How many lies and distortions can be spread in a single article? Sometimes, when reading on stories about Israel, so ludicrous the web being weaved, I somehow expect to hear Rod Serling overhead announcing that ‘I am traveling through another dimension’, accompanied of course by the Twilight Zone’s classic music playing in the background.
At the core, there are 3 types of Israel-haters; the first come from within the Arab communities, the 2nd is driven by self-hatred and a 3rd is fuelled through anti-Semitism. Outside of these 3 groups and without the burning hatreds that drive their animosity, there is absolutely no logical reason to dislike Israel at all. You can oppose some of Israel’s policies, you can dislike some Israeli food, you can feel sick at the sight of their Prime Minister and you can even believe that the weather may be a touch too hot for you; but beyond the confines of the conflict itself and without a hatred of Jews, the actual State of Israel should not trouble your better senses at all. Israel has, by almost any Western standards, much to admire.
I am Jewish and the current impasse with the Palestinians infuriates me. Like many Israelis, I personally believe a two-state future is the only viable one. I dislike some Israeli policies, cannot stand to listen to some Israeli politicians and grow angry sometimes at the actions of extremist individuals. However, none of that would ever stop me openly declaring that if you value freedom and justice, the only nation in the entire region you would ever feel at home in, is Israel. Israel is flawed yes, but no more than the UK or US.
Yet over the last decade or so, fuelled by a growing body of anti-Western culture in our democracies, a rise in anti-Semitism that may be partially linked to the new demographics and a distinct and understandable discomfort amongst many Jewish people over the status quo, the type of abuse about Israel that was once only in the forums of the white supremacist sites, has entered mainstream society. Whereas in the past, such discourse would be shouted down, ridiculed and opposed as soon as it entered the conversation, the middle ground is shaking under a barrage of distortions and myth making that demonize Israel in every way that is imaginable.
These myths are now not only apparent in the writing of self-hating or Arab ‘academics’, but can be seen in mainstream news outlets, regurgitated and repackaged in left wing circles and of course spreading wildly on the university campus. You are now likely to hear one or more of these myths told as ‘fact’ around almost any dinner table. Aided by a strategy that follows Goebbels’ ‘big lie’ principle, the most absurd labels are being applied, the most daring rewrites of history are occurring and the basic elements of logic are being discarded. If you doubt this, try to explain how LGBT movements are standing alongside some of the most homophobic groups on earth to line up against the only nation in the Middle East that the gay community can reside freely in. What unites them is simply unreasonable hatred supported by a quivering mountain of lies.
This isn’t about political opinion, it is about falsehoods taking a firm grip on the narrative and demonizing Israel to the point that even some staunch supporters of Israel are become desensitised and unable to differentiate between truth and myth. So having recently read yet another batch of hate driven nonsense, I thought I would simply extract the most flagrant myths and distortions and address them in turn.
(note: I fully intend to edit, enlarge and update this, so feel free to contact me if you feel I have left out anything that really needs to be included. )
Anti-Zionist. That this term has become acceptable discourse is in itself a stunning feat. Israel exists and its 8 million citizens all vote inside a liberal democracy. The ambiguity of the term ‘Zionist’ has been used to hide part of the strategy of disinformation. ‘Zionist’ is primarily being incorrectly applied only to describe a settler on a hilltop, then, having raised opposition to ‘Zionists’, that opposition is redirected against anyone that supports Israel. Because the word ‘Zionism’ at its heart was for the creation of a nation that now exists, being an anti-Zionist doesn’t mean you oppose settlements or wish for a peace deal, it means, simply, you want the end of Israel. Anti-Zionism is not a passive or peaceful movement but a train of thought that aligns with the Arab armies of 1948 and became effectively obsolete between 1967 and 1973 when those armies suffered total military defeat. Saying you are Anti-Zionist is like saying you want America dismantled and replaced with something else. It is a label that is both vicious and absurd. It is theoretically possible that not every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, but would anyone want to single out and then dismantle the US without having a deep rooted, illogical and personal hatred against that one specific entity?
Apartheid. Defined as a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. The most classic example of this of course was South Africa and it was the success of the global boycott against South Africa that provided the enticement for an absurd strategy of reverse application, where the comparison is made simply because of the success of the anti-Apartheid campaign. There is a simple and undeniable fact, that everyone in Israel votes, which in itself dispels the Apartheid myth completely; but let’s go even further. Take as an example two Arab brothers who were living in Akko in 1947; then during the civil war in 1948 caused by the Arab rejection of partition, one left the area to escape the trouble and the other didn’t. Today, one of these brothers is Israeli, with full citizenship; the other is a Palestinian living in a refugee camp. However you choose to look at this and whatever separates these two brothers, it cannot be race.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). A movement operating mainly in Europe and the US that seeks to convince people to bring Israel down economically. The 3rd pillar of the BDS movement calls for the end to the State of Israel. Not peace, not two states, not a negotiated settlement, but the destruction of a democracy. It is an anti-Zionist movement, and therefore BDS is the equivalent of the siege engine, used to soften the target and circumvent difficult fortifications. At its heart it is an anti-democratic, anti-Semitic movement that has wrapped itself up as a peace movement, artificially softening its image where necessary to further its extremist goal. BDS needs mass appeal to have any impact at all, so to infest liberal movements in Europe and North America, the BDS movement uses universally appealing language regarding international law, human rights, and universal justice. In truth these terms mean nothing to BDS and ‘universal justice’ is a poppycock label. These are merely tools to be used to galvanize enough support to push their extremist ideology. Make no mistake about BDS, the recent events in Spain have highlighted just how deceptive and dangerous BDS is; the boycott of an American, because he was a Jew who refused to proclaim allegiance to Palestine should send red flag signals to any and every company and university that has entertained the BDS argument within its walls. It wasn’t an error of judgement, it was a mask slipping, BDS shifting from boycotting Israel to boycotting those that support Israel. This act alone should make everyone turn their backs. It is reminiscent of dark periods in human history when even opinion is a crime. There is no excusing this movement, nor any room for it in healthy discourse. Israel is not South Africa and there are nations that abuse human rights in this world truly deserving of a boycott. Through its own actions, BDS has shown itself to be both outrageously anti-Semitic and viciously fascist in nature.
Blockade of Gaza. The case against Israel is historically problematic and the deeper you dig, the more it unravels. To compensate for this, revisionists continually create new milestones to suggest that the conflict began far later than it did or deflect attention away from the actual cause. The blockade of Gaza is an outstanding example of this strategy, because it followed a universally applauded, unilateral withdrawal of Israel from the entire Gaza strip, that also included the painful and internally divisive destruction of all Israeli settlements there. What Israel gave the Palestinians was an opportunity, what Israel got in return was a terrorist run enclave that calls for Israel’s destruction. It wasn’t even Israel but the quartet (US, USSR, UN & EU), who conditioned continuing assistance on Hamas recognising previous agreements. The blockade of Gaza is a result of Hamas refusing to commit to agreements and then striking at Israel with rockets and having some commodities limited to restrict their ability to arm. We all know what the UK would do if 1000’s of rockets fell on Portsmouth and Southampton and the residents of the South of England were forced to spend months living in and out of shelters. The simple truth remains that if Hamas stopped investing in hatred and war and started investing in education and housing, there would neither be ‘siege’ nor conflict involving Gaza.
Dahiya Doctrine. Apart from perhaps ‘Shock and Awe’ can anyone name any military doctrine of the US or UK? I am sure they exist, but we just never hear about them. There are probably even mothballed plans regarding possible UK conflict with France in the event of a USSR invasion, though I doubt anyone would claim they are relevant today. ‘Dahiya’ was a military doctrine suggested in 2006 by an Israeli general, Gadi Eizenkot,during the Lebanon war. In theory, its aim was to deter terrorists from using civilian areas as military zones. It is theoretically applicable in Lebanon where Hizbullah operate outside of the national interest, without the co-operation of the majority of citizens and in a far larger military arena. Israel has been accused of applying ‘The Dahiya Doctrine’ in every conflict since 2006 even though Gaza is not Lebanon and the Israeli military is more than capable of creating conflict specific strategies. The wiki page on this Doctrine is no more than a compilation of non-military, anti-Israeli writers taking quotes out of both time and context and attempting to apply it to Israel’s actions in Gaza. The only reason, this doctrine even gets airtime is because it can be used to smear Israel.
Exceptionalism. In essence, picking solely on Israel is an unexplainable hobby unless anti-Semitism is involved. Once the anti-Semitic movement is galvanized and properly marketed, like BDS, it can attract adherents not tainted by anti-Semitism, thus gaining false credibility. However for the sceptic, the question would remain ‘why Israel?’ and to counter this, there is a growing trend to highlight Israel as being different, to somehow allow it to be set apart from the rest of nations and targeted. The recently cancelled Southampton conference was actually titled ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism’. This ‘exceptionalism ‘ argument is built both ways, both suggesting Israel thinks itself superior (and therefore placing itself above the law) and that it is treated with deference (therefore suggesting movements are needed to redress the unfairness). It is a brilliantly constructed straw man argument designed to further delegitimize Israel and deflect accusations of anti-Semitism. It is a label that suggests the cause of everything that happens is Israels own superiority complex and suggests western guilt over the holocaust has allowed Israel to ‘get away’ with being the demonic state; it is an excellent example of how Israel has become the world’s Jew.
Ethnic Cleansing. The accusation that Israel is ‘ethnically cleansing’ the Palestinians is a mirror image of the truth. The intention is to belittle the holocaust and also to infer that the Jews are the new Nazis. The accusations are absurd. Of all the nations in the Middle East, only Israel’s minorities have been protected and have thrived, whilst minorities in neighbouring countries have been persecuted. The truth is that whilst in 1947 there were a million Jews living in Arab lands, now there are almost none. Ethnic cleansing in this conflict only works one way.
Ethnocracy. A nonsense term, invented about 20 years ago as a stick with which to beat Israel. Like most terms of this type, it is equally applicable anywhere (The monarchy and aristocracy in the UK, for example), but has been defined in such as way so as to create a sinister tone that implies Israel is not truly democratic. Unfortunately for the creators of terms such as this, Israel is free and democratic; and given the oppression that minorities suffer around the globe, this is little more than an anti-Zionist pseudo-science.
Expansionist. Facts always get in the way of anti-Israeli fiction and this is another often used and completely misplaced term used to describe Israel. Israel has ceded land for peace with Egypt and ceded land unilaterally with Lebanon and the Palestinians (to receive terror enclaves in return). It has also offered almost all of the West Bank to the Palestinians on several occasions. The maps we see frequently that show ‘expansionist Israel’ are deliberately skewed to fulfill a propaganda mission, ignore that the Palestinians never owned the state land and they have little relevance to history or the truth. The term is now incorrectly applied to a border dispute with what, for want of a more moderate Arab position, should have been the Palestinian state. Once again these are merely attempts to connect global evils such as the USSR or Nazis with a tiny spat in a miniscule piece of land. If Israel wasn’t involved, nobody would be interested.
Expulsion. The ‘darling’ event of the anti-Israeli crowd is the suggested ‘forced expulsion’ in 1948 of between 600- 700,000 Arab residents in Palestine. In almost all literature pushing the Palestinian narrative these people were all forcibly evicted. If there is acceptance that some left voluntarily, then it is claimed they did so out of fear, following the massacre at Deir Yassin on April 9th 1948. The truth is, like most events during conflict, extremely complicated. What is known is that over 100,000 had already left their homes voluntarily even before Deir Yassin. Some left because they could afford to, others because Arab irregular armies moved them out. By March, local Arab countries were restricting immigration because of the influx, which is glaring evidence of a growing problem that simply does not fit with the ‘expulsion’ myth. Whilst there is little doubt that Israel during the regional conflict that began in May, evacuated hostile villages (and left non hostile populations alone), the mass ‘expulsion’ never happened; civil wars do not need such a strategy. If you doubt this, just look the current migrant problem in Europe; or the movements of refugees from Syria, Libya and Iraq; when there is trouble, people leave.
Genocide. One major part of the strategy of the anti-Israel crowd is to suggest Israelis are the new Nazis. Whether in a cartoon, in a blog or during an interview, a chance is seldom missed to infer that the Jews are doing to the Palestinians what the Germans did to the Jews. ‘Shoah’ is the Hebrew name for the Holocaust, yet if you go to http://www.shoah.org.uk/ you will arrive at a site about the ‘Palestinian holocaust’, showing there are few limits to how far this spiteful tactic will go. As a false accusation levied against a people that actually experienced the holocaust, it is disgraceful. It is so rancid an accusation and so devoid of reality, it is difficult to understand the mindset of those that use it.
Hamas. This terror group has as explicit aims the destruction of Israel and a war against Jews. I do not need to recount their history and as the Hamas charter leaves little to the imagination, anyone defending them or befriending them is making a pact with the devil purely out of hate for Israel. There is no other reason to sit down to dinner with a group that hates freedom, women, Jews, Christians, secularism and gays whilst seeking Islamic conquest and domination. Hamas are a primary cause of the problems encoutered during the Oslo process and have continually fought against all efforts to reach a peace agreement. If Israel were not involved, they would universally be considered pariahs like Al Qaeda and Daesh. Same coin.
Hannibal Directive. Apparent Israel army directive in the event a soldier is captured. Because conflict has changed and most wars being fought globally are now asymmetric, the issue of hostages is addressed by any army involved in conflict. It is unsurprising that the only army in the world with a dedicated Wiki page on the subject is Israel’s. It is yet another of the terms falsely used to suggest Israel does not place value on the life of innocent civilians, and Israel was accused of employing it during the 2014 Israel / Gaza conflict when the IDF believed that Hadar Goldin had been captured. What did or did not happen is not relevant to those spreading the message of ‘a massacre’, it never is. All that matters to them is that there is an opportunity to blame Israel and recently there has been an attempt to inflate this event even further. Eventually an event that was merely a bloody attack against Israel will evolve into folklore about how Israel brutally murdered entire villages.
Hasbara Warrior. Anyone who has posted anything even slightly pro-Israeli on any message board or social media outlet will have at some time been called a ‘Hasbara warrior’ or ‘Keyboard warrior’. It is an attempt to delegitimize all dissent to the Palestinian narrative by suggesting that all dissent is paid for by the Israeli government because no sane person could truly support Israel. Every few years reports surface of Israel investing money to address its poor PR and these reports are used to suggest the entire pro-Israeli camp is paid for with rooms full of students typing frantically to push the pro-Israeli message. There is real irony in any of the 1000’s of fake accounts set up to spread anti-Israeli propaganda accusing some poor poster of being a paid servant of the Mossad. There is little doubt the anti-Israel camp appears far more organised and far more artificial than anything posting in support of Israel.
Khazar theory. One of the more imaginative and fanciful myths of the anti-Israeli crowd is the idea that European Jews are not Semites at all but merely the descendants of a handful of converts about 1200 years ago from an area in Southern Russia. This impressive piece of footwork attempts to do away with the entire idea that Jewish people have any ties to the land of Israel at all, and in their place, suggests that the Palestinians are the true descendants of the Biblical Jews and the only true ‘Semites’. Unsurprisingly, this is yet another piece of nonsense with its own Wiki page, and it is difficult to overstate the anti-Semitic nature of a claim that has no academic basis, has all the ingredients of a conspiracy theory, and effectively attempts to disrobe the Jewish people of their own unique identity. There is little to motivate anyone to digest such a ridiculous notion as this but classic anti-Semitism and whether or not some people in the area from Southern Russia did or did not convert to Judaism is an irrelevance. The whole thing is absurd.
Land theft. One of the great sleights of hand of the magical Palestinian narrative is in the statistics regarding the land theft of Palestinians that they claim occurred in 1948. According to this fairytale, prior to the civil war, the Jews only owned about 7% of the land whilst the other 93% or so was Palestinian and then stolen by the Jews, which it wasn’t. Most of the land at the time was state land, handed to the British civil administration following the collapse of Ottoman control. State land ownership was never stolen from anyone, certainly not by the Palestinians who now claim they owned it, and it was handed from controlling state to controlling state. Other land was sold by remote landowners to Jewish purchasers, which is comparable to having the house you rent bought by a new owner who does not want to rent it (creating a moral dilemma perhaps, but not a legal one). Like most myths of this type, this is part of a strategy of implying the existence of a fruitful and prosperous Palestinian state until about 1947, when an invasion of European Jews threw them all out. It is all fantasy and the entire claim is pure propaganda.
Mowing the Lawn. Yet another term to suggest Israel deliberately seeks conflict and is intent on spreading death and destruction. This one is doubly sinister because through the use of language it is set up to imply Israel can do all this as easily as one can conduct a task in the garden. Sometimes with phrases such as this, a historical search using Google can highlight how the term spread and the first such mention of Israel with the phrase ‘mowing the lawn’ was an article about a possible attack against Iran in the New Repuplic in 2009 and it was a phrase chosen by the reporter as a description. It isn’t until 2012 that the term began to be used in relation to targeted assassinations in Gaza (killing a specific terrorist) and a March 2012 report in the Electronic Intifada that references a reporters use of the term in the Jerusalem post is clearly the first time that website had heard of it. Another 2012 reference credits a US think tank with using the term about Gaza. If you wish to see how such a term is introduced into the system, the MERIP piece in Dec 2012 provides an excellent example. Here the author claims the term was even widly used in the previous campaign in 2009 (although there are absolutely no contemporary references), links to articles that do not support his claim and finishes off by providing a single example of a much later quote by someone who wasn’t even Israeli. By 2014 however, the term had evolved in anti-Israeli circles to suggest Israel believes it needs to flatten the entire Gaza strip every 2 years and therefore also needs to bring about the circumstances so it can do so; newspapers such as the Independent now report it is ‘common speak’ in Israeli military circles. I imagine it won’t be too long before we have a Wiki page dedicated to the ‘Gardening Doctrine’ which will describe in detail some secret military doctrine that demands 2000 deaths in every 24 month period. Mind numbing.
Obstacle to peace. The greatest obstacle to peace is always something Israel has either done or failed to do. Looking back over the past three decades, I could create a long and meaningless list from historical accusations about something on the Israeli side being the ‘greatest obstacle to peace’. From settlement building, to building a wall, to bad choices at election time; a never ending stream of empty and pointless fingerpointing. Except here too, there is a simple fact that gets in the way of the entire exercise; between 1949 and 1967, every inch of the West Bank and Gaza, every refugee, every Palestinian, was not under Israeli control. There were no checkpoints, no walls, no occupation and no settlements. Between 1949 and 1967, the Arabs could do with these lands and these people *exactly* what they wanted to do; and they did nothing but make demands about the tiny piece of land in Jewish hands. Within this period we find the naked truth about the entire Palestinian claim. Not one refugee was housed, families were not repatriated and a Palestinian state was not declared. The only thing of interest was the land the Jews called their own. This is the true ‘greatest obstacle’, it is a glaring fact that is always good to remember when being bombarded with nonsense and until this core issue changes, it is unlikely peace will come.
One State solution. A call for the destruction of the state of Israel. Hidden behind a facade of call for equality, the one state solution is the same Arab rejectionism that caused the entire problem in the first place. Ironically, the partition was only ever suggested as a solution because of the violent Arab opposition to Jewish presence in a one state scenario. This is not a call for peace, but for war. Supporting the one state solution is like wearing a uniform under Nasser’s Egyptian army and marching to war against Israel. It is the cry of every Arab army that has attacked Israel to destroy it.
Plan Dalet. Probably the oldest of the military terms taken out of context and used to imply Israel is operating with a devious intent. It is provided as evidence of a master strategy of ethnic cleansing in 1948 and is normally accompanied by misquotes by Ben Gurion and others that are completely unrelated to the civil war. It is an absolute rewrite of history. Firstly, the name itself ‘Plan Dalet’, is simply ‘Plan D’, which tends to infer the existence of and possible failure of, Plans A, B & C. The plan itself is used out of context and suggests the Jews were in such control at the time, that they could sit with sinister intent and make plans about the best possible way to remove Palestinians from the area. The truth is that in early 1948, Arab irregulars had already infiltrated into British mandate territory and a battle for the survival of the Jewish state had begun. Jerusalem was under siege and Jewish forces were losing ground in several areas, with convoys especially vulnerable on roads that ran through Arab towns. By March almost all of the Jewish side’s armoured vehicles had been destroyed. What unfolded was a battle for existence that was to take proportionally more Jewish lives in a single year than the UK lost in the 7 years of WW2. To even begin to suggest the Plan Dalet was any more than a military strategy of survival designed to help the Jewish state stop ceding ground in a desperate war for its very existence, throws context entirely out of the window.
Post colonialism theory. Another faux academic excercise to delegitimize Israel. Attempting to link this study to Israel de facto implies Israel is a land of European colonists. It is therefore bogus. Putting aside that almost all the nations in the region are creations of French and British artists with a map of the Ottoman Empire and a felt tip pen, the vast majority of people who live in Israel are native to the region. My wife, born to a mother who fled persecution in Morocco and a father who was expelled from Egypt is part of two families who have lived in the region for millennia.
Post-Zionist. This is a term that deliberately hides sinister intent behind a language of love. The term itself implies that Zionism, being a movement of Jewish self determiniation, reached fruition in 1948. As the Jews now have a nation, there is a place for ‘post-Zionism’ or a movement to suggest Israel needs to deal with what comes ‘after-Zionism’. The only problem with this of course is that it is pure balderdash. Zionism, like democracy has no meaning unless it is absolute and perpetual. You cannot hold an election, claim you are now ‘democratic’ and seek a ‘post democratic’ era during which it is suggested you no longer need your democracy. This is the intent behind the post-Zionist, the end of Zionism, the end of Jewish self-determiniation. You cannot be a post – Zionist without supporting the Palestinian right of return and a one state solution. As such it is simply anti-Zionism with cuter branding.
Racist. Another misplaced term and probably the most overused word of our generation. Israel is probably the only nation in the entire region that is not racist and is certainly the only nation in the region that allows every single citizen a vote and protects its minorities through the stringent application of equality laws. The target of this term of course is the Jewish majority and it seems that every nation is allowed to enjoy majority status apart from the Jews in Israel. Of course there are racists in Israel, just as there are racists in the UK or US, but Israel as a nation is not a racist nation any more than the UK is a racist state. The other use of the racist label is the suggestion that ‘Zionism is racism’, a claim that takes us back to the darkest days in UN history. To suggest Zionism is racism is to remove the right of national identity *only* from the Jews. Are Jews the only people not allowed a movement of self-determinination? See what Zionism is on the streets of Israel; Jew, Arab, White, Black, all living as equal citizens in a free democratic state. That is Zionism and the claim it is racist is just another empty slur that only gains traction amongst people who are not interested in the truth.
Refugee. If ever the word ‘exceptionalism’ could be accurately applied, the Palestinian refugee would be the outright winner. Never, in the history of this world, has so much been done to perpetuate refugee status. The process of replicating the Jewish position firstly by creating a Palestinian ‘diaspora’ and secondly by suggesting they are experiencing a holocaust is part of the strategy of the anti-Israeli camp. This conflict wouldn’t even exist today if the Palestinian refugees had been dealt with like all refugees throughout history have been dealt with. Can you imagine the camp in Calais still being there in 70 years with great grandchildren of those currently standing there still living in the camp? The root cause of the refugee problem was the refusal of the Arabs to normalise the situation, and generations of people have been sold out by leaders who have used them as political pawns and created the impasse by promising them they would go home. The absurdity of a 3rd generation being born in Lebanon and being called a refugee is only beaten by the idea that a Palestinian in Palestine can also be a refugee. The other side of the coin here is that more Jewish than Arab refugees were created by the conflict as they fled persecution or were expelled from Arab lands; but all those refugees were taken in by Israel and granted citizenship. An effective exchange of populations, had the Arab side not locked the doors and placed the Palestinian refugees into camps.
Resistance. This is a way of suggesting that Palestinian terrorists are in some way defending themselves, and any report that uses this term to describe Hamas or Islamic Jihad has placed the entire conflict on its head. The bottom line is that if the terrorists stopped fighting, the war would stop. Israel is a normal state with normal interests; it stands to benefit greatly if peace and prosperity come to the region and as a democracy, the government is answerable to the people. The only ones who stand to gain anything by continuing the fight are those who dislike prosperity, freedom, equality, opportunity and education and seek to ensure they cannot spread. This entire conflict is absolutely a one way street; Israel defends itself, it has no reason to want to fight.
Right of return. The ever present deal breaker and the insidious demand of the anti-Israel crowd. In a two-state scenario, refugees in Arab lands will resettle in their new lands or if they choose to, will return to the new state of Palestine. Two states for two peoples. This however is not the Right of Return. The RoR is a claim, supported by a 66 year old resolution, that Palestinian refugees, should have the right to go back to where they or their ancestors lived prior to the civil war. Because of the absurd inherited nature of Palestinian refugee status, the number is now in the millions. So a two state solution that includes the RoR is in effect a call for two Palestinian states; a Palestine that must be devoid of Jews and an Israel that must accommodate millions of Palestinians. People who claim to support a two state solution but also push for the Right of Return are deliberately pushing a con.
Settler colonisation. Another of those faux social science ideas that is being pushed onto Israel by a few academics who let their personal hatreds get in the way of their research. The original Wiki page on settler colonisation didn’t even mention Israel for years and it was only later that the anti-Israeli crowd began to spread their propaganda throughout the web by applying every known slander against Israel in the hope some would stick. This strategy worked and the upcoming event at the University of Exeter uses this as the focus for its entire bogus conference. The entire idea that Jews are somehow colonists inside Israel is absurd. If not for the Jews, what would this land mean to anyone? It is a simple act of delegitimization in an attempt to break the link between Jew and the land so as to weaken the entire concept of Israel. It is radical nonsense that defies both history and logic.
Settlements. If every time a report came out suggesting Israel was building new settlements, Israel was actually building them, there would already be millions of settlers in the West Bank. It is a highly emotive subject and one easily twisted to create false impressions. The majority of reporting on the subject is either highly biased or entirely ignorant of the realities, with different areas bringing different issues and entirely separate arguments. Another great trick is calling every building a settlement and I’ve seen many a report claiming Israel is building hundreds of ‘new settlements’. Effectively this is a border dispute brought about the Arab rejection of partition in 1947 and the continual violent non acceptance of Israel. Between 1949 and 1967, Jordan controlled the West Bank and Since 1967 Israel has had control. I am not here to take a political stance, but I can differentiate between settlement areas because both the Israelis and Palestinian during negotiations have done so. Some of the major settlements are in blocks that border Israel and are likely to remain in Israel in any peace deal. Given that, and the accepted formula of reciprocal land swaps, building within these towns should not be considered hostile settlement building by moderate Palestinians. If these towns stop building, they cease to function (just as any town that cannot build will cease to function). There is no context or truth in arguments that wrap settlement activity up as if it is one thing; building a library or new primary school in a town adjacent to Jerusalem with 15,000 residents shouldn’t be reported in a hostile fashion. The hysterical screaming that occurs when Israel does embark on such an exercise is simply evidence of the strength of anti-Israeli propaganda.
Universal Justice. One of the main demands of groups like BDS. On the surface it is an enticing and peaceful phrase; after all, what can be wrong with justice for all? Except the term does not demand justice for all, it demands ‘Palestinian Justice’, or ‘Justice for the Palestinians’. Notice how groups like BDS do not call for peace, they call for justice, and it is in this demand they set the goal of their movement as the destruction of Israel. Only through Israel being removed from the map, can Palestinians receive the ‘justice’ they crave. ‘Universal justice’ is a one-sided nonsense, so do not be decieved when you hear it; it is a call for an end to a liberal democracy and a denial of rights to the 8 million citizens that vote freely there.
UN resolutions. No argument about Israel is ever complete without Israel being accused of ignoring more UN resolutions than any other nation. The simple fact is it is true. But why does the UN spend so much time on Israel, why does it make demands on Israel it makes of no other nation and why does it hold Israel up to standards not expected from anyone else? In effect, between the start of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the UN was held hostage to the Soviet and Arab blocks. During this time of course, we saw the infamous ‘Zionism is Racism’ resolution (later repealed). Since 1989, the situation has improved a little, but the UN is still simply a sum of its parts and for as long as despots are in control of large swathes of the globe, the united body that represents all nations can be no more than an outlet for the hatreds and wishes of those despots. The other reason the UN picks on Israel is because the refugee problem is a problem of the UN’s own making and perhaps it is even fair to argue that the UN should have enforced partition. For 40 years the UN deliberately facilitated the perpetuation of the conflict and it is unlikely ever to accept its role in the mess. As such, it must continue to push the line it has been pushing for over 60 years regardless of how flawed and ridiculous that position is.
UNWRA. The instrument through which the Arabs perpetuated the conflict. UNWRA is the creation of the UN and by extension lays the entire refugee crisis at the door of the UN too. An agency created not to solve the refugee problem but to ensure these people remained refugees. UNWRA even created a special definition for the Palestinian refugee so as to allow descendants to be included. The other absurdity in the special definition created by UNWRA was the ‘2 year rule’, so anyone whose normal place of residence was Palestine since June 1946 was suddenly considered a Palestinian refugee. If you want to truly understand the vile implications of this, consider the following. A Jewish man, born in Hebron in 1929 to a family who had lived there for 1000’s of years is now a ‘colonial settler’ on Palestinian land, whilst a migrant from Iraq who came to work in Palestine for 24 months, is a disposed refugee who must have the land of Palestine returned to him. That is the poison the UN and UNWRA injected into the conflict. Long infiltrated and controlled by groups hostile to Israel, UNWRA is an enemy to anyone who seeks a fair and just settlement.
Wall (also illegal wall and Apartheid wall). Often cited as proof that Apartheid exists, the Wall is no more than a border. And people forget when and why it was built. Prior to the second intifada there was no wall and it was only because of the continual infiltrations of terrorists into Israel to commit atrocities, that a solution to the problem was sought. The wall was this solution and the success of the strategy was evident in the drop in the number of suicide attacks in the areas the wall was put in place. It is always vital to remember the reasons that events occur and the order in which they occurred in. If there had been no 2nd Intifada and no suicide attacks, the wall would never have been built. Applying the building of the wall, to a policy that is not related to Israel defending the lives of its citizens is simply propaganda.
Yaalon Strategy & Yinon Plan. For the true anti-Semite, wrapped up in conspiracies of global Jewish domination, Israel being a devil to the Palestinians isn’t enough, and the Yinon Plan and Yaalon Strategy are put forward as evidence of Israel wanting to turn the entire region into dust. Israel is apparently operating a strategy that seeks to Balkanize the Middle East. Not content with simply ruling over millions of Palestinians, Israel is also engaged in dark warfare, turning Arab nation against Arab nation and is probably covertly behind Daesh. Sites that push these ideas are the most likely to mention that Jews did not turn up for work on 9/11 and provide evidence of Zionist and Nazi co-operation. It isn’t that these plans are forged (although many quotes and papers floating around are forgeries), but that they are meaningless. It is like suggesting that David Cameron is engaged in a dark global conspiracy because of a conversation Prince Albert had in 1856 that you have somehow connected to a suggestion paper produced by a minor official in the Foreign Office 40 years ago. It is how conspiracy theories all work.
Zionist. The anti-Israel team is on a mission to turn the word ‘Zionism’ into a dirty word. In some areas they have even succeeded. Even to the Zionist, Zionism can mean different things, and in Israel people from across the political spectrum would argue about what a Zionist is. Zionism at its root means support for the Jews to rule their own destiny inside their own state. Today it is taken as supporting the state of Israel. People with different political perspectives even belittle each others Zionist stance if they disagree with each other over how Israel should proceed with the Palestinians. This means that the term Zionist is an umbrella and under that umbrella lives all things that believe in the existence of the state of Israel. To reside outside of this umbrella is to take an extreme, uncompromising position that is inherently supporting violence. Israel exists; you cannot want for the destruction of the state of Israel and then pretend you stand on the side of peace. The anti-Israeli crowd want to take the word Zionist and apply it only to the far right of the Israeli political spectrum, thus suggesting a Zionist position is an extreme one. From that position they can delegitimize Zionism and by extension delegitimize Israel. Don’t let them.
16 thoughts on “The lies and the myths of the anti-Israeli crowd”
Rather lengthy but well-thought out and well-written article that calls out the fallacies of the anti-Israel mob. Terrific job.
Excellent article – reposting.
You may want to add the special UNRWA definition of a Palestine refugees “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948″ (http://www.unrwa.org/who-we-are#PALESTINE REFUGEES).
done and edited…thanks…I’d mentioned it in a previous blog, do not know why I overlooked it here…
Excellent infographic ……well done.
the BDS movement uses universally appealing language regarding international law, human rights, and universal justice
Have you considered analogizing how BDS’ use of “international law” is to Filistin bladna w’al yahud klabna (Palestine is our land and the Jew is our dog) the way Lee Atwater described cutting welfare spending is to “N***r, N***r?” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Atwater#Atwater_on_the_Southern_Strategy )
I found you today via Yair Rosenberg on Twitter. This looks like a great list. I am printing it to read slowly.
I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted a list like this. I love the info-graphic.
Anti-Israel and antisemitim is based nowadays on so many falsehoods that it is impossible to enamurate them all and since more are added up every day it is almost useless but not quite since they show how they are void of credibility. These falsehoods seem the be the new AGGRESSION on Israel to replace the military attacks which failed. So they must be treated the same way as the military attacks, thru violence since they are pure violence. The solution is those arabs eviction from Western Palestine. Therafter this new formof aggression will vanish since it will be come useless. It cannot be fought exclusively with words anyway.
I clearly completely disagree with the entire idea of eviction and also disagree that words equate to violence. Israel is not capable of doing what you want it to do, which in effect is the whole point of the article.
The cartoon is 3/4 correct, and ironically, it is a lie. You may find a great many Leftists who claim to be Christian demonstrating against Israel, just as you will find Leftists who claim to be Jews demonstrating against Israel. In both cases, their Leftism is their God, not the LORD God Almighty. The cartoon is a libel, in that it collectively slanders a group (Christians) for the actions of a dubiously affiliated minority of those that are vocal (there are a LOT more Christians vocalizing their support of Israel than opposition, at least in this country), not to be confused with the actions of clearly affiliated majorities of those vocalizing, as is the situation with feminists, gays, and academics.
Donald Trump and Hugh Hewitt Discuss Foreign Policy – audio
ps. Link Exchange with CC?
Great info graphic. Thanks.
The biggest and most dangerous lie is in the word Palestine and the designation of a Palestinian people. Palestine is and always was, a politically motivated name. It is a name that is meant to denigrate and destroy the Jewish connection to her homeland.
If you will – calling Israel, “Palestine” is the original hate speech.
Worst of all, we all are complicit in spreading the lie…
Please read and share!
I translated this text to german and hope for a good audience. Can you keep me up to date if you add on new terms?
I forgot to mention the link to my german translation. Here it is:
Oh, and I have these suggestions for topics to mention:
– water theft (Israel is supposedly stealing all the water from the arabs and letting them thirst to death)
– settlers supposedly cutting down and thus destroying olive trees from arab farmers
(and, yes, I am intentionally not using the term “palestinian” for the arabs living on jewish territory, and you shouldn’t either)
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