let me be I just want to be clear about this, because we hear a lot about misinformation and all that. And I’ve lived with this issue, I’m sorry to say, before you were born and so forth, it has never been anything but misinformation and a tissue of lies, as Chris Hedges points out today in his article for ScheerPost, which hopefully others will reprint. But, you know, he was the New York Times bureau chief there. And, you know, as I say, I’ve been covering this issue much of my life. I don’t have your knowledge of it. And you’re an, you know, expert, obviously, you know, eyewitness experience. But it’s always struck me, you know, the violence, violence. Well, in South Africa, freedom came to South Africa. Nelson Mandela actually did pick up the gun, did challenge the white settler culture and the idea that people who are occupied by settler colonialism have no right to challenge that militarily. Well, the whole anti-colonial colonial thing, one reason much of the world is not showing the sympathy for Israel that was expected by the American media is that most of the world had experience with colonialism, and they see it in the context of colonialism, whether you’re in India, you know, or anywhere else, you know.
And what I want to nail down here, because I know you have to go at some point I could talk and hopefully we could talk again in the future. But I want to get this idea that we are talking about one person, one vote. That is, I mean, let’s cut to the chase. What, for whatever reason, Israel has assumed the right to all control the lives of the Palestinian people for, what, now seven decades or so? Right. They assume that right. With that right comes the responsibility to let people decide their future. And what they managed to do is define them as thugs, animals, like that. You know, in fact, you had one of the best educated segments of the world population in Palestine that I visited at the time of Six-Day War. The Palestinian people were, like the Jews, living a lot in the diaspora, very familiar with other countries, worked in a lot of other countries, including the United States. It was a sophisticated population by world standards. Not particularly, I’m not going to put down anybody’s religion, but not particularly at that time given to a very harsh view of Islam or anything of that sort or a fundamentalist view. And I must say there were plenty of Palestinians, people who were living in Israel and people who thought maybe maybe these Israelis, they talk a good game. They claim to be progressive, Labor Party. Maybe there will actually be something good could come out of that.
And the irony, the reason I bring up The Gatekeepers, the Shin Bet, was the group that administered the West Bank and Gaza all these years and these heads of their organizations or former leaders of the organization in that movie, Israeli movie say very clearly no one told them to ever and no one that they talked to in the government took seriously the idea of a two state of a Palestinian state. This was all punitive. Hold them down. Ethnic cleansing. Get rid of them. And they show the torture. They showed the whole thing. So this is a big lie. From my point of view as a journalist. I encountered it right after the Six-Day War. And and now you can’t conceal the lie because you have a right wing government in Israel that blatantly advocates ethnic cleansing and racism. But tell us about your visit. I mean, I know you got to go, but last month I know you were there.
Adley Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, Israel does not believe not even in a two state solution. It only believes in a one state for Israel. Ethnically for Israelis and for Jews and for white Jews, if I might add. I mean, the oppression that black Ethiopian Jews and refugees face from Israel is also horrific. They stick them into like an ICE facility in the Negev Desert. So Israel is a white nationalist state. It doesn’t even advocate for even a two state solution. What I meant by that’s what’s being presented to us. That’s what’s being presented to us in the media and in the West. Kind of like a it’s almost like a numbing statement just to get, you know, to promote the idea or to keep the conversation about negotiations ongoing. But it really doesn’t mean anything for Palestinians. I was just in Palestine for the first time since I was 18 years old, so it was 18 years ago. That was the last time I went to Palestine, but I just went there in the month of August and a part of July. And, you know, it was definitely a different experience because I am now coming at it as an adult, someone who has healed through their trauma of living under occupation and has worked with MintPress News to cover these things. But it’s gotten worse. You know, the last time I was there, the apartheid wall had just been built in places like Ramallah and Al-Ram at the Qalandiya checkpoint.
And I had now seen checkpoints expanded and I saw more cities segregated from each other. In fact, there were days where we would just be stuck in traffic behind checkpoints just to get from like a one mile distance. And so that’s the kind of harassment that Palestinians face. And what was really interesting about this experience was I actually, again, coming at it from a different perspective this time, I did see the fragility of the occupation and I saw just how controlling Israel is. And as somebody who studies trauma and does a lot of meditative work and healing and understands the concept of narcissism Israel has, the more it expands its brutality, the more it tries to expand its control. It’s actually a sign of how weak the occupation actually is. And so that’s kind of the learning experience that I had from this time coming back from Palestine and the way the Hamas fighters escaped the prison through paragliders and the way that Palestinians just broke through the border fence at Gaza is another indication of just how fragile and weak the occupation system is. We do look at Israel as a very sophisticated, you know, the sixth strongest army in the world with all of its fancy technology, surveillance technology, its drones. It’s, you know, missiles that are being supplied by the United States. But in fact, Israel on the ground, on the ground is a very, very weak system. And that’s the foundation of any apartheid system, is that it’s a very weak system that could be broken at any moment. The will and strength of the Palestinian people is stronger than I had ever seen it and heard it before. Palestinians are more united now than ever before. The reason why Israel has upheld and ensured the Palestinian Authority is in power is so that it can control Palestinians through the Palestinian Authority, the PA, with people like Mahmoud Abbas. Nobody in Palestine takes Mahmoud Abbas seriously. Everybody says he’s a plant.
The P.A. only works for the Israeli government. And it’s true. Every time Israel wants to enter the West Bank, it’s the P.A. that opens the doors for Israel to enter the West Bank. Israel, although we can think of the West Bank as a separate entity. Israel still controls the West Bank by proxy through the Palestinian Authority. Right now, Israel is entering the West Bank in refugee, they’re entering refugee camps like in the refugee camp. And they’re opening fire at young people in the streets because people are outraged right now by what Israel is doing in Gaza. And Palestinians all stand in solidarity with their brethren in Gaza. But Israel is trying to ensure that nobody posts on social media in solidarity. They don’t share the information. They don’t want Palestinians to feel empowered, which is why people like Itamar Ben-Gvir is arming settlers with over 10,000 rifles. And by the way, when I went to Palestine, I watched and reported from the settlement excuse me, that’s in the heart of Hebron. Hebron is the West Bank’s largest and most populated Palestinian city. And right in the heart of it, right next to the market, the busiest market in Hebron, where Palestinians get up to go and go shopping for their daily groceries and clothing and whatever it is that they need essentials for their homes. There is a settlement, right, right next to that. And there are hundreds, if not thousands of cameras, face scanning cameras by the Israeli military that have been installed on the rooftops by force, on the rooftops of Palestinian homes so that Israel can surveil and monitor all Palestinians. And when I visited that settlement, I was terrified walking through the streets. It felt like a ghost town. But there were literally Israeli settlers walking around the settlement with rifles bearing arms. And I had visited a Palestinian man’s home in the heart of that settlement who is refusing to leave. And every single day he is intimidated by the settlers.
And he has his surveillance cameras are attacked. They’re broken from the settlers. It’s Itamar Ben-Gvir even visited his home and demanded that he leave. But he will not leave. And that’s activist Issa Amro, who’s part of a group, I think it’s called the Young Palestinians Against Settlements in Hebron. So. This is an apartheid system. It’s an apartheid state that must be dismantled. You mentioned Miko Peled, he’s a contributor to MintPress. He is one of the sons of one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel. His great uncle’s was one of the former presidents of the state of Israel. He was born into a Jewish Zionist family. And he documents how Israelis are trained from, you know, from the day they are born to hate Palestinians and to believe in this idea of this Jewish only white supremacist state. But Palestinians are not raised that way. I was born a Palestinian and we were raised a Palestinian. And Palestinians are not raised that way. And that’s why you’ll hear Palestinians advocate for a one state solution. When I went and visited my family, they did not say, we want to kill all the Jews or we hate all of Israelis. No. In fact, most of my family, when I spoke to them because I also came as an American again and as a journalist, and I would ask them, you know, how do you feel about these people? A lot of them said a lot of these Israelis are our friends. They are racist, but a lot of them are our friends. And we don’t mind living side by side with them, but we just ask for equal rights. You will never hear a Palestinian say that we want to kill all of these people. And that’s even been the statements coming out of Hamas’s mouth. You don’t hear them saying, we want to wipe Israel off the map.
Scheer Okay, But we can’t leave this just sitting on the table here because most people, even maybe most people listening to this have been, you know, overwhelmed with horrible images of what happened when Hamas crossed the border. And we have to address it. And I must say, to put it in context, I have never covered any war anywhere. And I’ve been I’ve wrote a lot about, you know, different wars, Vietnam, actually, my going to the Six-Day War was in the middle of trying to understand the Vietnam War and so forth. And there are always these counter narratives in the extreme as presented now. And one of the ironies is that most of the Israeli population has contempt for their own government. They consider Netanyahu a liar. They consider themselves being manipulated. There were massive demonstrations against this government. However, now once again unified, even though the government is made up of people who are openly racist in the extreme. But we have to address what people have seen.
Adley Absolutely. Yes. And I think we first of all, when I visited Palestine, I sat with Israelis and I sat with Bensalem, who which is an Israeli human rights organization. And I spoke with Israelis, even the ones I’ll start with this, even the ones that are opposed to Netanyahu, they are actually unaware of the situation in Gaza. They are completely unaware of how Palestinians live. And so they’re a little bit for sure that they are opposing Netanyahu, but they’re still completely unaware of the apartheid system. They actually don’t believe Israel is an apartheid system. They fully, wholly believe that Israel is still a democracy. So there’s still a lot of work to be done on that front. And now, when dealing with the images, well.
Scheer Could you examine that a little bit, because that is very difficult for people to understand. We’re talking about a highly educated population. And you know something I once learned about journalism. Why do people go along with what might be erroneous ideas or sometimes or obviously erroneous ideas? Too good to check. If you check it, it might be true. And that puts you in an uncomfortable position. That’s the case generally with apartheid. It was true in the American South. Most white Americans in the South believed that the people were first enslaved and then segregated, actually benefited from the situation. They went along with it, Jimmy Carter, even when he was governor of Georgia, actually believed segregated schools had some value. We only quite reluctantly changed, so tell us…
Adley I was actually. I know we’re really short on time but so a lot of these people who are anti Netanyahu, they still believe in the idea that Israel is a Jewish state, a Jewish only state, and they believe that they don’t even call the apartheid wall an apartheid wall. They call it a security fence. And they do believe that it is necessary to prevent acts of terrorism from entering Israel. So they do have those ideas, as you just mentioned, with the white settlers in the United States. And when it comes to the stories of Hamas entering and breaking through the border fence on paragliders and going into the southern kibbutz, we saw the media push out a lot of fake stories and false claims about mass rapes and mass murdering people. And a lot of those stories have already been debunked.
Scheer Killing babies.
Adley And also that I’ll get to the baby story. But a lot of those stories of when Hamas entered the kibbutz have now even been. There’s counter-narratives and counter videos that have been shown even within Israeli media. Survivors of that said that we were not shot at by Hamas. We were actually caught in a crossfire between Hamas shooting with Israeli soldiers shooting. And so that’s why we saw people running out into the desert. And then also with the people that were kidnapped by Hamas and taken as captives, they were taken as prisoners of war as part of negotiations to lift the siege. And a lot of the testimonies that have been even released, even within Israeli media, the testimonies have shown that these people were treated humanely and were given food. They were being treated like the German girl who was who Israeli. Israeli media said that she was cut open and she was raped and she was killed while her mom actually said that she’s actually alive and she’s being treated in a Gaza hospital. And so we really, really have to be careful about the way the media is trying to push these characterizations of Hamas and Palestinian people as ISIS as barbaric. These are Islamaphobic tropes that are being pushed to dehumanize Palestinians, to justify the collective punishment and Israel’s response in Gaza. The second thing is, with the beheaded babies, that story turned out to be false, and it’s still being pushed within some Western corporate media outlets.
It’s still being pushed by a lot of Israeli pro-Israel figures on social media. Again, it’s another accusation that was being made that was thrown out. It first came out of the Israeli military from one source, which was the I24 news station. The I24 news station is directly funded by Benjamin Netanyahu. And Israeli journalists who are on tour with the Israeli military have tweeted out and have come out and said there are no beheaded babies. We have not seen any beheaded babies. We cannot confirm never even we were there. There’s nothing. And so and now even the Israeli military has admitted that they cannot they cannot verify that that ever happened, even though President Joe Biden came out to the world and said he saw the pictures of beheaded babies and then the White House had to retract that statement and say, no, Joe Biden never saw any photos. But the damage is already done when the media push these unverified stories the way CNN did. By the way, CNN also led and headlined with that story of the 40 babies that were beheaded. And CNN came out and retracted that the next day. The damage is already done. People who are emotionally connected to that story believe that and they don’t even see the retraction because the retractions are usually, you know, right before the weather is announced or something or the retractions are released in a in a way where most people don’t see that they’ve already heard the story.
And so we really have to be careful about the misinformation that’s being pushed not by independent journalists and alternative media, but by the biggest perpetrators of fake news, which are the corporate mainstream media. They’re the ones who pushed the false claims of weapons of mass destruction to justify the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the ones who pushed the false mass Viagra rape claims about Gadhafi to overthrow him. And now look at Libya. It’s a failed state. These are the same media that pushed fake stories to promote arms being sent to literal Nazis in Ukraine. And look at the situation that we have now there. It’s the same kind of propaganda and fake news that’s being pushed against Palestinians to justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. CNN and the BBC ran 24 hour coverage around the clock coverage of. Fake stories of Hamas tunnels that are supposedly beneath the feet of every Palestinian, including beneath hospitals and schools. The two, for two days straight before Israel bombed the Al Ahli Baptist Hospital, which is the oldest Christian run hospital in Gaza. So when the media is pushing those stories that have been that that are literally just literally just talking points by the Israeli military, you have to wonder who the media is working for. It’s certainly not the people. The media is not acting as watchdogs to the military class. They’re not acting as watchdogs to those in power. They’re not holding Israel accountable for their war crimes. They are regurgitating the Israeli military talking points, including when it comes to the bombing of the Baptist hospital, Israel. Israeli spokesperson for the Israeli government, his name is just not coming to very well. But I tweeted about him. He tweeted out celebrating Israel’s targeting of that hospital and deleted that tweet and apologized and later blamed Hamas. And that’s what we saw from the Israeli military.
They tweeted out that they bombed this hospital. They deleted it. Then we saw this like narrative control take place where Israel is now embarrassed because the whole world was shocked at bombing this hospital where thousands of patients were there and present. And they went on to blame Hamas. And that, again, is another narrative that needs to be debunked because they’re pushing the fact that Palestinians are just killing themselves. We hate ourselves so much. Look at this dehumanization that we are willing to bomb ourselves. We’re willing to kill ourselves every single day. It is the most dehumanizing thing that I have ever seen. It’s at the same levels of post-9-11 kind of Islamophobia, propaganda that we are seeing. And and then Israel tried to show this video from Al Jazeera that was dated to you know, it had the wrong timestamp, didn’t even match the time stamp of the bombing. And then they ended up deleting that and apologizing that that was not true. So now Israel, all the evidence points to Israel using this U.S. supplied bomb because that’s the only kind of bomb that would cause such damage to a hospital. And people are still pushing the idea that, oh, Hamas and Israel are arguing over who did that. And that’s from CNN. That’s from the BBC. So we have a media that is acting as a lapdog for the military class instead of holding Israel account for its war crimes. But luckily, somewhere in that mix of mainstream media coverage.
Channel Four News did its own investigation into the recording of what Israel ended up releasing at the very end was apparently alleged Hamas people talking to each other. But the accent was incorrect. It was not a Gazan accent. So Channel Four News has now released their own investigation, saying that all of Israel’s allegations that this was a Hamas rocket that struck the hospital are false. And so. This is the fog of war and who’s contributing to it? It’s the corporate mainstream media. They are the perpetrators of the fake news. They are the ones that are causing this fog of war. And part of that purpose of creating the fog of war and confusion is so that people can see this conflict as something that’s very confusing as a religious war, and that there is no solution in sight when actually the solution is very simple. The Western countries need to stop arming Israel. They need to stop upholding this apartheid system. And if they truly cared about democracy and human rights, as they claim to do, which they don’t, then they would end its support for Israel. They would sanction Israel. But that would also mean the world would have to hold the United States accountable, the EU accountable, Great Britain and France accountable. And so that’s why we’re not seeing that sort of accountability.
Scheer And I know you’ve been very patient. I just want to deal with that one issue because this left out all the time the U.S. responsibility. And I want to say, though, the work by Miko Peled, which you have feature on MintPress News and people should go there and read it. And he is the son of a very famous general and of a family of great service, but it’s well, very well documented. And what it calls attention to is the role of the United States. We’re not innocent observers and we’re not just doing this because there are some supposedly Jewish votes know. After all, there are awful lot of Jewish people who have objected to the occupation and the brutality. In fact, we had demonstrations just yesterday in which Jewish people provided the leadership and got arrested in Washington and so forth. And from my own experience there, there’s no shortage of Jewish critics of Israeli policy. And, you know, the big contradiction for me when I went there at the time of the Six-Day War, right after I don’t know, I just stayed on Kibbutz Kibbutzim Barkai, I think, and others where they were very critical of what had happened. And in fact, in Peled’s book, he talks about how the Israeli government was kind of pushed into the preemptive war by the military, by the Israeli military.
So I would recommend that. But I want to make a raise a basic point here about the U.S. role, and it connects with another thing. First of all, the thing that has driven support for Israel’s I think to the disadvantage of Jewish people is the David and Goliath image. Let’s end with that. And the whole idea has been that little Israel is surrounded by all these Arab countries and massive population. First of all, mostly, I mean, it has to include Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim population. There are hardly big actors here. But the irony I found on my at the time of the Six-Day War, it was a total myth. And one reason it was a myth is that the United States was bankrolling Israel was providing the latest technology. And in fact, in that victory of the Six-Day War, Israel turned over all of this captured Russian equipment that the Egyptians had. And as I said, when I was there, I was even shown at the airfield. Israel was able to bomb the real planes and ignore the dummy planes because they had the best intelligence. The intelligence came from the U.S.. Okay. And so the David and Goliath thing which has informed this debate in mass media has been a total distortion from the beginning. And, in fact, what you really have is, is the biggest power in the world solidly behind Israel. But I want to get to the reasons behind it, because I think it does go to this overlooked aspect of colonialism. The big issue with Egypt and Nasser. This is way before your time, however, was that Nasser demanded control of the Suez Canal. And they had two wars about this and that. And Nasser represented a pan Arab nationalism rising above boundaries. And it had to do with the development of an impoverished people. It had to do with, you know, building, restoring one of the great civilizations of the world and so forth.
And the real issue then is, however, whatever you think about the creation of Israel, the fact of the matter is, was you going to try to find the basis of of being within this Middle East contest, or were you going to line up with the enemy, which was still England, still France and the United States as starting a colonial power? I’m only giving you my view from what I learned then and have. Ever since. And so that, first of all, demolishes a David and Goliath. You’re not David when you have the U.S. government, even ignoring the attack on the liberty and all that history, giving Israel a pass, giving them an enormous military budget in modern military terms. You’re Goliath. You’re not David does that itself is a lie. But also, the United States bears in, you know, Joe Biden’s as well. He’s got to open up something for Gaza. Don’t go too far. The fact is, we, the US played to the worst instinct of Israeli settlers because there was a serious left in Israel. There were people in Israel on every level who actually cared about decency, democracy, respect for the people living there and so forth, whether they could form a majority. One of the ironies for me is that in the kibbutz movement had provided, I don’t know, some over 70% of the officer corps for the military. And there was a great deal of idealism in a part, a serious part of the kibbutz members, only three or 4% of the population. So I encountered these contradictions, and it was shocking to me what has happened, because I actually believed and right up through Camp David and so forth, that Israel would come down on the side of a more humane. Settlement or peace. After all, this is what the whole of Camp David in Oslo was all about. And that, again, I get back to this very simple point. If you’re going to control the people, there’s no question. Israel controls the population of the West Bank. They have to have a vote. That is the basic thing. They have to have a vote. And what I’ve learned from this interview and which people really ignore is that the one state solution is something that you think the Palestinian people would welcome. Why wouldn’t the United States support a one state solution?
Adley Well, Israel is clearly acting as a proxy state for the military industrial complex that continues to fuel the profits for the United States military establishment for the executives at Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. I mean, really, if we want to just get to the core of why that is simply it. United States doesn’t care about democracy. It doesn’t care about human rights. And. Those are just I mean, those are that’s just a lie. And the United doesn’t care about that. The United States was built on a foundation of genocide itself and has since fueled its own economy by the military industrial complex of forever wars. And that’s since 9/11. We’ve seen that lust, blood, lust for war go basically on steroids. And so that’s why maybe 15, 20 years ago, we probably would have heard about some sort of like actual nations, whereas now the United States unequivocally stands behind the state of Israel. And the Israel lobby in the United States is extremely, extremely powerful. AIPAC and the other so-called somewhat left, you know, liberal lobby groups like J Street pay politicians very, very high amounts of money to push for support for Israel. And so that’s why there’s no solution. We cannot get a solution from the very governments and countries that helped create this crisis in the first place.
The United States, Great Britain, especially, and many European countries helped organize the creation of the state of Israel by arming Zionist militias to enter Palestine when Palestinians were promised an end to colonialism from the British. They went and turned their backs against Palestinians to then go arm and promise these white Jews from Europe a land. And so that was only. And it’s not because these European countries cared about these Jewish people who were, you know, had just survived the Holocaust. It was because they had to deal with their own issue of racism, and that was their solution, not to help them, but to remove them out of Europe and put them somewhere else. And so it wasn’t some nice thing that these European countries did. It was, in fact, another racist reaction to their own hate for the Jewish people in Europe. And so I think that’s really important. That’s the kind of history that’s being forgotten and whitewashed by the very people that created this situation. Today, we have people like Ursula von der Leyen’s. She’s the head of the EU. And then we have, you know, Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak and all of the Western leaders of the world talking about social justice. And they don’t care for any of that. And I’m so sorry, but I do have to get going.
Scheer Okay. This is a good point on which to end it. And I want to thank you for doing this. And it’s MintPress News. If you want to get to a different point of view and not only this very important subject, but a whole range. It’s one of the great Internet success stories and that you actually have reporters and editors and can support it. And you’ve had some very big following. I just did want to have one last question. Are you being crushed now because this is not the Internet in which you were able to have an impact. Right now, you probably don’t get much face time in Twitter traffic and you’re probably ruled out by the algorithm or maybe not. Are you surviving as a public?
Adley We have been demonetized in a lot of places. We’ve been banned from TikTok. I’m so sorry, but I do have to get going.
Scheer Okay. All right. Let me say goodbye. And that’s it for this edition of Sheer Intelligence. And I want to thank Laura Kondourajian and Christopher Ho at KCRW, the NPR station in Santa Monica, for posting these shows. Joshua Scheer, our executive producer. Diego Ramos, who writes the introduction and today put it together on the video. Max Jones, who puts up the video and in particular the J.K.W Foundation, in memory of the writer Jean Stein, who was very closely involved with Edward Said, who I mentioned this show and who really played a leading role in publicizing this issue of the Mideast and its relationship to American policy and to the American Jewish community in which she had grown out of a very prominent family in that community. So on that note, let me end this edition.