If you are unjust, If you are an autocrat, propoganda is both your pillow and blanket. Egyptian and Israeli leadership, with Sisi and Bibi at the helm, both understand this political subtlety; it is a subtlety that hits with a hammer’s force. Though, autocracts, traditionally, turn a blind eye towards history Bibi and Sisi,seperated by only 2 letters in their political noms de Guerres, fully understand the impact of propoganda on their domestic audiences. The governing principle of propoganda is a barrage of untruths, repeated often enough by multiple sources, will result in ‘untruth’ becoming ‘truth.
For both leaders there is a common enemy: political Islam. In Egypt, unless you have hybernating in a cave, that ‘enemy’ is the Muslim brotherhood. Until July 3 2013 it was, De Facto, MB rule. Sisi, via coup, quickly changed that reality. But Sisi, somewhere along the way in his graduate studies or perhaps during his intelligence tenure, picked up a Machiavelli, a Nietzche, or some Goebbels. Shortly after his take over, though not officially president, time and again the MB was turned into ‘the other’. The psychological ploy here is key: once you turn the political opposition into ‘the other’ it makes facile the notion of turning them into ‘terrorists’. And turn the MB into ‘terrorists’ did Sisi and his, all too willing, media machine. Open a newspaper,whether private or Govt., turn on a TV channel, whether public or private, and there it was, on a daily basis: The ‘Terrorist Entity’ had been born. One year later, the public preception of the domestic Egyptian audience has been shaped and goes largely unchallenged by laymen and analysts, alike, in the Egyptian milieu.
For Bibi the propoganda tango involves Hamas. Though, like its Egyptian counterpart and they are political cousins, Hamas had made more than its share of governance errors it was still the only viable resistance to Israeli occupation. Bibi, and his adminstration, realizing that a reconnect was about to occur between the Palestinian authority and Hamas went on a propganda offensive that continues to pick up steam as a war continues.The linkage here is between Hamas and two specific and dreaded terrorist entities: ISIL and Al Qaeda. Wherever and whenever possible Hamas resistance is painted as ‘terror’ and there is never a failure, however transparant it might to analysts and watchers, to paint for a, largely, right wing leaning Israeli populous, the linear relationship between Hamas , Isil, and Al Qaeda-however untrue it maybe. Wash, rinse and repeat goes the cycle. Even journalists, who see through the ruse, must abide the basic tenets of journalism, the 5 W’s, and ‘report’ faithfully what the PM says. It is because of these dynamics that the propoganda tango finds success.
So while Egypt and Israel, in many minds, are on opposite sides of the political divide they are, currently partners in Propoganda Inc.
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