Makers of “Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire” are back with another documentary whose long-winded title nails its accusatory agenda. “Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land: The U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is pedantic, humorless and one-sided — qualities that won’t encourage exposure beyond the activist left. But it’s also a potent and valid indictment linking slanted U.S. coverage, foreign policy, and injustice in Palestine. Educational and cable-access gigs at home are signaled, with slightly wider play abroad.
Offering grisly footage (Israeli soldiers battering Arabs, civilian corpses, etc.) missing from U.S. network news, feature charts how mainstream American media blinds viewers to the real nature of this conflict. Israeli government use of Yank public relations firms, White House control over press access, and strategic language (Palestinian violence is “terrorism,” Israeli “defensive”) are among the tactics detailed. Lost are facts that the Gaza/West Bank occupation has violated international law since 1967, and that most of $6 billion annual U.S. aid to Israel goes toward latter’s military. Argument is forceful, though zero input from pro-Israeli and network media interviewees makes pic seem unwilling to practice the reportorial evenhandedness it preaches.