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February 15, 2024 42 mins

Guest host Matt Lieb is joined by Shereen to discuss the phenomenon of Hasbara propaganda.

Recorded January 30th, 2024

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Hey everyone, this is it could happen here and I'm
your guest host, Matt Leeb. I'd say most of you
probably know me from Robert and Sophie's podcast Behind the Bastards,
which you know I've become kind of notorious for the
time that I use a jar jar beank soundboard during
a series about doctor Mangela. Yeah, I don't have that
soundboard with me today. Sorry. Fewer of you might know

me from having the world's only sopranos Slash the Wire
Rewatch podcast pod Yourself a Gun, But the fewest of
you might know me from my brand new podcast, Bad Hasbara,
the World's most moral podcast, in which me and some
of my other anti Zionist or non Zionist Jewish friends

and our other friends and our other guests guests who
you know you've maybe heard, like Charene here, we have
casual conversations about Israeli propaganda and Israeli propagandists. For some
of you, this might be your first time hearing the
word has bara, and that's why the homies at cool
Zone Media invited me here today. So this episode is

all about has barah aka Israel's public relations and propaganda machine,
and I am thrilled to be joined by my friend
and one time cat sitter, Charine Uness. Hi Scherene, Hi, Matt.

Speaker 3 (01:27):
What an intro? Yeah, I'm excited to learn more about
this actually also excited to know how you properly say
has bara because I don't know to say.

Speaker 2 (01:36):
It right ba lah Yeah it's Barra. Yeah, that's I mean, yeah,
the law you know, with the with the throat has
ba raw.

Speaker 3 (01:51):
You heard it here first.

Speaker 2 (01:53):
Yes, you heard it here first. I'm not I'm not
the greatest at doing you know, Israeli accents or whatnot.
So throughout this podcast, I'm probably gonna be butchering a
lot of Hebrew words. Uh and you know, just you're
just gonna have to deal with it.

Speaker 3 (02:09):
Yeah, and that's totally fine. That's just part of the game.
I've just pronounced every name I've ever said on this.

Speaker 2 (02:15):
Show, so yeah, yeah, I mean you should hear me
trying to pronounce Arabic names like I can't do it.
I mean I attempt, Yes, that would. If there's any
that happened in this episode, please but before we get
into talking about has blah blah, I want to start
with a quick story, Saren, Are you familiar with the

Birthright Trip?

Speaker 3 (02:42):
Yes, i am.

Speaker 2 (02:43):
It was one of those things where I was very
excited to one day do the Birthright Trip, and I
didn't really even question. I knew, like, you know, it
was a little bit, you know, they were trying to
whine and dine me to go there and you know,
maybe move or what not. But I didn't know how
much they wanted me to move there until I went.

So for me, my Birthright trip is kind of why
I'm here today talking about Hasbara. It's why I started
a freaking podcast about it. It's when I first started
clocking Israeli propaganda. So I went in January twenty twelve.
If you don't know Birthright, it's pretty much a two week,

all expenses paid trip for young Jews from all over
the world to go to the Holy Land, reconnect with
their Jewish roots, float in the dead seat. It is.
It is a propaganda tour of apartheid state. And you know,
I'm not going to get too much into the history
of Birthright, you know and all the like far right

wing funders like Sheldon Adelson and stuff. There's like not
enough time for that. But I'm mentioning it because it
was the first time I saw how hasbara was more
than just propaganda and how in my opinion, it more
closely resembles like indoctrination, and the organizers at Birthright did

like a masterful job of this. Like I went on
a trip of American Jews who were like me, like
they were like secular from mixed or like intermarried families,
non bar mitzvah. It was all like other matt Leab
type Jews, like ethnic Jews, right, And I realized this.
I think it was like day two of the trip.

One of the Israeli tour guides literally gave us a
bar mitzvah like all at the same time we had
a group bar mitzvah yeah, And they did it by
saying like, okay, well now bar mitzvod. It just means
you're a man. Now, everyone here is a man. Now
choose an Israeli name, and which was like for me,

I remember feeling a little, you know, I was like, wait,
there's supposed to be a theme party and fucking like,
yah's supposed to yeah, DJ, my dad's gonna buy me
a car, or at least me a like a Honda
like I thought it was more than that. At the
very least, I thought I would have to like memorize

a tour a portion, but no, you just go to
Israel and you know a tour Guiy does it for you,
so like it really works though, like you really you
you go there being like you know, I'm European Jew,
and you leave there and you're like, I invented falafel.
So the Hasbara highlight of the trip for me was

this like mega like birthright mega event. It was in
Jerusalem and a huge arena in which they had like
Israeli speakers, donors, rappers, and there was like a there
were rappers at one point who just started rapping about
things that they claim Israel invented, like iPhone, computer chips

and like the cherry tomato, which was you know like
and by the way, a not insubstantial amount of the
trip was spent telling us about how Israel invented the
cherry tomato. Like we went to places like you know,
farms and stuff where they showed us this like drip irrigation.

Multiple people were just like, man, we invented the cherry tomato.
Here can you believe it? And I was like this
seems like a lot of effort for just this one
particular thing, which may or may not be true. But yeah,
So the headliner of the mega event of that night,

the cherry tomato on top, if you will, was a
speech by none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu.
Straight up, the Prime Minister of Israel was the headline
speaker of this birthright event and an arena filled with

like twenty thousand teens and like early twenty somethings, which
was kind of like amazing, Like, you know, listen, here's
the thing I knew. Benjamin netnya who I like, I
knew enough about Israeli politics to know that, like he
was a fucking right winger and bad. But like I

have to admit, even I, you know, as a twenty
six year old who kind of was starting to get
like woke on Palestine, you know, so to speak, like
even I was like kind of like, whoa this is.
I'm a little charmed, a little honored to see the
Prime minister here. He took time out of his busy
schedule of doing crimes, probably to address us. And you know,

I actually found the speech of that night. I actually
have some clips from it that I want to play.

Speaker 3 (07:56):
That is incredible, that's great.

Speaker 2 (07:59):
So yeah, he he was like casual, he was off
the cuff. They wrote a speech for me.

Speaker 4 (08:05):
I'm not going to read it.

Speaker 2 (08:10):
Like he even did a little bit of crowd work.

Speaker 4 (08:14):
Anyone here named Rachel.

Speaker 2 (08:16):
So that right there is what we in the Jewish
community call Rachel profiling. That's when you just start in
front of a group of Jews and you ask whose
name to Rachel. Shout out to Rachel Blumenthal for telling
me that joke. In college. It was. It was like
a crash course in Hesbara. Like he told us we

were from Israel.

Speaker 4 (08:39):
At one point, you all come from great countries, great countries.
Did you all come from here?

Speaker 2 (08:48):
All of you?

Speaker 4 (08:50):
That's your birthright.

Speaker 2 (08:52):
He was telling us that, like you know, once again,
it was everything they invented phone, you know, the cell phone, ships,
blah blah blah. He was telling us to make aliat
to Israel, which means to you know, move to return,
to come back. You know. Essentially what he was vying
for was like move to Israel and start a family.
It's very like sex based, like the way it works.

The big thing I took away was him telling us
that he wanted us to go back home and tell
people the truth about Israel.

Speaker 4 (09:26):
But the most important battle that we have to fight
is the battle for the truth. And all of you
can become ambassadors for the truth and ambassadors for Israel.

Speaker 2 (09:35):
And of course, you know, he then proceeded to tell
us what the truth about Israel was.

Speaker 4 (09:43):
Go back your respective countries and tell the truth about Israel.
The only way to fight a live to tell the truth.
Tell him about a country where people are free, free
to initiate, free to work, free to speak, the country
where you can criticize the Prime Minister although he never
makes mistakes. This is a country which has in which

Arabs have full right something they've been denied in all
the vast lands around us. And a woman in this
country can sit anywhere she wants. That's our position. This
is a free country.

Speaker 2 (10:22):
So him going up there telling me that what he
wants from me is to go back home and be
an ambassador for Israel and tell the truth about Israel.
You know, it was the first time I realized that
he was giving me a job to do. And this
is a job that I think a lot of Jewish
people who may be listening to this podcast can relate

to the job of telling the truth about Israel and
the job of you know, stopping the slander that is
out there about Israel in the media and on the internet,
press and all that stuff. And it was the first
time I realized that, like, oh, part of the hasbara

isn't just you know, some government thing. It's like, my job,
My job is to is to tell the truth. And
he said something in that clip, the only way to
fight allies with the truth. And so I am going
to follow his advice. That's what I'm going to do, Shreen.
I'm going to tell people the truth about Israel. And

I think I think it's time to do it. So
let's get into it. Let's talk about the truth. Let's
get into talking about hasbara. What is it? What is it?

And so loosely, hasbara is it's a modern Hebrew word
derived from the word lasbier hasbier meaning to explain or explanation.
I say loosely because it's kind of a made up word.
So you know, a lot of words in modern Hebrew
are sort of made up words. Remember, Hebrew is like

an ancient liturgical language, and modern Hebrew was created by
like Jewish linguist nerds who wanted to revive the language
to be a spoken one, and that's how you got
modern Hebrew, which is fine, there's nothing wrong with the
reviving a dead language. But because of that, a lot
of the words in modern Hebrew are kind of inventions. So,

according to Mosaic Magazine, has bara is strictly a twentieth centuryism.
You won't find it in Eliezer benu Huda's a monumental
complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew, whose second volume,
in which hasbara appears only as the first word of
hasbarat Panim, was published in nineteen oh two. So it's

not something that you see in kind of like the
original beginnings of, you know, the creation of modern Hebrew.
Like colloquially, his bara like refers to like media pr branding,
mud slinging. It's kind of a like a sort of
like catch all term for general propaganda used to create
a narrative based on Israeli government talking points meant for

a foreign, usually American or just generally Western audience. People
who deal in hasbara are called has barists or has baristas,
which is fun.

Speaker 3 (13:31):
That's that's true.

Speaker 2 (13:33):
Yeah, yeah, I mean listen, has Barista, I think gives
a gives it a little bit more flair, you know,
kind of imagine someone kind of like making you coffee,
but instead of coffee, it's they make you lies.

Speaker 3 (13:46):
So nope, I'm not gonna do that.

Speaker 2 (13:47):
Sorry, I like it. I wish I never was born. Well,
so there's all sorts of like has bars like. Some
of them have like a official positions within the Israeli government,
such as the head of the IDF Spokesperson's unit, Daniel Hagari,
who you might remember is the guy from that video

taken at the you know, the children's hospital, you know,
in Gaza, and he's like pointing at what he thought
was a list of his Israeli hostages, but was like
literally just a calendar, didn't have any names. It was
just he was pointing at days of the week thinking
they were names because that's what a calendar has. And
also it's so fucking weird that they can't read Arabic, like, yeah,

you're in the Middle East, you are the spokesperson.

Speaker 3 (14:37):
I think something interesting about how Hebrew was revived as
well is that a lot of words were taken from Arabic,
a lot of words are very similar to Arabic, so
it's like even more funny that they were they can't
even read the language that they kind of took a
lot of words from.

Speaker 2 (14:54):
But I'm saying that, like yeah, in Israel, it's almost
like the appropriation was just part of the process of
the cleansing, you know, just like stealing something, saying it's
ours and then not even being able to identify an
Arabic word that you yourself say. So, yeah, so there's him.
Then there's like everyone if you've been on Twitter, you've

seen a lot of Alon Levy who he's His official
title is the official Israeli government spokesperson, and that's through
the basically the office of the Prime Minister. He's a
British guy. Like he raises his eyebrows. It's like the meme,
you know, like he goes like, oh, that's what he's

famous for. Then there's a lot of these like non
governmental like Israeli Civil Society haspara organizations like Stand with
Us or like a PAK, the Washington Institute for Near
East Policy, the Anti Defamation League, Christians United for Israel,
the Israel on Campus Coalition. I mean, they're of them

tons of them. And then of course there's people who
are just in it for the love of the game,
like celebrities, artists, you know, actors, you know, who make
like Israel public advocacy part of their thing. It's a
fascinating world filled with ghouls and goblins. So the word
his bara itself interestingly is hesbara. So early Zionists had

no problem calling their pr campaigns and like their branding
for a Jewish state and Palestine, propaganda. They would say
it's we got to do propaganda, because in the early
twentieth twentieth century, the term was generally considered to be neutral,
like people said they were doing propaganda when they were
doing propaganda. Once the word became a pejorative, they created

the word has bara, which is a nicer sounding word
with more neutral connotations. And although it's now used as
a pejorative by critics of Israel and me and stuff,
the word is still used to this day in Israel.
It is still a fairly neutral word. There are has
Borrow workshops sponsored by Israel. They have has Barrow Fellowships.

That's the name of the fellowship. Like you can get
merch that says has Barrow Fellowship on it. And the
reason is because it doesn't translate. The word isn't translate
to propaganda. It just means to explain, which is, you know,
seems innocent enough. It's not about doing propaganda. It's not
about They don't call themselves liars. They're not saying I'm
going to lie. They say they're merely just explaining. And

I found this speech from the Middle East Policy Council
that goes into depth about what has Barro is beyond.
Just like propaganda. Quote has Barrow links information warfare to
the strategic efforts of the state to bolster the unity
of the home front, ensure the support of allies, disrupt

efforts to organize hostile coalitions, determine the way issues are
defined by the media, the intelligentsia, the social networks, established
parameters of politically correct discourse, de legitimize both critics and
their arguments, and shape the common understanding and interpretation of
the results of international negotiations. So behind this term is

a large, well funded information warfare apparatus dedicated to shaping
you know, Israeli discourse in the media and the government
and academic institutions everywhere. And they use all of the
tools in their toolbox to silence criticism of Israel, and
what they can't silence, they soften. Sometimes it's through coordinated

letter writing campaigns. Sometimes it's harassment. Sometimes it's doxing. You know,
people have been doxed. So before I continue, I want
to address that uncomfortable feeling you had when I talked
about like Israel and the media. I want to say
that is that is not to say that Israel or
the Israel lobby or Zionists quote control the media, all right,

So they do not. That's why Hasbara exists, you know,
That's why the Israel Lobby exists. If they controlled the media,
they wouldn't have groups like Camera, for example, constantly day
in and day out, harassing the New York Times and
CNN and PBS to get them to talk about Israel correctly. Okay,

So it's important when people hear these criticisms of Israel
that they don't try to see them as like otherizing
Israel or like you know, a lot of people they
get uncomfortable because a lot of these things will match
old anti Semitic tropes. But it's important to remember that
these lobbying groups exist in Israel. They exist in the

gun lobby, in the big oil lobby. This is not
unique to Israel. The unique thing about it is how
willing the America in public is and the West in
general is to letting themselves be lied to. That's why
I'm interested in it. But let's talk about Camera real quick,

because this is a recent thing that happened. Some news
happened recently about the New York Times and their connection
to CAMERA. This is from a recent article in The Intercept.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis,
or CAMERA, was founded in nineteen eighty two in response
to what it claims was anti Israel bias in the

Washington Post reporting on the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Since
its inception, CAMERA has successfully lobbied for hundreds of corrections
in major media outlets, seeking to streamline a pro Israel
line in news reports and editorials at a smere journalists
whose work it disagrees with, and launched boycott campaigns against
news organizations it believes are not responding with enough deference

to its requests. So the way this group operates is
that they go through any and every article about Israel
looking for sentences, looking for terms, definitions, anything they disagree
with and lobby for corrections to be issued. Camera doesn't
do this quietly. They openly brag about it on their website.

Like recently, Camera successfully lobby The New York Times to
issue a correction removing the word occupation from an article,
and they wrote this on their website. Quote the mask
slipped for the New York Times reporters kum Hamas stenographers
this week when they absolutely neglected to done down Hamas's

preferred language before passing off the terror organization's talking points
as original reporting. Take notice of the framing of The
New York Times and their mask slipping and their reporters
as being stenographers for Hamas. This is like quite the
accusation given the The New York Times is like has

and continues to have coverage described as biased in favor
of Israel Like. According to an Intercept analysis, it was
found that in the first six weeks of the war,
New York Times consistently delegitimized Palestinian deaths and cultivated a
gross imbalance in coverage to pro Israeli sources and voices.

So the exact opposite of what Camera is claiming is
the truth here. You know, this is. This is actually
a famous has Bara tactic. It is the I am rubber,
you are glue tactic, and it's really something to see
it in action, Like I don't know seen if you've
seen how often you've like read some pro Israeli voices,

you know has Baris online and heard them say stuff
that you're like, I know for a fact, the exact
opposite of this thing is true. You know what I mean?

Speaker 3 (22:58):
Yeah, every every accusation is a confession. It feels like
that is true all the time when it comes to
the stuff. And also the intercept article is very good.
I'll put it in the description for those woe to
read the whole thing. I'm glad you mentioned that because
I didn't know that much about camera until I read
that article, and I was just like, what, like I
knew that that was a thing that that was done.

Like they would change words recently. The New York Times
was like a decline of death or life, like they
use the word decline to describe.

Speaker 2 (23:27):
To describe what was happening in Gaza. They decided the
articles headline was going to be like death's actually declining
in the.

Speaker 3 (23:35):
Gaza exactly, and like the standard ones are always there,
like blast or conflict or whatever it is. Those are
unfortunately so normal now, But to see it all laid
out by the intercept was really I'm really glad I
did that article so it will be in the description,
and I'm glad you mentioned it. But it does go
back to the idea that every accusation is a confession.

I think that's something to remember every time you see
a headline.

Speaker 2 (23:59):
It's true, and it's something that you know. It's almost
become a cliche online because you've sa I've seen it
so many times people saying that, and I think it's
important to remember that this is sort of the tactic
of hesbara. Like what makes hesbara particularly notable and like

often hilarious is that it doesn't merely just spin narratives,
but it inverts them to essentially make like an alternate reality.
It's not just that hesbara is information warfare. Hesbara is
straight up info wars like Alex Jones level shit. The
same way Alex Jones will run the same like fantastical

paranoid thread to every major news event that happens in
order to reinforce his worldview and prove that he's right
and everyone else is wrong, you know, like that's Israel
does this, but with like far more money and far
greater success, and it kind of makes sense why they're
successful at it. Like Alex Jones info wars shit like

praise on white Christian paranoia that like the Blacks are
trying to take away our guns so they can make
our children trans or whatever, like total fantasy in saying
shit that you have to be like already far right
wing to believe. Well, like Israeli info wars praise on
a much more grounded in reality paranoia that of anti Semitism,

Like anti Semitism is real, it's historical, it's evil, it's pervasive,
it's pernicious. Like this kind of paranoia makes sense, and
not just for Jews, but like for anyone of conscience,
anyone who has empathy, you know, like that they understand
anti Semitism is bad and needs to be fought. And

that makes Hasbara very effective. You know, people want to
support Israel because people want to support the Jewish people
and they want to fight anti Semitism. And when the
IDF mantles a children's hospital and says we had to
do it to stop Hamas. Look, here's a list of hostages.
People want to believe them. It's like Molder from the

X Files, like I want to believe, which is the
same impulse as Alex Jones believers. Essentially, like you don't
want Sandy Hook to be a possibility. You want it
to be a conspiracy to take your guns away. You
want those children to be secretly actors pretending to be dead.
So like when Israel says we aren't killing children, we're

killing hamas, people want to believe that.

Speaker 3 (26:35):
And yeah, let's just say hate that you compared Fox
Mulder to the like you dragged him into this and
I'll get over it.

Speaker 2 (26:41):
But I'm sorry to you know, to bring him into
this conversation. But you know, I'm just saying, Molder, if
he wants to believe that stuff, what else does he
want to believe? You just hope, you really hope and
pray that he's not going to fall for the hesbara,
but he might know you really don't. And it's like,

you know it's hiszbar is effective because it gives you
something like a nice, legitimate sounding explanation for why Israel
needed to do something that you might usually think is bad.
Like that's how it's worked for decades in the same
way that Hasbara serves to explain things for you. To
basically take the Israeli government at its word. That's kind

of how it works. It gives you a believable explanation
and not only sounds like kind of real, but it
you know, conforms to your personal beliefs. And yeah, but
speaking of personal beliefs, if there's one thing, oh, let's
see if I can do this. If there's one thing
I'd love to believe in, it's commerce. And so yes,

I mean listen, people will have to make money somehow.
So it looks like we have some products and services
that we have to sell. And yeah, when they sell
you these these products and services, please believe them when
they say how good they are. And we are back.

So we were talking about hespara and how you know,
the explanations conformed to your personal beliefs. The interesting thing
about hasbara is that they have different types of hespara
for a wide range of personal beliefs. It's not one
size fits all. It depends on who you are. There's
a conservative version and there's a liberal version. Like Israel.

Israel has been very successful and their ability to brand
themselves is both a liberal democracy and a outpost for
Western values fighting the Muslim hoards. Usually, these strategies have
been like pretty separated, right, you know, like you can't
claim you can't do them at the same time, it'll

sound weird. It's like Israel is the only gay friendly,
climate conscious, feminist democracy and that's why we got to
do genocide. Like that doesn't that doesn't sound right. Like
you tell the city dwelling liberal elites about the gay stuff,
you tell the conservative Christians about the Western civilization stuff.

That's kind of how it works. The basic conservative hasbara
doesn't actually interest me all that much because it's I
don't know, they don't have to work that hard at
getting conservatives to be okay with killing Muslims.

Speaker 4 (29:41):
You know.

Speaker 2 (29:41):
It's like Muslims Arabs, you know, they're fully willing to
You don't even have to like couch it in something.

Speaker 3 (29:48):
No, that's just what happens to us.

Speaker 2 (29:50):
It's fine, right, And it's interesting too, because like this
idea of you know, being a Western outpost, an outpost
for Western values is not like that is very much
falling into the almost the the whiteness thing of Europeans,

where you kind of like because Jews, like European anti
semitism wasn't about how Jews had Western values. It was
about how Jews represented this other this this thing that
you know, they don't they didn't share values. There were
some weird other thing. And you know, this was not
the the charge of anti Semitism in Europe. And now

with like Israeli propaganda towards you know that's aimed towards
conservative Westerners, they're like, no, no, we're the most Western,
like we're so Western that we're going to be the
ones who are on the front lines stopping the evil,
you know, Arab ports. And yeah, but it's like the
that's interesting, you know in some aspects, but it's the

liberal stuff. Sure, liberal hasbara is where the lies get
so wild. Like that's the stuff that I grew up with,
you know.

Speaker 3 (31:04):
Yeah, no, it really you the pink washing in particular
is like one, yes, it's just they're they're so egregious
in their use of using like the gay struggle for
their own agenda. It's really really gross.

Speaker 2 (31:20):
Yeah, and it's and it's weird at how effective it
is or how effective it has been for so long,
because it is something that I think it's kind of
like the the first stop on the Hasbara tour. You know,
when you are hearing someone kind of like talking about
why we need to stand with Israel, they will start
right there with the you know, the pro gay rights stuff.

And it's like, the reason I find it interesting is
like Israel's so effectively been able to like brand itself
is representing and supporting all these positive liberal traits. Well,
well a lot of it is just not true. Like,
for example, liberals are pro LGBT rights, right, you know,
they love gays, they love gay rights, and that's a

good thing, of course, and yet gay marriage is illegal
in Israel. It is illegal. It's also mixed faith marriages
are also illegal in Israel. They will recognize those marriages,
but they will not perform them. You cannot get gay married.
You cannot get Inner faith married in Israel. If you're
there performed abroad, then they will recognize them. That's kind

of the loophole. Also, by the way, Palestinians from the
West Bank or Gaza who mary an Israeli citizen cannot
then get Israeli citizenship through that marriage. You also can't
get Israeli citizenship if you marry in Israeli and you
are from a quote enemy state that read Arab. If
you want to know what they states are, they mean Arabs.

So you know, I don't know, liberals should hate that.
They should look at and be like, well, I don't
like that, you'd think, right. Another example, like liberals love
democracy and they hate racism, yet believe Israel when they
say they are a democracy because they'll be like, we
have you know, twenty percent Arab Muslim population, you know,

two million and all with the right to vote. Meanwhile,
they're like ignoring the five point three million Palestinians who
are currently living in the West Bank and Gaza under
military control by Israel. Like this is a situation was
which has explicitly been called apartheid by most major human

rights organizations, you know, human Rights Watch and it's the International,
the International Federation for Human Rights and even including human
rights orgs in Israel. Yes, Din and but sell them.
They have all called this on apartheid state and apartheid
to you know, to be clear, is racist And I'm

again yes, and I think most liberals would say they're
against it. Don't you think, Serene, like it help something
you would hope. So that's kind of like part of
the thing with the liberal You're like, I don't like
bad people, right, yeah, yeah, but you know it's once again,
it's this thing where we're willing to be like, oh,

they say they're a democracy, and therefore I believe it,
and I think it's you know, you have to remember
that like Israel's got like a caveat for all this stuff.
It's it's usually they'll say, you know, their credentials are
touted with this like in the Middle East, the most

gay friendly in the Middle East. They're the only democracy
in the Middle East. But like, once again, that kind
of only serves to implicitly condemn those enemy states, you know,
filled with Arabs as being racist and backwards and homophobic
and anti democratic and therefore unworthy of liberal sympathies. So
it's you know, your liberals will look at it and

they'll go like, well, I mean compared to Iraq, and
you know that they yeah, of course, it's like forgetting
why why the Middle East is the way the Middle
East is? You know, they they will there's a complete
like vacuum, like everything exists in a vacuum. When it
comes to American imperialism, so you don't, but you just

want to believe that Arabs are backwards people rather than
looking at any kind of like Western imperial imperial complicity.

Speaker 3 (35:32):
But also like reinforcing this like racist backwards stereotype also
like dehumanizes Arabs and Muslims and Palestinians to such a
degree where people can't overlook genocide. Now you know, like
it's all part of that, ac it's all part of that. Yes,
they're different, they're not like us. They don't like gay people,
they don't women stand up or whatever the fuck it is.

It's just like it's it really is infuriating because you wonder,
like how can this happen? It's because of stuff like
this that's not very little when it's all together, and
it just reinforces this like barbaric trope. And then people
just go on their go about their lives being okay
with genocide because to them these people are human anymore.

Speaker 2 (36:14):
Right on, you look at this like as part of
a pattern of like the delegitimization of the Arab being.
In a way, it's like all of this is a
pattern of like what are things we can say about
Arabs in order to make them so far from us

that you just don't care if they live or die,
or more so you you more, you're more willing to
believe that the people who are like us, the Israelis,
are the ones telling the truth that they're you know,
they're the ones who have the empathy. They're the ones
who you know, let women, you know, sit wherever they want,

whatever the fuck that meant from BB's speech, But like,
you know, they're more like me Arabs. I don't know them,
and I guess, you know, if they say they're bad,
they're bad. You know, it's just part of it. And
I think what pisses me off about it is the
liberal willingness to believe it. And I think it's like,

I don't know, it's fascinating to me because especially right now,
in the last you know, four months or so, of
this brutal incursion into Gaza, it's like so clearly illustrates
why people on the left fucking hate liberals. You know,
they're just so easy to manipulate if you know the

right words, you know, like if it were any other group,
if it were any other group instead of Jewish nations nationalists,
like if it were Christian nationalists, they'd be like clearly
condemning it. Clearly like liberals have such a facile identity
and race essentialism that they either excuse the crimes committed

by the Jewish state because Israel asked them to do
it and they want to be like good allies or whatever,
or they ignore them because well, it's not my place
to say, I'm not Jewish. I feel like I should like, like,
they're just so squishy. It kind of reveals the modern
American liberal for what they are, which is like a
tiny baby whose self perception is at the root of

their ideology. Right, And it's just it's important to remember
that Europeans doing atrocities to indigenous populations has always come
with the gift wrapping of these savages don't share our values.
It's always been like that. So when you see an
Israeli soldier flying a Pride flag in the rubble of

a raised Palestinian city, like, just remember that's not liberation,
that is regular ass by the book colonialism, same shit,
you know what I mean?

Speaker 3 (39:12):
Oh yeah, I mean, I still am loving the description
of an American liberal as a tiny baby.

Speaker 2 (39:17):
They are little babies. There's little tiny babies. You got
they've got, they can only hold like one sort of
political critique in their mind at once, and you know,
if they choose this kind of like identity essentialism, then
it's so much easier to just kind of go like, hey,

you know, I don't really think it's my place to
talk about this right.

Speaker 3 (39:43):
Now, exactly. It's just it's cowardly and like in retrospect,
they're probably going to change their story about what their
stance was, like you know what I mean, And it's just, yes,
it's really infuriating, and I think it is important to
remember that what you're watching Israel do and what it
has done for the past seventy five years, over seventy
five years, is just colonialism and it was described that

way since the beginning. But that was that was really
Thank you for explaining all of that, Matt.

Speaker 2 (40:10):
Yeah, and you know there will be more in part two.
We'll get down to some of these myths. We'll get
down to the way in which has Bar kind of
works to invert narratives to a degree that you know,
are almost so shocking that you have trouble believing the
historical truth and are more comfortable believing the ahistorical fiction.

But Surene, what do we do now? Plugs? Or yeah?
What do I say? Commercial break?

Speaker 3 (40:40):
That's that's the end of part one. You did a
great job.

Speaker 2 (40:43):
Thank you. That's listen. I've never guess hosted a thing
here on cool Zone Media, but I'm very happy too.
And if you like you know me obviously you know
listen about his Bar the World's Most Moral podcast. If
you like me and my wife, We're going to be
at the Sacramento Punchline March seventeenth at seven pm. That's

a Sunday. We're headlining together. I mean, you know, co headlining,
so I'll go up showcoa. But it's really good. It's
a really good show. We did it in San Francisco.
Is so much fun. Please come out to it March seventeenth.
That's Sunday, March seventeenth, Sacramento Punchline. Come see Matt Leib
Francisca if hearing.

Speaker 3 (41:22):
Where can people follow you? Just in case you don't know?

Speaker 2 (41:24):
They should If you don't know, at Matt Leib on Twitter,
at mattleib jokes on Instagram, and yeah check me out.
I'll post all the dates and stuff over there, and
all the podcasts over there too.

Speaker 3 (41:37):

Speaker 2 (41:38):
Oh yeah, great job. Okay, goodbye bye.

Speaker 1 (41:48):
It Could Happen Here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool zonemedia dot com or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can find sources for It could Happen Here, updated
monthly at coolzonemedia dot com slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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