It sounds so wonderful! Free the downtrodden [fill in blank] people from the grip of the “fascist” oppressors! But all too often the romantic image of the freedom fighters doesn’t match the reality on the ground, as we have seen over the last several days in Israel.
Far from being a fascist oppressor, Israel is a pluralistic democracy surrounded by enemies, many of whom have explicitly expressed their goal of driving every Jew in Israel into the sea, which is nothing less than genocide. But as a public relations hook, mass murder leaves something to be desired, so they carefully couch their savage desires in boilerplate indistinguishable from the last 50 murderous independence movements.
Innocents being bombed, hospitals being shelled, children being strafed by warplanes…it all comes from the same playbook, and as the discussion about Guernica in the previous thread shows, art can be a powerful tool in the fight for the hearts and minds of the world. Picasso was a communist, and his political art was designed to support and romanticize communist insurgencies, and carefully gloss over their brutality.
Guernica wasn’t quite the war crime that Picasso would have us believe. Were the Germans brutal? Absolutely. Did they specifically target civilians? Possibly. Was Guernica a military target. Yes. Unequivocally yes.
But the message that the world took from Picasso was the romance of the “Republican” fight against the brutal fascists…not a reasoned understanding of a civil war fought between a weak government…that had been thoroughly infiltrated by the communists…and a pro-Spain nationalist movement that sought to save Spain from international socialism. And those socialists (communists) conducted an incredibly brutal war that has been mostly hidden by communism’s fellow travelers in the media. America’s contribution, The Lincoln Brigade, far from being idealistic young men fighting for freedom, was a bunch of hard-core socialists and their stupid fellow travelers.
The current situation in Gaza is no different. The techniques are a bit different…instead of canvas they use YouTube and TikTok and Twitter, but the messages are the same. They seek to hide the vicious brutality of the Palestinian ruling class, and morph it into everyman’s fight for freedom and dignity.
But everyman doesn’t hide rockets in preschools and hospitals, and fire from crowds of children (then run to the safety of the tunnels). Reality in Gaza is very, very different from the Pallywood version, but the Palestinians use the 21st century version of Guernica very effectively to mask the truth.