The Horrors Of Modern World – OpEd

The genocide of Palestinians is continuing. In Gaza, at least 33,037 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 13,000 children. Additionally, 8,000 children are missing. The total number of injured Palestinians amounts to 75,668, including 8,663 children. In the Occupied West Bank, at least 457 Palestinians are dead, including 117 children, with more than 4,750 injured. The mass killing of Palestinians through starvation, lethal military campaigns, and the destruction of hospitals amounts to war crimes. Such are the horrors of the modern world. How did humanity allow such a genocide to occur, with no political action to stop it, save for the efforts of the Republic of South Africa?

How is the genocide of the Palestinian population justified? The psychological and physiological warfare executed against Palestinians is strategic and deliberate. What strategies have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet implemented and continued to implement without any repercussions? The ongoing genocide of Palestinians is not only a humanitarian crisis but also a testament to the manipulative power of communication and the abuse of authority.

Netanyahu vocalized his defiant attitude on television in his statement: “No one will stop us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil, and not anyone else.” Although in clear breach of international law and the Genocide Convention, Netanyahu, his war cabinet, and Israel’s military are emboldened each day. The United Nations adopted the Genocide Convention on December 9, 1948, and defined genocide in the following manner. Article II of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as “any of the following means to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group” as such:

Killing members of a group
Inflicting severe physical or psychological harm upon members of the group
Purposefully creating living conditions aimed at the complete or partial destruction of the group
Implementing measures aimed at preventing births within the group
Forcibly relocating children of one group to another group.

The Government of Israel, led by Netanyahu, meets the criteria of what the United Nations has defined as genocide. Starvation, inhospitable conditions, lack of clean water, destruction of hospitals and universities, destruction of infrastructure, destruction of mosques, and food banks, all decimated to a point where life cannot exist. Meanwhile, the displaced Palestinian population faces the murderous rampage of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). To describe the horrors that Palestinians are facing, the words of U.N. Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese are enough to shock humanity. Commenting on her report, The Anatomy of a Genocide, Albanese writes, “I have a word limit in my report, otherwise we could write an encyclopedia.” Nevertheless, how is the genocide of the Palestinian population justified?

Joost A. M. Meerloo, discussing psychological warfare as a weapon of terror, in his book, The Rape of Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing writes, “Every human communication can be either a report of straight facts or an attempt to suggest things and situations as they do not exist. Such distortion and perversion of facts strike at the core of human communication. The verbal battle against man’s concept of truth and against his mind seems to be ceaseless.”

Meerloo’s statement is a deep reflection on the nature of communication and how communication could be either factual or an attempt to distort reality by suggesting what is not true. Every instance of human communication is either categorized as factual or a distortion of reality that happens by implying or suggesting things that are not true.

In another book, Delusion and Mass Delusion, Meerloo pointed to a similar fact. He wrote that “Public opinion has always been molded in the service of special aims. A lie repeated ten times becomes believable, and one repeated a hundred times exerts a hypnotic effect. All propaganda utilizes this psychological experience to imbue the masses with subjective truths or lies.”

People’s thoughts can be changed by repeating lies many times. Propaganda uses this to make people believe in certain things, whether they are true or not. This has remained the strategic tool of Netanyahu and the state of Israel to continue its occupation of the state of Palestine and strip Palestinians of basic human rights, dignity, and the land that Palestinians call home.

According to Meerloo, when communication deviates from reporting facts and shifts to distorting or altering facts, it undermines the integrity of human interaction. This distortion is a significant problem because human communication is typically the means of the transmission of accurate information, and when distorted, it damages the core of human communication. This continuous tension, he suggests, between truth and deception in human communication highlights the challenges and complexities inherent in human efforts to convey accurate information and understand reality amidst various attempts to manipulate perception and distort facts.

In the case of Palestine, reality took an extremely lethal turn when an Israeli reporter Nicole Zedeck of i24 News, which is an Israeli news channel, said Israeli soldiers told her that infants were killed in the attack on October 7th. Such claims have been dismantled and remain unproven; however, these claims have been used to justify the brutal assault on Palestinians. Arun Gupta reported in The Intercept that Landau and his fellow Zaka, assigned to report on the aftermath of the October 7th attack reported false stories that had no evidence.

Citing Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, Gupta noted, “In the case of the butchered mother and fetus, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz concluded the killing ‘simply didn’t happen.’ As for the tortured family, no one killed in Be’eri matches Landau’s account. The one brother and sister to die in the kibbutz were 12-year-old twins, killed when an Israeli general ordered a tank to fire on a house where Hamas militants were holding them hostage.” These stories told in the Israeli media were unfounded and dispersed to worldwide media unchecked.

Nevertheless, such distortion of reality had a purpose for Netanyahu and his war cabinet. It was to conduct his extremist religious and political ideology through the words, “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. And we do remember.” He used the religious and political destiny as it was suggested to him by Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson who advised him “to do something to hasten the coming of the ‘messiah.’

Prophecy mixed with racial superiority, Netanyahu and his war cabinet boldly spread their extremist agenda, and when questioned, the label of “antisemite” is charged upon the person or the organization. This makes the act of questioning a criminal offense, a strategy that the ultra-Zionist and ultra-nationalist party of Netanyahu continues to use and act with unchecked freedom, further granted to the state of Israel by the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Canada.

What Netanyahu has been doing is no less than what a totalitarian dictator does. Meerloo, discussing the traits of a totalitarian leader, mentions, “In his strategy of criminalization, the totalitarian dictator destroys the conscience of his followers, just as he has destroyed his own.” Further adding, Meerloo writes, “Think of the highly learned and polished Nazi doctors who started their professional life with the Hippocratic oath, promising to be the helping healer of man, but who later in cold blood inflicted the most horrible tortures on their concentration-camp victims (Mitscherlich).”

This is a similar strategy that Netanyahu and the ultra-Zionist and the ultra-nationalists in Israel have adopted. To constantly use the Holocaust, the suffering of the Jewish population that Germany caused, and the chant of “never again,” are both used to shut down the conversation on the pain, dehumanization, and psychological warfare upon the Palestinians.

Meerloo, describing this process in depth adds, “They slaughtered innocents by the thousands in order to discover the statistical limits of human endurance. They infected other thousands as guinea pigs because the Fuhrer wanted it so. They had lost their personal standards and ethics completely and justified all their crimes through the Fuhrer’s will. Political catchwords encouraged them to yield their consciences completely to the dictator. The process of systematic criminalization requires a “deculturation” of the people.” While hypnotizing the words with the political slogans, “never again,” “the only democracy in the Middle East,” and extremist religious indoctrination, Netanyahu succeeded in implementing this strategy that Meerloo points, which is what a dictator or totalitarian leader does.

Currently, Netanyahu and the ultra-Zionist and the ultra-nationalist party have complete control of Israel. As Meerloo elaborates, a dictator, who has total control over a country, can make people do horrible things without feeling guilty. Imagine a leader who convinces his followers to ignore what they know is right and wrong, just like he ignores it himself. Netanyahu defies any criticism and any international law that prevents him from annihilating the Palestinians.

When Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant sounded the words, “We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly,” Gallant in line with Netanyahu triumphed in hijacking the moral conscience of its citizens and the West, and this is where Meerloo’s commentary becomes extremely insightful. As he pointed out, when people follow a dictator blindly, they lose their own moral compass and do things they would not normally do. Dictators and totalitarian leaders use political slogans to justify their actions, even if it means causing complete destruction, which is evident in the destruction, killing, and full siege of Gaza.

U.N. Special Rapporteur, Albanese reflected on the similar process that Meerloo is describing by pointing out that the act of genocide is not a single act but a process. She stated, “History teaches us that genocide is a process, not a single act. It starts with the dehumanization of a group as other and the denial of that group’s humanity, and ends with the destruction of the group in all or in part. The dehumanization of Palestinians as a group is the hallmark of their history of ethnic cleansing, dispossession and apartheid.” Netanyahu and his war cabinet exactly know what they are doing like Hitler knew exactly what he was doing.

Comparatively, Meerloo pointed out in his book, “Hitler knew very well what he was doing when he turned the German concentration camps over to the unleashed lusts of his storm troopers. “Let them kill and murder,” was the device. “Once they have gone so far with me, they must go on to the end.” The strategy of criminalization is not only directed toward crushing the victims of the totalitarian regime but also toward giving the elite hangmen –the governing gang –that poisonous feeling of power that drags them farther and farther away from every human feeling; their victims become people without human identity, merely speaking masks and ego-less robots.” Hitler purposely let his soldiers in the concentration camps do horrific things because it made them feel powerful and loyal to him. He wanted them to keep committing atrocities because he believed it would make them more devoted to his cause.

The IDF soldiers and the hijacked citizens are posting daily videos of their animosity, dehumanization, and killings of the Palestinians freely because this is the freedom and the support that is given to them by the government of Israel. The feeling that no one can stop their atrocities in the name of the Holocaust, “never again” political slogans and religious destiny is also re-sounded by the political elite of Israel.

In doing so, as Meerloo noted, this strategy that Hitler executed of making people do evil things that not only harmed the victims but also changed the soldiers themselves. They became numb to human emotions and saw the people they hurt as less than human. The phrase “human animals” is a perfect proof of making Palestinians less than human and to justify their destruction. Netanyahu perfectly executed the strategy that Meerloo wrote in his book. This strategy is about controlling people by tapping into their worst instincts, especially those who the dictator relies on to carry out his orders. Netanyahu tapped into the fears of his citizens, into the fears of people in the West, and into the IDF’s psyche through propaganda, lies, and fraudulent statements that show no evidence of sympathy towards the innocent civilians of Palestine.

The Real News Network published an article, “The IDF’s War Crimes Are A Perfect Reflection Of Israeli Society,” Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, provides insights into how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from birth. Responding to Chris Hedges question on how the military, within the IDF speak of Palestinians, Peled responded, “The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know?”

The international community must recognize the tricks and deceptive techniques of Israel’s political elite to effectively stop the injustice against the Palestinian population and hold those responsible for perpetuating it, aiding it, and participating in it. When the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog sits in the World Economic Forum and tells his audience that “If Israel were not there, Europe would be next and the United States is next, too. We are fighting a war for the entire universe, for the free world,” people must note this deception. It is a strategic technique being used to cause mass hysteria, fear, and confusion. It is a trick as Meerloo noted in his book, The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing.”

He correctly pointed out that in “Totalitaria,” leaders use tricks to control people. They make it seem like they are doing great things, like promoting peace, but really they are up to no good. Only a few people know the truth behind their flowery words. This dishonesty is part of a bigger story, like saying they are building a great new empire. People start to believe that doing something heroic means being violent and doing horrible things as it is being done to Palestinians. They start to think that hurting others is somehow good and important. Meerlo asserts, “These perversions are also incorporated into a great nationalistic myth – the Third Reich, the New Empire, the People’s Republic – and the citizen’s desire to do something heroic becomes identified with doing something violent and criminal. Blood becomes a magic fluid, and shedding someone else’s blood becomes a virtuous and life-giving deed.”

Such are the deceptions and tricks being executed to inflict horrors upon the innocent and the resilient people of Palestine who are facing death under the boot of “the only democracy in the Middle East” aimed at “fighting a war for the entire universe, for the free world” through its illegal occupation of Palestine and breach of all the international laws. Beware.

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