The Arab Israeli conflict has no room for a “narrative.” There are only facts

I am always entertained when I witness debates between Israelis  and those that call themselves Palestinian Arabs (and their supporters) over who will win the heart, soul and mind of the world. Both sides of the Arab Israeli conflict use their own semantics to achieve their set goal. I have heard the use of expressions such as agenda, disinformation and  lies enlisted towards that end. These are part of the propaganda war terminology, a tool used by many. None bothers me. I do, however, have an issue with the use of the term “narrative,” which many on both sides have, unfortunately, adopted

One of the meanings of the word “narrative” is “tale.” What associations jump into your mind when you hear that word? I will tell you what comes into mine

A narrative, to me, represents a tale, something more befitting a bedtime story or legend, one that appeals to one’s fantasy, secret, and perhaps not so secret, wishes and dreams.  A narrative can be true, embellished or a mere figment of one’s imagination. How do we know when and if a narrative is any of these

When it pertains to issues that seal the fate of many, there is no place for the ambiguous nature of a narrative.  The Arab Israeli conflict is one example of the misuse of such a term. Its utilization has merely become a means by some to manipulate world opinion and sway it to their side. Life in the region is complex and poses daily threats to the existence of many. In such a reality, one cannot use a vague term such as “narrative.”  Too much is at stake for both sides of the conflict, in particular, and the world, in general

In order to reflect the nature of the Arab Israeli conflict more accurately and seriously, one should adopt a more objective terminology. And what is better than the use of facts when it concerns objectivity? y

So, here are some facts

Fact one: Israel is a Jewish state and not only because we, Jews, defined it as such. It was decreed as a Jewish state by world, mostly the non Jewish world, entities, and organizations through majority rulings. These include UN Resolution 181 which divided the Land of Israel into two states, one Arab, one Jewish. Prior to that, there were the Balfour declaration of 1917 and the San Remo Accord of 1920 which recognized Jewish Rights to the Land of Israel

Fact Two: The Arab world rejected the U.N. partition plan of November 29th, 1947. That resulted in Israel’s War of Independence which started one day after the Jewish state was born

Fact Three: It is true that as a result of Israel’s War of Independence, a serious refugee problem was created on both sides of the conflict

Fact Four: Every war in history has created a refugee problem. Those refugees had been either absorbed by their own societies, or received asylum in other countries and we never heard about them again. Those that call themselves Palestinian Arab refugees are the only group of refugees in world history that has gained a hereditary status

Fact Five: Israel did not want to enter war in 1967. It was forced into it and elected to engage in a preemptive strike. As a result of Israel’s victory, it ended up possessing territories where many victims of the 1948 war had been hoarded years earlier into refugee camps by their leaders

Fact Six: “To the victor belong  the spoils of war” is as old a concept as the history of wars. “Land for Peace” is a recent notion and applies only to the Arab Israeli conflict

Fact Seven: Despite ongoing offers by Israel to help bring that conflict to an end, sometimes with sanguineous outcomes to many, the Arab world rejected them all

It is rather facts and not their misinterpretation, embellishment or misrepresentation that should be the guiding principle at the core of Arab Israeli issue. In most cases, unfortunately, it is narratives which seem to steer it. These narratives are merely versions written by interest groups in support of their agenda as they use every means to push it into the minds of a slumbering world that refuses to learn from history

About the Author
Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks is an English teacher and a pro Israel advocate. She lives in Israel and has recently published her first novel, "On A Wing From The Holy Land."
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