Eight Fundamental Lies about Zionism and Israel
After the Gaza outburst of 2014, I began working on an article entitled “Colonialism and other False Narratives,” as a response to the “carpet bombing” of disinformation that destroyed every social media platform I knew of. I also unplugged all my social media accounts, and I remain unplugged to this day, out of regard for integrity, honesty, and my emotional health. As for the article I had begun, I continued to work on it in fits and starts, in a perverse symmetry with the matsav, the situation as it unfolded in the Eretz. But always, my literary work took precedence, and so the article remained very rough and incomplete. Nonetheless, I noted that many of the disinformation matters I was seeing were being addressed by others, as well.
But now I can’t sit idly by, even if the disinformation battlefronts are getting wider coverage. The Muslim world has composed what I believe is an utterly false history of the region to delegitimize Israel. Sadly, it appears that lies grow rampant as weeds, while the truth requires careful and constant cultivation if it is to survive at all. That false history has now become a definitive history to a vast number of Europeans and North Americans, particularly to those left of center. Therefore I add my voice to those who declare Israel’s unconditional right to exist as an equal and unpersecuted nation in its historic homeland. No other nation in the region has a greater right to exist, or a longer and more comprehensively documented history tied to the land. And need I say, many countries in the region have no historic justification to exist at all!
Here are eight areas of disinformation that have been propagandized into “facts.” I lay them out simply and briefly so you, the reader, can more easily hold them all in memory as you wade thru the barrage of disinformation that dominates not just social media, but the headlines and editorial commentaries of the most widely read “liberal” news sources. (As a lifelong liberal, I have lost all respect for the New York Times and NPR, among other news sources.)
Eight Fundamental Lies about Zionism and Israel
1. Jews are colonialists
2. Jews have no, or limited, historical connection to the land
3. The Palestinians are a national entity displaced by the Jews
4. Anti-Zionism is not driven by Jew-hatred
5. Israel is apartheid
6. Palestine in the 19th century was a vibrant and populous region
7. Israel’s responses to Palestinian aggression and violence are extreme and disproportional
8. Jews are supposed to be victims
Brief Talking Points on the first three of those Eight Lies
Disinformation 1. Jews are colonialists.
This is entirely false and, indeed, is a reversal of the truth. Colonial enterprises are foreign occupations to
1. exploit and extract resources and products from one land or nation for the sake of enriching another nation or its corporate agents, and/or for
2. the sake of propagating a religious ideology.
Islam is the colonialist agency here, religiously, socially, and economically colonizing the whole Middle East and North Africa. The Jewish presence is just the opposite. We Jews are indigenous to the region, and Zionism is our national liberation movement. It is the rebuilding and development of an historic homeland for the benefit and well-being of the local residents. Israel is a land re-populated by those driven from their exilic dwelling places by hatred and violence. And those dwelling places were not just in Europe, but in the Middle East as well. Jews were ethnically cleansed from every Muslim nation in the region after 1948, expelled, quite ironically, to Israel! These people had no place to go back to. How then could they, in any way, be considered “colonialists”?
Now, many people equate the “colonialist” canard with Jewish/governmental mistreatment of the non-Jewish citizens of Israel, but this is an entirely different matter, and has nothing to do with colonialism. While it is clear that Israel is far from granting benefits equally to all citizens (as is also the case with nearly every other nation in the world), it is important to also acknowledge that Palestinian and Arab/Muslim rejectionism, hostility, and violence towards Israel are fundamental drivers of that inequality. The situation in Israel is entirely different than, say, the racism of the U.S. where African Americans fully acknowledge America’s right to exist, and simply want to be equal members in its development and prosperity, and yet suffer inequality and disrespect. In Israel, many Palestinians actively seek Israel’s destruction, and yet demand equal treatment.
Disinformation 2. Jews have no, or limited, historical connection to the land.
Although this belief is foundational to Palestinian and Arab ideology, it is an utter and absurd lie with absolutely no historical substance. And yet it is a foundational component of the propaganda permeating every layer of most Islamic societies: governmental, religious, social, and educational. In coming weeks I’ll provide substantive documentation to prove that point.
But back home in the land of reality, from the Bible’s literary substantiation, which is at least 2700 year old, to a vast collection of archaeological evidence that dates back a full 3000 years, to comprehensively documented Jewish, Christian, and Muslim historical writings over the last 2000 years (including the Christian Bible and Koran), there is no doubt that “the Holy Land” is, and has continuously been thought of as the one and only Jewish homeland, while being secondary to Christianity and entirely peripheral to Islam.
Disinformation 3. The Palestinians are a national entity displaced by the Jews.
There was never an independent nation of Palestine, nor was the province (Ottoman: ‘vilayet’) of Palestine ever anything more than an unimportant and impoverished region in a larger empire. While there is no question that non-Jewish Palestinians are an indigenous people, and have a right to live as full citizens in the land their ancestors lived in, they were never a people united by any national identity or national aspiration. Before the 20th century one can find absolutely no examples of political theory, literature, art, architecture, or any other kind of artifact that can be called distinctly “Palestinian.” The local people were impoverished and exploited by the Ottomans, and before them by the many other Muslim and Christian foreign empires that colonized the land prior to Israel’s establishment. In their economic, social, and educational poverty, the non-Jewish Arabs only developed kinship, tribal, and religious connections to the people and land around them. Even to this day, there is strong evidence to show that the primary ideology connecting “Palestinians” to one another is a hatred of Israel. Beyond that, this diverse demographic entity has a limited sense of unity of purpose, history, belief, or culture.
Next week I’ll cover the last five of those lies with brief talking points. In following weeks I’ll begin to provide substantive documentary evidence about the Muslim world and Jew hatred, covering the following 5 topics:
1. Holocaust denial
2. Historical falsification of current events, Judaism, and Jewish history
3. Overt, Active Jew hatred
4. Teaching hatred
5. Calls for genocide
Until then, be strong and of good faith, “khazak v’ematz.”