John Poris

The High Cost of Ignorance

In countless conversations with anti-Zionist, anti-Israel supporters of Palestine and Gaza, I am constantly taken aback at their lack of knowledge of history, and the extent to which they believe the revisionist versions of “history” they glean from a multitude of pro-Palestinian websites and blogs.

Even a cursory glance at historical facts would normally be enough to show that the “facts” in which they believe have sprung into existence in the last several years, yet, they cannot be bothered to examine that history.

Instead, we hear things like “There would be peace if only Israel withdrew to the 1967 borders”, as if there were not a history of Arab aggression against Israel before 1967, and as if the charters of both Hamas AND the PLO call for Israel to simply disappear from the face of the Earth.

So-called “liberals” chant “We are Hamas” in the mistaken belief that they are somehow supporting “freedom fighters” who are battling an evil, Jewish empire bent on conquering the entire Middle East and enslaving the Arab population, in the face of ample evidence that Hamas is nothing of the sort, and that their goal is the eradication of Israel and every Jew in the world.

Our universities teach history based on versions of facts given to them by rich benefactors from Middle-Eastern countries along with many millions of dollars, professors teach that Israel is “Apartheid” and should be equated to Nazi Germany, and that the Jews are practicing Genocide.

This perpetuates a culture of extreme ignorance among our future generations, as well as an environment in which hatred and intolerance has grown and will continue growing unless we find the means to shine the light of truth on it.

As we watch much of the Middle East burn under the tender administrations of ISIS, along with the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Syria, rank persecution of minorities in Egypt, and killings of the “wrong” kind of Muslims in many other countries, we focus on Israel, “Palestine”, and Gaza as if it were the only important conflict in the world, when in fact, it is almost insignificant in the grand scheme of things, except inasmuch as Israel is like the canary in the mine – as Israel’s fortunes go, so too go the fortunes of Western civilization.

While the USA and allied forces bomb Libya, Iraq, ISIS, Afghanistan, killing militants and civilians alike, and while ISIS lines up their opponents and slaughters them wholesale, the world gathers in the streets, chanting “Death to Israel”, “Jews to the gas”, “Death to the Jews”, “Stop the genocide in Gaza”, “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea”, etc.

Of course, “From the river to the sea” is code for Israel’s disappearance, but sincere young men and women will tell you that OF COURSE they support Israel’s right to exist,and even to defend themselves, but not at the expense of the poor Palestinian people, whose country Israel conquered and occupied.

Their lack of knowledge of history is more than a little frightening, as they confidently claim that Israel is violating Palestine’s “borders”, as if those borders ever existed (which they have not), and claim that Israel has no claim over any territory other than the territory inside of the “1967 borders”, which are, of course, the 1949 armistice lines and which were never recognized by anyone as provisional or permanent borders.

In the end, this lack of historical perspective and knowledge will carry an exorbitant cost to the world.  We have generations of people, who, like President Obama, believe that if only we’re nice to the Islamic Jihadists, they’ll be nice to us, because that is how the world works.

Unfortunately, that is not how most of the world works.  Much of the world subscribes to the theory that “Might makes right”.  We see it in Russia’s takeover of parts of the Ukraine, Turkey’s conquest of North Cyprus, and ISIS’ conquest of large swaths of Syria and Iraq.  The rulers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and others see the danger, but we in the West do not.

We suppose, in our minds, that once ISIS conquers Syria and Iraq, they’ll be happy.  But, they won’t. They are out to conquer the world.

Our ignorance of history, our lack of historical perspective, and our naivete make us prime targets, and one day, if we do not summon the courage to not only have some convictions, but to actually act on those convictions, we will be the victims of our unwillingness to see the truth – that we are next, right after Israel.  As Israel goes, so goes Western civilization.

About the Author
John Poris was born in the USA, spent a "gap year" in Israel after high school, then returned to the US to study. He completed a degree in Near Eastern Studies and Languages at the University of Michigan before making Aliyah in 1977. He was a member of kibbutz Grofit for 4 years, served in the IDF (Nahal), then returned to the USA for engineering school, then advanced degrees in Engineering and Business. He is divorced, and currently lives in Florida.
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