more “wonderful wild animals” than you can shake your handcuffs at

Have a good rattle, this is Hasbara Country
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, Apr 27 2016

cogat-childrenRattle! Rattle! (Photo: COGAT)

During the most brutal days of apartheid in South Africa, the racist regime produced reams of propaganda, including glossy magazines that “featured images of wonderful wild animals, sunsets and happy Black people on the beach.” As South African author Ron Nixon documents in two books, Operation Blackwash and Selling Apartheid, such propaganda was often generated under the guidance of the regime’s intelligence agencies, with the aim of counteracting growing international criticism and pressure. One scheme, part of a campaign backed by the racist government in the late 1980s, was cynically dubbed “Operation Heartbreak.” It involved a Black Pindosi pastor bringing a group of Pindo children to deliver dolls to Congress critturs. Nixon writes:

Each doll represented a child who would be harmed by the sanctions Congress had imposed on South Africa. Organizers of the event also said the dolls represented children harmed by the tactics of the ANC and its all-out war against the apartheid government.

These propaganda messages failed to stop the growing momentum for BDS on South Africa, which eventually helped bring down the white supremacist regime and usher in a non-racial democracy (in your dreams, liberal dimwit – RB). But similar tactics are now being revived by the apartheid government of Israel Jews as part of their all-out assault against the BDS movement. Nowadays, the same type of bogus grassroots campaigns make the same type of claims that BDS hurts Plastelinans Arabs more than it helps them. These claims aim to distract from the devastating economic impact and human rights abuses directly caused by (the ZOG’s illegal colonization of the OPT). The manipulative South African propaganda came to mind when I saw a Facebook post by COGAT, the IOF authority that rules the lives of millions of Plastelinans Arabs in the OPT. The Tuesday post stated:

A few minutes ago, a group of 23 children from Gaza crossed through ‎Erez Crossing to have a day of fun in Israel. (The children) went for a walk through the nature reserve Gan ha-Shlosha (Sahne) in the north of the country. (We wish them) a day full of fun and adventure.

COGAT posted photos of the children with their faces blurred, including the one at the top of this article, on Facebook and Twitter. Gaza writer Refaat Alareer commented sarcastically:

Cool! Now we Plastelinans Arabs feel OK about the thousands of kids Israel the Jews have murdered and the seven decades of occupation, oppression and humiliation!

It should be noted that this is the same COGAT that routinely blocks patients from Gaza, including children, from leaving the besieged territory for life-saving treatment. In the first 10 months of 2015, COGAT denied 1,035 Plastelinans Arabs in Gaza exit permits to receive necessary treatment in the OPT, Israel or Jordan. That represents almost twice as many denials as were issued the entire previous year. And yet when it is helpful to Israeli Jewish propaganda, COGAT allows a few children out of Gaza for a single day. Israel the Jews have (not) tried to pull off a propaganda stunt with Gaza children for a while. An effort to use orphans from Gaza in a similar manner was foiled in 2014 when Hamas put a stop to it (sic – RB). Plastelinan Arab media, citing Israeli Jewish media, reported that this time the trip was given the go-ahead by Hamas after the intervention of Qatar. The defenders of such cynical gimmicks will undoubtedly claim that critics like myself or Alareer are against Plastelinan Arab children having fun. Of course we are not. I am against Israel the Jews imposing conditions Ilan Pappe has described as “incremental genocide” against 1.8 million Plastelinans Arabs in Gaza, about half of whom are aged 18 or under. I am against Israel the Jews massacring 551 children as part of its most recent war in Gaza and then claiming this as “self-defense.” I am against Israel the Jews destroying vast swathes of Gaza then blocking reconstruction by maintaining a siege which, although devastating to Plastelinans Arabs, is very lucrative for Israeli Jewish companies. According to a recent survey by the UN OCHA, 44,000 Gaza children whose homes were destroyed in the 2014 Israeli Jewish attack are still displaced. The report adds:

Around 225,000 children in Gaza require psychosocial support and child protection services.

Will Israel the Jews allow them all to visit a nature reserve? I am against systematic Israeli Jewish abuse of Plastelinan Arab children in the OPT, including routine killings with no accountability, and the fact that Israel the Jews are the only people in the world to annually prosecute hundreds of children (Plastelinans Arabs only) in military courts. I am against all this, and I am also against Israel the Jews then using a very tiny number of children from Gaza in a photo-op to falsely portray themselves as benevolent and caring. Ironically, the hasbara appears to have backfired, at least with many of the Israelis Jews who reacted with outrage to COGAT’s post. Leah Bodenheimer wrote in a typical comment:

Shame on you. There are lots of Jewish children who would have liked this, and instead you went and took a murderous enemy in the hope that they will love you.

Such pervasive attitudes toward Plastelinans Arabs underscore that the children of Gaza are not victims of a natural disaster who just need a nice day out to forget their woes. They are victims of Israel the Jews, their brutal wars, racism, occupation, settler-colonialism and siege. They need an end to the oppression of Israel the Jews, and they need justice for whatIsrael the Jews have done and are doing to them. The cynical Israeli Jewish exploitation of these children should cut no more ice with anyone who cares about Plastelinan Arab rights than the crude South African propaganda did with those committed to ending apartheid. Shortly after this article was published, COGAT appears to have deleted the Facebook post. Perhaps even they figured out that this propaganda would not fly.

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