Stephen Berer
the Eternal Jew's biographer

Disinformation Wars, 2

Laocoon by Blake, image modified by the author, obtained from Wikimedia Commons, in the public domain.
Laocoon by Blake, image modified by the author, obtained from Wikimedia Commons, in the public domain.

Last week I began a series on the disinformation war against Israel and its right to exist, a war spearheaded in the Muslim world and carried around the world via social media and the news, especially the left-leaning news sources. Here are eight areas of slander and disinformation against Israel and Judaism 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 online and in the streets.

They are:
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

This week I’ll briefly expand points 4 to 6.

Disinformation 4. Anti-Zionism is not driven by Jew-hatred. Actually, that is precisely what it is; it is another hate-trope disguised as “political opinion.” From the Muslim Brotherhood’s writings, to the Hamas Charter, to the common chants at any Palestinian demonstration (“…from the river to the sea…”) , we see manifestations of genocidal hatred. The evidence elsewhere at ToI and at other honest news/politics sites, as well as in the documentary evidence I have compiled in my research (which may follow in later blog posts) comprehensively shows that Jew-hatred is deeply embedded in anti-Zionism, so I’ll say no more here.

Disinformation 5. Israel is apartheid. Here again we see hate masquerading as political analytics, with the ultimate intention of delegitimizing Israel’s right to exist. This particular slander embodies the double-standard lie. Israel is held to a standard that no other country in the world is held to. Were the same standards applied to any Arab or Muslim country in the world, one would see egregious discrimination in every one of those countries, much of which is embedded in law and religion via the Islamic principle of the dhimma, which overtly privileges Muslims. Therefore, an honest assessment of the region would declare nearly every Muslim nation to be apartheid, but NOT Israel. There is, of course, discrimination against Palestinians in Israel, as there is discrimination against Jews by Palestinians. But economically, socially, and politically, Palestinian citizens of Israel have a definably better life than Palestinians in ANY other country in the world.
However, the problem is more widespread than the Middle East. Looking honestly at nearly every country in the world, one sees obvious discrimination. Russia, China, India, any South American country, France, England, Canada, Australia, the U.S…. all are plagued with discrimination at least as extreme as Israel’s, and equally embedded in the political/cultural landscape. Yet Israel is singled out, and its discrimination is grossly exaggerated as part of a hate-campaign by its many detractors and enemies.

Disinformation 6. Palestine in the 19th century was a vibrant and populous region. This is yet another lie, fabricated to invest Palestinians with a false sense of history and substantial presence in the land. Having studied 69 traveler’s reports of expeditions to Palestine in the late 18th and 19th centuries (which to my knowledge is every digitized travel account available online), every single traveler’s report and every pictorial and photographic representation from the 19th century and before shows a land barren and empty. There is, literally, no contradictory evidence here! Ottoman censuses, while sloppily done, clearly portray this same picture, and all 19th century foreign reports and analyses on population confirm the pictorial record. Jerusalem, by far the main population center, was hardly more than a village, with a population that oscillated for centuries between 10,000 and 20,000 people. In the late 19th century its water supply was undrinkable, and it had no sewer system, no electricity, no modern hospital, and no public transportation. As a city, Jerusalem was far overshadowed, politically and economically, by Beirut, Damascus, and Cairo, the nearby major metropolitan districts that were actively and consistently built up by the Ottomans and the earlier Muslim colonialist empires. As a region, the vilayet of Palestine was equally far overshadowed by the surrounding vilayets.

It was Zionism and the return of the Jews to their homeland that drove the economic, political, and demographic expansion of the region. That development generated at least as many Arab/Ottoman immigrants as Jewish ones, but with sloppy censuses and porous borders, the actual numbers can only be estimated. However, I believe there is NO way the standard late 19th century population estimates can be accurate (population in ~1880 at 275,000+ and by the end of C19 at 500,000+). The graphic/photographic and textual evidence is incontrovertible. Joan Peters’ much maligned estimate (<100,000) is almost certainly more accurate. My annotations to the books in the Documentary Evidence section (Part 2) of this extended essay strongly support this conclusion.

Assuming 500 villages from Lebanon to Eilat and the Mediterranean to the Jordan, averaging 70 inhabitants each, plus 15 towns averaging 500 inhabitants, plus 8 large towns (including Hebron, Beersheva, Tiberias, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Sefat) at 1000; plus Jerusalem, 13000; Acco: 2000; Jaffa 3000; then the total population is 73,000:
35000______500 villages @ 70 people ea.
12000______15 towns @ 800 ea.
8000______8 large towns @ 1000 ea.

I find it inconceivable that, however one fudges the numbers, the total can come to as many as 100,000!

Next week I’ll complete this brief overview of the eight prominent slanders targeting Israel and its right to exist, and following that I may begin to present the vast body of documentary evidence I have compiled to substantiate the brief talking points I will have presented in my first three posts (this being the 2nd of 3).

Until then, be strong and of good faith, “khazak v’ematz.”

About the Author
I am a writer, educator, artist, and artisan. My poetry is devoted to composing long narrative poems that explore the clash between the real and the ideal, in the lives of historical figures and people I have known. Some of the titles of my books are: The Song uv Elmallahz Kumming A Pilgimmage tu Jerusalem The Pardaes Dokkumen The Atternen Juez Talen You can listen to podcasts of my Eternal Jew posts on my personal blog, Textures and Shadows, which can be found on my website, or directly, at: I live just outside Washington, DC with my bashert, and we have two remarkable sons. Those three light my life.
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