We Must End the “Occupation of the American Mind”

Andrew Greene
3 min readFeb 12, 2024


In what is called The Lebanon War of 1982, Israel was losing the public relations battle. Support for their colonial project was waning around the world, but most crucially, within its primary ally and benefactor, the United States.

To combat their declining popularity, Israel instituted the “Hasbara” in 1984, crafting an intricate PR program to spin, counter and create propaganda in their favor. Israel knew that in “the war of pictures we lose,” so they had to use words. They had to fight over ideology rather than land, “terror not territory.”

Occupation of the American Mind (2016) details how successful and devastatingly ubiquitous this Hasbara has become, shaping the way politicians and journalists discuss the Middle East, featuring a litany of news segments over the years following Israel’s messaging to the letter.

To further cement their sway over American popular opinion, pro-Israel lobbyists like AIPAC have donated tons of money to help the campaigns of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and oh so many others. This continues today. In 2022, 365 Republican AND Democrat candidates received $17 million in direct support from the AIPAC, per their website.

AIPAC is so entrenched in our government that they’ve literally written U.S. legislation. The film describes an incident where a bill was put forth that still had the AIPAC watermark on it. Instead of being a scandal, the bill passed and it was a non-story. This speaks to their scary power.

From 2008 to 2009, Israel refreshed its propaganda campaign. Israel enlisted Frank Luntz, a pollster and strategist for politicians like Pat Buchanan, Ross Perot, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani, to put together “The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary,” a manual that instructs Israeli officials and the press on specific talking points to help shape public understanding.

This includes their favorite talking point (“the right to defend itself”) and the false assertion that Israel left and “gave back” Gaza to Palestinians in 2005. In reality, Israel closed the borders and maintained control of the area — the EU still described it as occupation.

As the title of this documentary asserts, this isn’t the only thing Israel occupies. Israel’s propaganda machine has been so successful that Americans see a different world, a different planet. It’s the only reason the current genocide has been able to continue for so long.

Launching a brutal attack on Rafah at the same time as the Super Bowl is integral to its strategy — echoing how Israel broke a ceasefire in 2008 during Obama’s election when Americans weren’t paying attention. Our lack of attention is costing so many lives.

I know so many people are seeing an entirely different story play out if they’re reading and watching mainstream media, the conversations and arguments I’ve had with friends and family reflect that.

If you’d seen what I’ve seen and so many of us have seen, I promise you’d know there’s nothing complicated about the genocide taking place. Our media is compromised and it has been for a long time. To end the occupation in Gaza and the other imperialist occupations around the world, we must end the occupation of our mind.

Watch this film for free now.



Andrew Greene

Writer, director. Creator of The Naked Man Podcast. Human sampler tray following breadcrumbs, forever hungry. @WanderingGreene on IG, Letterboxd & Twitter