Israel – don’t give up an inch of the truth

enough-lies-about-israelThis was hardly the first article in Counterpunch I read that brazenly claimed Israel should not exist; in fact Counterpunch runs that line more frequently than the Daily Express headlines the British weather. It is undoubtedly Counterpunch’s ‘thing’. I often wonder what goes through someone’s minds as they write a sentence that denies Israel’s right to exist, a sentence that carries the implication of the absolute rejection of liberal thinking and the denial of democracy. I wouldn’t normally address such a one-sided tale but felt I had to use it to highlight how the truth has been stolen from us; how we have allowed discussions on the conflict to move away from us, away from truth, and into a realm of absolute fiction.

I accept people have opinions that differ from mine, accept too that people viewing an ongoing situation may have sympathies that skew their perspective in different directions; however what is wrong on any level is a deliberate rewriting of historical events; selective and deliberate revisionism in an attempt to sell an extreme and venomous opinion to people who may actually be fooled into believing fiction over fact. The more extreme the opinion, the worse the ethical implications of the distortion; and at the point where such historical tampering creates an artificial justification to destroy a liberal democracy and deprive over 8 million citizens of their democratic freedom and independence; then by any benchmark, the author has crossed all reasonable lines of acceptable discourse.

So having read Garry Leech’s recent 3,380 word fiction in Counterpunch, I felt compelled to pen a response. Leech starts as all those positioning themselves in this way do, by declaring that anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism. Perhaps not, but if we mirror the argument, the fit becomes much cleaner; almost all anti-Semites would naturally be anti-Zionists. Given this, and the prevalence of anti-Semitism, it becomes rather disingenuous to so casually disregard the correlation between the two positions. It may be a persistent cry of all those adamantly opposed to Israel, but it clearly contains a failed logic.

Leech then comments on the very “creation of a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world”, as if there was a better place for it that was simply overlooked. Historically, Jews had only ever experienced life as a nation in that region, Jews had always had a presence in that region, and even outside of British Palestine, a million Jews were still living as second class citizens in the ‘Arab world’. The description of the return of a nation that had led to the founding of Christianity in Jerusalem, and the emergence of Islam in Mecca as something ‘foreign’ to the Middle East is an absurdity devoid of all historical fact and context. This denial of Jewish history is heard only from those with no intention of discovering or speaking the truth; there is no other reason to metaphorically burn history books.

But this is only a scene setter for the many fictions which follow. What Leech cleverly does, what the propaganda boys in the BDS marketing campaign do, in fact what anti-Zionists always do, is steal the narrative and edit it until it becomes a nonsensical whitewash. Every possible event that could explain Zionist or Israeli behaviour is removed; and when rational explanations for actions and events are excluded, all that is left is the insane. Israel becomes the irrational, expansionist, brutal nation of extreme pro-Palestinian propaganda, simply by leaving out some of the details. It is really that easy.

The anti-Zionist narrative requires Balfour, and so 1917 remains inside, as does the Mandate in 1922. But almost everything that occurs between 1920 and 1947 is problematic; explaining as it does the creation of the Zionist defensive positions, the British exasperation and call for partition, detailing the explosion of Arab violence against Jews and highlighting the Arab rejection of every solution tabled. So a whole bottle of whitener is taken to the page; the attack on Tel Hai, riots in Nebi Musa, the massacres of Hebron and Safed and Tiberius and Jaffa and the great Arab revolt, all get deleted from history; Read Leech’s article, one day it was 1922, the next day Palestine woke up in 1947.

Quoting the Arab position from Arab delegates in 1922
Nature does not allow the creation of a spirit of co-operation between two peoples so different

Having time vaulted to 1947, we receive multiple distortions in a few short sentences. We are told that the Zionists deprived Palestine of independence despite the fact the Arab aggression led to partition and the Palestinians flatly rejected the independence they were offered; that the Jewish partition was larger than it should be whilst neglecting to mention the entire Southern section in the Jewish side was a desert; and that the Palestinians were not invited to discussions about partition when in 1947, as in 1936, they simply refused to co-operate.

But in 1948, the whitener is needed again; there are too many unwanted facts. So the story simply jumps to 1949. In a single sentence the civil war, the Arab irregular armies entering Palestine and the May 1948 attack by all of Israel’s neighbours are simply airbrushed out. Over 1% of the entire Jewish population of Palestine killed in a battle of survival against an aggressive attack by all the regional Arab states and not a single word in the article about the conflict.

The author now creates Israel as the world’s greatest evil, opting to choose a historian described as “at best” the “world’s sloppiest”, to support his position. So, having successfully removed all Arab aggression and context from the scenario, we are told that by 1949, “Israel had destroyed more than 400 Palestinian villages”. No explanation given. Israel has become the insane aggressor; the bogeyman of the future BDS movement.

Quick-fire distortions then follow. We are told that Israel “massacred thousands of civilians”, despite the fact that 1% of the Jewish population died and almost 5% suffered injuries. Israel apparently “forcibly displaced almost a million Palestinians”, which is simply not true. 700,000 Palestinians left the arena of conflict; much as many Iraqi and Syrian civilians left theirs. Up to 100,000 of the wealthier Palestinians had already left by March, whilst the British were still in control. There is little disputing Israel would have cleared some areas of any possible hostility, but to translate that into the sole cause of the Palestinian exodus is absurd and negates everything we know about civil war conflicts. 3 million Syrians have fled Syria, without anyone needing to force them out.

The article then goes on “Over the next three years, 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel, mostly from Europe”; which is another clear distortion. By this time immigrants were also flowing from the Arab lands. By 1951, 71% of immigrants were from Muslim lands, not Europe. So the statement is absolutely wrong and historically should read “Over the next few years, over 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel, mostly having fled or been expelled from Arab nations”.

This immigration is one of the most uncomfortable issues for anti-Zionists; as with India and Pakistan, the Israeli / Arab conflict saw a population exchange, with nearly a million Jews from Arab lands ending up as refugees in Israel. Whilst these Jewish refugees from Arab lands were absorbed by Israel, the Arab refugees from Palestine were held in a ‘stasis cube’ for use as a weapon, with little regard for their well-being. Unlike *every other* refugee situation in history, the Palestinians were deliberately allowed to fester by their own leadership and the Arab nations that claim to support them.

It is now 1949. The armistice lines have been drawn. The area has been split into two; a two state solution. On the one side is Israel, on the other every inch of the West Bank and Gaza are in Arab control. Time surely to declare the Palestinian state – only it never happened.

And so another time tunnel needs to be created. The period between 1949 & 1967 is the most glaring of all the issues surrounding the conflict. If the settlements are the problem, if Israel is the barrier to peace; then why wasn’t Palestine declared a state in 1949? Why didn’t they absorb and house the refugees in their new state just as the Israelis did? These questions must not be asked. And so we leave 1949 and by the next sentence in the tale of fantasy we have awoken in 1967.

At this point, the author can begin to relax; whilst he still picks and chooses facts as they suit him, he has already successfully set his story. And Israel the aggressive ethnically cleansing colonial state, has now become Israel the brutal occupier. The fictions and excuses continue, the 1964 creation of the PLO’s war against Israel is swept aside to give us an implied post 1967 declaration of aggression, Hamas are excused even the horror of bombing civilian buses and the blockade of Gaza, supported by the Quartet of Russia, France, the UK and US in response to Hamas belligerence, comes about apparently, because that is what Israel simply decided to do, alone, for no reason.

And there is more; the wall, historically recorded as a response by Israel to incessant suicide attacks is put in place simply “to segregate the illegal settlements from Palestinian communities”; and it is apparently a bad thing that Israel has constructed industrial zones in the West Bank. Then of course there is the accusation of Apartheid, and the obligatory quote from a South African that agrees with him to force home the point. This one apparently goes further, claiming that Israel is “infinitely worse”, just in case we had any doubt about how far they are willing to take the ridiculous comparison.

But Leech is not finished. Not content with merely attacking Israel, Leech has to distance himself from the two-state solution, and having described Hamas as a rational response to Israel’s blatant aggression, Leech now places himself firmly behind their cause accusing moderate Palestinians, the PA and even Arafat of “collaborating with the Colonizers”. Apparently because they have been “paid off” by Western Governments, the PA has become Israel’s police force in the PA areas.

There is little point highlighting every distortion that follows nor in addressing a conclusion built from cherry picked incidents from a calendar that jumps through time; in essence what follows is merely the description of strategically placed elements on a made for purpose canvas. The conclusions were set in place, long before he wrote the first word. That these themes are heard in universities is mind numbing, that Leech can talk of ‘reality’ in his conclusion is stunning; his is an entire work of fiction. Leech, the BDS, anti-Zionists have all created an entirely false narrative; one we have allowed them to develop.

We have to reclaim the narrative. 1922-1947 is not ancient history, it is vitally important; contained within those years are the seeds of every single event that was to unfold. If you have a fundamental question about the conflict; you’ll find the answer in those years.

1949-1967 is not ancient history; it is a glaring error in the entire Palestinian narrative. The two-state solution already existed and without an Israeli settler on Palestinian land. It cannot be simply ignored that nothing was done, no state was built, no refugees returned. That the PLO was founded 3 years before Israel took the West Bank and Gaza is not a historical irrelevance.

There is no point; and I repeat, no point, arguing with someone about post 1993 events if the very basis of the conflict is not dealt with. The anti-Zionists are deliberately focusing their attention only on the occupation, only on post 1967; because only if they do so can the false narrative be sold. We must not let them; this is not a Narnian tale, it is a conflict with a well recorded historical timeline.

  • The Arab violence of the early mandate is important; without it there is no need for the Haganah.
  • The Arab violence of the later mandate is important; without it there is no partition.
  • The rejection of partition is important, without it there is no civil war.
  • The Arab rejection of Israel is important, without it there is no regional conflict.
  • The fact the Arabs held the West Bank is important; There was already a two-state solution.
  • The actions of the Arabs in 1967 are important; without them there is no occupation.

We must always explain what happened, why it happened and the order in which it happened. We can argue amongst ourselves about how much land each of us feels we should give, but we should not ever give up even one inch of the truth.



10 thoughts on “Israel – don’t give up an inch of the truth

  1. Can any other nation have been subjected to such a blatant denial of history? Even the Armenians, against whom genocide was attempted by the Turks, the same Turks who deny it ever happened, have not suffered like this. Someone ought to compile an anthology of all the people who predicted the Jews would be wiped out, from Nebuchadnezzar, via Hitler, to the BDS, to show how wrong these people have been, and guess who DID get wiped out? They did.

  2. The obvious lies of this anti-Semite prove how impossible it is for Israel to make any progress to peace. These lies are believed in the UN and in all the Arab countries and most of the West. The only answer is to remain strong and be prepared for the worst.

  3. Excellent source with clear, concise historical truth. Thank you. I will refer to this often!

  4. Really excellent blog that highlights how the BDS lot edit the facts to suit their narrative and how many who know no better are sucked into this view. I love the essence which is never give up one inch of the Truth. Hope this is read widely and shared.

  5. Someone recently directed me to your response to my article “Why Israel Should Not Exist” and it struck me that you have engaged in precisely what you accuse me of doing: “a deliberate rewriting of historical events.”

    Your criticism of my questioning the logic of establishing a Jewish state in the middle of the Arab world stated, “as if there was a better place for it that was simply overlooked.” Clearly, your starting point is that a Jewish state MUST be established somewhere in the world, evidently that is not up for debate. But given this starting point, the inevitable outcome of establishing a Jewish state anywhere in the world would be the ‘cleansing’ of the existing population in that region because a Jewish majority would be required to make a Jewish state viable. After all, there were no suitable large unpopulated tracts of land in the world in which to establish a Jewish state.

    You also say, “Historically, Jews had only ever experienced life as a nation in that region,” as though this gives their descendants the right to return 2,000 years later and take land away from people whose families have been living there for countless generations; some for more than a thousand years. This is the core Zionist justification for persecuting the Palestinians. This Zionist attitude is evident in the Israeli government. Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s new deputy foreign minister, recently stated, “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.” And she refers to the Torah to provide her historical justification for such a claim.

    As for the chunks of time (1922-1947 and 1949-1967) that you claim I conveniently ignored in order to rewrite history, these periods were largely omitted for space reasons given that this was an article not a book. But allow me to very briefly address those so-called selective gaps here. Prior to the emergence of the Zionist movement in Europe in the late 1800s, the Jewish population in Palestine had remained steady at about 5% for centuries. And by all accounts the Jews lived in relative harmony with the Muslim majority as well as with Christians and the Druze.
    In your revision of history it is the Palestinians who suddenly and irrationally began attacking the Jewish population between 1922 and 1947 and the Zionists were simply defending themselves. But these Zionists were not the 5% of Jews who had been living in Palestine for centuries, they were mostly European immigrants whose primary objective was to establish a Jewish state.

    In the decade following the Balfour declaration in 1917, more than 100,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine from Europe, and by 1948 that number had reached half a million. Many of these European Jews did not migrate to Palestine to live in harmony with the Arab majority, but to help fulfil the Zionist goal of establishing a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. There are countless records of statements made by Zionist leaders between 1920 and 1948 on the need to remove all Arabs from the Land of Israel in order to make a Jewish state with a Jewish majority viable. Was there violence perpetrated by Arabs against the recently-arrived European immigrants? Yes, there was. But this violence was in response to the threat that the Zionist project posed to Palestinians and their lands—and in response to Zionist violence too. It was the Palestinians who had lived there for generations who were defending themselves, not the European Zionists. After all, after 1922, the Palestinians were being governed by the same government that had pledged in the Balfour declaration to create a Jewish state on their lands. So there was no need for the Palestinian narrative to suddenly wake up in 1947 as you so cynically stated.

    As for your implication that the Palestinians were being unreasonable for flatly rejecting the independence they were offered, how would Israelis respond today if the United Nations passed a resolution declaring the partition of Israel so that the Christian minority could establish a Christian state in that religion’s Holy Land? We know what the response would be, it would be a flat our rejection, especially if that Christian state was to encompass 56% of Israeli territory (including the Negev). The Palestinian response to such a proposal by foreign powers in favour of a Jewish minority who in 1947 overwhelmingly consisted of recently-arrived European immigrants was a perfectly rational response.

    And as for your claim that Palestinians voluntarily fled during the 1948 war in the same manner as Syrians are doing today rather than being forced out is not only a re-statement of the conventional Zionist narrative, it is pure historical revisionism. Documents that have emerged out of Israeli archives since the late 1980s have led not just one Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, to question the long-established Zionist narrative about the creation of the state of Israel, but many other contemporary Israeli historians to re-evaluate that narrative. These documents include David Ben-Gurion’s diary, his letters, and the writings and military orders of other prominent Zionist leaders during the 1930s and 1940s. These documents make clear that the Zionist objective long before 1948 was the removal of the Arab population from the Land of Israel in order to create a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.

    The 700,000 Palestinian refugees did not just voluntarily flee the 1948 war between newly-established Israeli state and its Arab neighbours, as the Zionist narrative would have us believe. These documents show that the forced expulsion of the Palestinian Arabs began six months before Israel declared its independence and its Arab neighbours sent in their armies (previously Arab volunteers had fought with the Palestinians). And, in particular, that Plan Dalet was launched six weeks before the 1948 Independence War began. As I mentioned previously, creating a Jewish state with a Jewish majority anywhere in the world would have required the removal of the existing inhabitants. As these documents make clear, the Palestinians refugees were forcibly and systematically expelled from the Land of Israel and this expulsion began before the Arab armies attacked Israel.

    And now I will address the other “time tunnel” (1949-1967) that you claim I created. Why would you expect the Palestinians to accept only 23% of the land as a state following the 1949 armistice only two years after rationally rejecting 43% of the territory? And while it is true that Jordan had its own agenda in occupying the West Bank, this in no way de-legitimizes the desire of Palestinians to achieve an independent, sovereign state. Furthermore, the declaration of a Palestinian state on only 23% percent of the land (in 1949 or after 1967, which resulted in another 200,000 Palestinians being expelled from their lands) would also constitute a de-facto recognition of Israel’s ownership of 77 percent of the territory. Again, given that Palestinians were not willing to allow Israel to possess 56% of the land, agreeing to a two-state solution in which Palestinians would only have 23% would be completely irrational.

    And with regards to my timeline, I did not misconstrue the PLO’s creation. I did not state that the PLO was created in 1967 or that it initiated armed struggle in 1967, what I said was that the PLO made armed struggle the centerpiece of its strategy following the 1967 war. Prior to that, while the PLO had included armed struggle as one of several tactics, the different factions within the organization differed on strategy. Armed struggle as a central component came to the fore following the 1967 war.

    Finally, as for your claim that I not only target Israel but also the Palestinian Authority in order to “distance himself from the two-state solution,” this is simply not true. Many Palestinians no longer view the PA as legitimate because of its collusion with Israel and Western powers, particular the United States. This collusion is made evident by the fact that Israel is willing to work with the PA but no other groups and by the reality that the PA’s security forces are funded and trained by the United States.

    My distancing myself from the two-state solution is based on three things: 1) my belief that the creation of a specifically Jewish state at the expense of a million Palestinians being expelled from their lands is illegitimate; 2) a majority of Palestinians do not support a two-state solution; 3) the reality on the ground that a two-state solution is not possible due to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. One only has to travel around the West Bank to realize that there is no possible way that a viable, contiguous Palestinian state can be established while the settlements remain in place and under the control of Israel (never mind the fact that the settlements have also appropriated most of the best agricultural lands and water resources in the West Bank).

    Your response to my article, and the filling in of the ‘gaps’ (1922-1947 and 1949-1967), clearly represents the rewriting of history that the Zionist project has promoted since the creation of the state of Israel. One only has to visit the many national parks in Israel established on the land of expelled Palestinian villagers and read the plaques on the lands’ history to see the degree of historical revisionism that has taken place in Israel. These plaques in these parks tell of the ancient civilizations that existed on these lands but do not say a single word about the Palestinians who lived there just a few decades ago. There is no clearer example of Israel not only revising history, but erasing it.

    1. Mr. Leech,

      I had done some research and discovered that no one died and left you with a meaningful opinion.
      Your distorted view of Israel amount to as much as validity as the lack of view on Shiites slaughter against Sunni and vice versa.
      I had a chat with G-d over the weekend, and I was told to let you know that your opinion was not only meaningless but should be ignored, and Israel will continue to do what ever is necessary to survive, in spite of your and many other muslim views.
      I would respectfully add that you’re as fucked up as many of those delusional muslims.

      Cheers mate (no need to respond)

    2. Thank you Garry for your comments. Whilst I believe you are sincere in your belief, the description of events as you detail them is simply a propaganda narrative, one even more devoid of reality and context as the one you claim you wish to ‘expose’. The events takes place outside of a real world, in a sterile environment where nasty Zionists came in with devious plans they were able to see out to their completion. It ignores cause and effect; places far too much power and control into Zionist hands and uses selectively chosen snippets of information to believe the very worst of all things at all times. It simply deliberately demonizes everything to do with Zionism. My own view is that events unfolded in a real world that saw a desperate situation on the ground, and as casualty figures prove the Jews were fighting for their survival, I simply cannot possibly understand how any narrative that talks of a one sided ‘wrong’ can possibly be held up as truly representative of actual events.

      I was going to break down the fundamental disagreements into manageable sections; namely:

      -the creation of the Jewish Home
      -the invasion of Jewish European colonials
      -the Arab rejectionism
      -the expulsion or ‘Naqba’
      -the 1949-1967 black hole

      and then address them individually, but realised as I was doing so, I was simply creating another blog post rather than just a comment response. The new blog will be finished in a day or two and as we have had an email exchange, I will simply direct you to the response as it goes up. Thank you again for your comments.

  6. Great refutation. One thing that would be good if you decide to edit this is to add the fact that Jordan was a part of the “League of Nations – British Mandate for Palestine” as well as the current areas of Israel proper, Judea and Samaria and All of Jerusalem. The British unilaterally gave Transjordan to King Hussain so technically your percentages finally awarded to the Jewish people should be far less. Jordan is also tech icily 70% Palestinian which means technically they have their state it’s just occupied by Hashemites. Why is Leechy the antisemite not calling that Illegitimate?

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