The Occupation of the American Mind

The Occupation of the American Mind
Film screening & discussion with Greg Shupak,
author of The Wrong Story: Palestine, Israel, and the Media
Monday, January 28 (7:00 – 9:00 pm)
Education Centre North, Room 2-115
87 Avenue & 113 Street, U of A campus (map)

Invite your friends to the Facebook event.

Polling shows strong global opposition to Israel’s illegal over-50-year occupation of Palestinian land, and mounting outrage over Israel’s ongoing slaughter of unarmed Palestinian civilians who are fighting for their rights. Nevertheless, public sympathy and support for Israel within the US continues to hold strong. The Occupation of the American Mind zeroes in on this critical exception, breaking down the devastatingly effective public relations war that Israel and right-wing pro-Israel advocacy groups have been waging for decades in the US.

Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the film explores how the Israeli government, the US government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives and interests, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. The result is a stunning look at how—and why—American media coverage of the conflict regularly minimizes the occupation, vilifies critics of Israeli policy, and dehumanizes the Palestinian people.

The film screening will be followed by a discussion (via Skype) with Greg Shupak, who will offer his insights into the flaws and fallacies inherent to how large media organizations in both the US and Canada cover the issue of Israel-Palestine, based on his recent book, The Wrong Story:  Palestine, Israel, and the Media.

Greg Shupak teaches Media Studies and English at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. He writes fiction and political analysis and is the author of The Wrong Story:  Palestine, Israel, and the Media, which can be purchased on the website of its publisher, OR Books.

The Wrong Story lays bare the flaws in the way large media organizations present the Palestine–Israel issue. It points out major fallacies in the fundamental conceptions that underpin their coverage, namely that Palestinians and Israelis are both victims to comparable extents and are equally responsible for the failure to find a solution; that the problem is “extremists,” often religiously-motivated ones, who need to be sidelined in favour of “moderates”; and that Israel’s uses of force are typically justifiable acts of self-defense.

Weaving together the existing literature with new insights, Shupak offers an up-to-date and tightly focused guide that exposes the distorted way these issues are presented and why each is misguided.


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