We are honored and delighted to be partnering with the Palestinian Film Festival to bring the film, The Occupation of the American Mind to the Lake Theatre. This brilliant documentary explains how it is that Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and its repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies from countries across the world — but not the United States. 

The film takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S. and features leading Israeli, Palestinian and American journalists, political analysts, renowned political scholars and media critics, and some of America’s foremost authorities on advertising, public relations and political propaganda.

While criticism of Israel is often equated with anti-Semitism as in the previous letter, we believe that this is neither helpful nor honest, and distorts our responsibility to address the devastating impact of Israel’s policies and actions and the ways that we as Americans become complicit in this untenable situation. The Occupation of the American Mind explores how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. The film provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people — a battle that has only intensified over the past few years in the face of widening international condemnation of Israel’s increasingly right-wing policies.

This documentary has received great acclaim from around the world. Here are comments from just a few: 

“The story of how American perceptions of the Middle East — as well as resulting legislation and military strategy — are engineered: from focus group to talking points to mortar fire.” Douglas Rushkoff, professor, Media Theory, CUNY, and media commentator for CNN

“A remarkable achievement. Anyone who wishes to understand the deeper reasons for America’s utter failure to bring peace to the region should begin by watching this powerful film.” Avi Shlaim, author of The Iron Wall: Israel & the Arab World

“Compelling, revealing, and chilling. For over half a century, Americans drank the Kool-Aid concocted by the Israel lobby, the U.S. media, and virtually all elected officials because there were no alternatives. This film — like the movements that inspired it — is the antidote.” Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“Brilliant. A must-see for anyone who is against colonization.” Neve Gordon, professor of politics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

“One of the most brilliant and important documentaries I have ever seen.” Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Because of the enthusiastic response we have had to the film, we are likely to sell out, and if so, we will offer additional showings in the near future to anyone who would like to see it but was not able to get a seat at the Lake Theatre this Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine

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