The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel's Public Relations War in the United States

2018, 1:24 min

"It doesn't matter if justice is on your side. You have to depict your position as just." -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

Over the past few years, Israel's ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world -- except the United States. The Occupation of the American Mind takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S.

Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. media culture, the film explores how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel's favor. From the U.S.-based public relations campaigns that emerged in the 1980s to today, the film provides a sweeping analysis of Israel's decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people in the face of widening international condemnation of its increasingly right-wing policies.

A discussion guide is also available for download, as well as a statement from the filmmakers, and a clarification that the documentary is not anti-semitic.

Not only land, but also minds can be colonized. The brilliance of this documentary is that it manages to tell the story of both forms of colonization simultaneously. The first story reveals how Palestinian land was colonized and how the Palestinian people have been struggling for self-determination ever since. The second story uncovers how the American media has colonized the minds of its audiences and inverted the concrete relations of subjugation by transforming Israelis into victims and Palestinians into oppressors. The Occupation of the American Mind is a must see for anyone who is against colonization." -- Neve Gordon, Professor of Politics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

I wish every American would watch this powerful documentary. Not only every person of conscience, but every taxpayer, must see it — and then ask themselves if the status quo is acceptable and can continue deep into the 21st century." -- Gideon Levy, columnist for Haaretz newspaper of Israel

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