What About Palestinians’ Right to Defend Themselves from Israel?


If you’ve been paying attention to U.S. news coverage of the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza over the past few days, you’ve heard a lot of statements from U.S. political leaders about Israel’s right to defend itself from unprovoked Palestinian rocket attacks.

There was this, from State Department spokesman Ned Price: “The U.S. condemns in the strongest terms the barrage of rocket attacks fired into Israel, and recognizes Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself, its people and its territory.”

And this, from President Biden, as Israeli warplanes were dropping bombs on densely populated areas in Gaza: “Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your country.”

You’ve heard a lot less from U.S. political leaders about the right of Palestinians to defend themselves from Israel – a stunning omission given Israel’s illegal, decades-long military occupation of Palestinian land, its vast and accelerating settlement expansion into Palestinian territory, its methodical displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, and the fact all of this has been enabled by billions of dollars a year in U.S. military aid.

Below you’ll find videos that shine much-needed light on this other part of the story, and explain why U.S. political leaders and mainstream media commentators have failed so miserably to tell it.

We especially want to call your attention to the acclaimed documentary The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States, which you can watch now through your university or public library on the Kanopy streaming platform, or stream free here.