The Longest Running reality show on TV is what Sarah Kass of the Jerusalem post calls the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
The plight of the Palestinian people is not economic, not political, not spiritual and not historical. It is theatrical. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world’s longest-running reality show. It is a staged performance sponsored by the Middle East’s petro-petrolators and watched by their loyal oil-consuming fans all around the globe – which includes you, dear reader, and me.
WHY DON’T these petrol despots want us to change the channel, as it were? Why are they determined to keep this hit show on the air for as long as possible? Because the reality show is a distraction, and the petrol despots want us distracted. An oil economy is an extraction economy, and extraction economies need distractions to function well.
The so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict – what the oil despots sponsor and what glues us to the screen – should finally be given its true name: “Extraction Distraction.”
Oil economies, extraction economies, generate wealth by poking the earth and taking something out. As columnist Tom Friedman writes, extraction economies offer “economic power without productivity.”
There is no need for education or creativity in an oil economy; no need for hard work or imagination or healthy competition. For an oil economy to work properly the country just needs a strongman ruler who lords it over his crew of tough guys who, in turn, arrange to haul the stuff out of the earth and haul the cash back into the country, thereby keeping things stable and efficient so everyone stays happy.
It’s a resource curse, this propensity for extraction economies to favor strongmen rulers. Like trust-fund babies who make a mess of their lives, an oil economy gives people the security of a trust fund along with the low expectations of a welfare program.
Who wouldn’t love a trust fund; but it’s humiliating and dispiriting to be on a culture-wide welfare program. As Warren Buffett once said, “A very rich person should leave his kids enough money to do anything, but not enough to do nothing.”
IF THE people have little to do, if the petrol despots keep the people under their thumb, if too little of the oil money gets invested in ennobling the people, to whom the oil really belongs, then how come the strongmen manage to keep their power year in and year out?
Here’s where the theater comes in.
Make a great commotion, put an entire people into permanent distress, announce your solidarity with the national aspirations of that people, but never allow them to realize those aspirations. Sponsor atrocities with lots of blood and gore, provoke some state with industrial or military power to react to those atrocities, denounce the reaction to those atrocities and transform the encounter into a clash of civilizations. Most importantly, play out the whole melodrama on the nightly newscasts day after day after day – and you have a recipe for a reality hit show the likes of which could run in the Arab street and in the European salons forever.
Extraction Distraction not only gulls the West. It continually keeps Arab citizens from attending to their own benighted condition, rallying them instead to be incensed about the plight of the Palestinians. Extraction Distraction is a vengeance vortex. It draws the Muslim world into its whirlpool, and none but the very brave can resist its pull.
I can’t disagree with her.
And the World media loves this lucrative reality show for all the lucre it brings into their coffers.
Here is a shining example of how this theatre is stage managed day in and day out for the global audience.
Charles Johnson of the LGF who gained worldwide fame when he exposed the Reuters Photo scam during last July’s Israeli war against Hezbollah in Lebanon writes.
“Why was this picture left in the editor’s kill file until now?
Because it really wrecks the suspension of disbelief that actors need to convince the audience. It’s like seeing the scaffolds and lights and fake landscapes behind the scenes at a theater, in the middle of a performance.
The Qana photographs are some of the most gut-wrenching, heart-breaking images you could ever imagine. And that’s why it’s important to recognize that there are people with souls so dead and intentions so evil that they will cynically use these photographs to manipulate your feelings.