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In-Depth Interview: Prof. Sut Jhally Talks About His New Documentary “The Occupation of the American Mind”

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Important new documentary exposes Israel’s very effective propaganda machinery, which is based on talking points and strategies developed by American pollster Frank Luntz. The film features commentary from Noam Chomsky, Max Blumenthal, Phyllis Bennis, Mark Crispin Miller and others.Sut Jhally is a professor of communications at University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has produced more than 40 documentaries. He’s also a founder of the Media Education Foundation, which just released The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.  Get more information, watch the trailer, and screen the film (for a $5 donation) here.

Your humble host has often commented on the way Israel always depicts itself as the victim of Palestinians and Arabs.  It’s a carefully crafted meme that’s based on the research of American Frank Luntz, and in the excerpt from the film, you’ll hear Stephen Colbert ridicule Luntz as the guy who renamed the “estate tax” the “death tax”.  Jhally explains that a Luntz memo instructs supporters of Israel to talk about “terror, not territory”, which causes most Americans to see Israel as a victim, not a bully and occupier.

We discuss the surreal events of 2015, when Netanyahu came to Washington to attack President Obama over the Iran nuclear deal, using the US Congress as a prop for his reelection campaign, and the effective manner that Netanyahu uses to manipulate many Americans.

And we talk about the weak American media, in particular the one-sided coverage offered by Rachel Maddow, on the rare occasions that she covers the Middle East.

This is an important film, and you are encouraged to stream it to a screening in your home.