A Huge Distraction

By Zach Oaster

Trump announced yesterday (12/6/17) that his administration is going to “acknowledge the obvious… Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Beyond the discussion of foreign policy, there are two major domestic concerns that persons in the U.S. should pay attention to in this moment:

First, everyone is falling for this huge distraction.

Trump's people sat around this week and thought something like this, "Hmm... how are we going to distract people from the back-room passage of the tax bill through the House so I can get on with signing it? Also, let's do something that will distract everyone from talking about me as a sex predator."

Second, you'll notice how the U.S. news media talks about the Israelis and the Palestinians like they are two warring countries. They are not.

Israel is a nuclear power with a modern military, funded to near unlimited capacity by U.S. taxpayers. Palestine is a lose conglomeration of marginalized people groups who live in what is often described as "the world's largest open air prison." Yes, they have some representative leadership, and yes they have some antiquated guns and ammo stored somewhere, but they are not a true threat to Israel (beyond small acts of insurgency), and they are not an equal power to Israel. Palestinians are marginalized, contained, and controlled by a constant military occupation. Whenever acts of insurgency against their oppressors do happen, Israel is well known for sending in incredibly disproportionate military responses where ten times as many people get killed in retribution.

Israel is a maniacal oppressor, and Palestinians are marginalized by every possible measure.

I say all of this to give the inside scoop on how U.S. media discourse works. Trump was able to steal everyone's attention by saying something intentionally "wow-y", and the media bites hook line and sinker. Everything we've been talking about recently is forgotten, and instead, boom, we’re refocused on the U.S. conservatives doing what they always do -- support Israel in the most evangelical-triumphal-zionistic way possible. The media ignores the power differences, and treats the so-called "peace process" like it is a mere matter of bad faith, over-proud leaders, and hurt feelings. The truth in this matter is so far from this media narrative that it doesn't even make any sense.

Zach Oaster is a public sociologist, shepherd, and artisan. He is a full-time graduate student of sociology at Western Michigan University as well as a longtime performer of music and organizer around social justice issues. Zach identifies as a radical queer godless apostate and heretical disaffiliated United Methodist. He prefers masculine pronouns, and has a fabulous talent for writing third person bios. Zach describes his academic research as, “exploring the conflicts within conservative political and social discourse, revealed at the intersection of neoconservative and neoliberal ideologies – especially as those discourses converge on issues important to the LGBTQIA communities.” Find out more about Zach at www.FatToaster.com, or on Facebook.com/ZachOaster. 

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