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  • Stop the lies about Israel | Photo credit Creative Commons CCO
Teachings

Lies about Israel

Rev Jaap de Vreugd - 23 July 2015

How was the State of Israel established? Gradually a certain image got stuck in the public opinion in the West, amplified by the news coverage and comments of certain Middle East commentators.

“Suppose the Zionists chose our country (The Netherlands, ed.). After the Second Word War the Jewish community succeeded in abusing their host country by founding their own state. Those who came to Palestine intentionally to finish this job called themselves Zionists. The actual people were dispelled into refugee camps and are called terrorists nowadays.

Now, suppose the Zionists would have chosen our country to found their state! Then we would have lost our state and we – the Dutch – would have been swept together in e.g. the Dutch province of Drenthe. The Palestinians are subordinate to the Zionists for over 50 years in allowing them to found their own state in their own country Palestine. This is truly unbelievable!”

Propaganda
The letter to the editor mentioned above from the newspaper “Metro” from some 15 years ago expresses in a concise manner to me the disinformation about Israel that has been vented for decades. This is what the average Dutch family picks up from the media and public opinion. Gradually this image got stuck in public opinion, amplified by the news coverage and comments of the Middle East experts, the good ones excepted. All false “information” packed together in one sentence: there once was a flourishing country Palestine with a large and prosperous population living in peace that was pitifully hit by a major catastrophe when the Jews came in. And supported by the western world – that wanted to get rid of the Jewish problem and was feeling guilty about the Holocaust – they wanted to found a Jewish State in Arabic territory. Dispelling the original population and driving them into miserable refugee camps. And since then maintaining a racist Apartheid System intending to commit ethnic cleansing. The Arabic propaganda does its job, particularly supported by left wing media.

Reality is completely different. Palestine never existed as a free, prosperous state. Palestinians didn’t even exist until 1965. The country was very sparsely populated for the most part of the 19th century, neglected, abandoned, devastated. A remote corner and a colony of the province of Syria of the Turkish or Ottoman Empire. Renascence came with the first Jewish, Zionist pioneers in the final decades of the 19th century and particularly in the 20th century. In an almost incredible manner, making an all-out powerful and idealistic effort, the pioneers succeeded in bringing the country to life again, conquer swamps, make deserts bloom, make the barren ground of Galilee, Judea and Samaria green again and found agricultural settlements. As it were the resurrection of an emaciated and deserted country. A country being reunited with its people. And this success attracted others, from the entire Arabic world and even from Europe (the Balkans, Caucasus) who wanted to benefit from the Jew’s success. More than 90 per cent of those who are calling themselves Palestinians today descend from families who founded themselves after the arrival of the first Zionists in Israel. In a 1931 census Palestine’s Muslim population mentioned 24 different countries of origin. So don’t let the reader be led to believe about historic Palestine and its oppressed and dispelled original population.

Ottoman Empire 16th – 17th century | Photo credit: By lynxxx at German Wikipedia

 

Palestine, Palestinians
Whoever encounters the designation Palestine must be well aware of the historic background of this term. It goes back as far as 135 AD. The Roman emperor Hadrian had the 2nd Jewish revolt under Bar Kochba savagely struck down. He decreed that all Jews should be dispelled. Jerusalem becomes a heathen city called Aelia Capitolina. On the Temple Mount a statue of Jupiter is erected. And Israel becomes Palestine; right across Israel’s history Hadrian falls back on the long battle that lasted for generations between Israel and the Philistines and after these Philistines Hadrian calls the land Palestine. He erases as it were all memories of Israel, Jerusalem and the God of Israel from history. If today the name of Palestine is used this most certainly plays a part.

All through the ages the name of Palestine is in vogue, however only as a geological designation for a part of the province of Syria in the Turkish Empire and never for an independent nation or state. Despite Hadrian’s intention there has always been a Jewish population in the area; in fact the Jews are the only population group continuously living in the country since Joshua’s days. In addition to this there is a varying population of Christian and Islamic habitation and of wandering Bedouins. After the collapse of the Turkish Empire, England obtains the mandate of Palestine by the League of Nations with the commission to form a homeland for the Jewish people. In the meantime the British Government has issued the Balfour Declaration (1917), in which she promises to labour for that Jewish homeland.

Just to be perfectly clear: that Jewish homeland extended itself on both sides of the Jordan River; this was laid down in multiple international agreements. In this manner the settling of the Jewish people in the entire Mandate area of Palestine was legitimized. The phrase “homeland” of course is not without meaning; it is about the Promised Land, the home of the Jewish people since the promise to Abraham, the domain of the Twelve Tribes of Israel where its entire history took place. The mere fact of the numerous archaeological findings confirm the ancient Israeli history in the area and even the Arabic names of so-called Palestinian villages betray their Hebrew background.

Great Britian’s division of the Mandated Area | Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

This was and is the inalienable historic land of the people of Israel. During the emergence of the Zionist movement the thought was put forward to create an other safe haven for the Jewish people elsewhere in the world, in order to solve the “Jewish problem”. But of course realization of this idea didn’t have the ghost of a chance. For centuries the heart of the Jews was set on Zion and in the daily prayers the hope was expressed for the return to the Land of the Fathers. Despite all international promises about two thirds of the British Mandate of Palestine of the homeland – promised to the Jews in 1917 – was cut off in 1923 for the formation of the Arabic State of Jordan. From then on Jews were only allowed to settle in West-Palestine. And after the United Nation’s decision in 1947 to once again divide the area west of the River Jordan into a Jewish and an Arabic part only a fraction was left of what all international agreements had promised to the Jews. Nevertheless the Jewish community agreed and thus the State of Israel was proclaimed in the Old Land of the Fathers.

As is well-known the Arabic world did not accept the partition plan (that already then could have resulted in a “Palestinian State”) and attacked the young Jewish State – the beginning of an actually still continuing state of war. In the various started or provoked wars by the Arab world Israel continually conquered more of the originally promised area.

This concise overview makes perfectly clear that there never was an independent Palestinian State in the disputed area with its own language, culture, history and identity. Not in any sense there is talk of a “historic people” of the Palestinians. Strangely enough it so happened that during the period of the British Mandate, Jewish inhabitants of this area were called Palestinians (Palestine Post, Palestine Bank et cetera) and not a single Arab or Arabic institution claimed that name.

The State of Israel is born | From: Palestine Post

It wasn’t until the sixties of the last century that Yasser Arafat started claiming the names Palestine and Palestinians for the non-Jewish population and founded the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), a combination of Arabic terror groups. The myth/lie of a “historic Palestine and its native population” was conjured out of the Arabic top hat from one day to the next for political-ideological reasons and this myth successfully sank into the news coverage and politics. Resulting in consistently misinforming the general public, because a lot of media unthinkingly accept and repeat this story. Since the sixties of the last century the Arabic propaganda has been diligently busy seeking an own identity for the Palestinian people and it was found by consistently stealing Israel’s identity and slipping it under the Palestinians. The history of the Land is taken away from the Jews and applied to the “native” Palestinians.

This takes grotesque shapes: Abraham was not a Jew, but just an Iraqi Arab, Solomon was the Islamic builder of the Temple, all known persons from the Bible are Muslims, Jesus was a Palestinian. The Jews have no business being in the Land where they do not belong. In the search for an own identity the proposition is put forward that the Palestinians are the descendants of the Canaanites, and therefore the rightful owners of the Land, and the Jews are the intruders.

 

Occupation and settlements
The above made clear that the presence of Jews in the former mandate of Palestine is based on all sorts of international decisions and agreements. I am not talking here about the biblical right of Israel to live in the Land of the Fathers (in fact the biblical assignment!) – this stands to reason for anyone who takes the Bible seriously. I am talking here about the political and international lawful legitimacy of Jews in the Land. I formulate this on purpose like this because in fact the borders between Israel and the neighbouring countries have never officially been determined since the armistice of 1949. They still need to be formally negotiated! The so-called “Green Line” (i.e. the armistice line of 1949) is quite often employed as a border, exactly like the “pre-1967 borders”, but officially this is wrong: the borders are not fixed yet! In the various wars, forced upon Israel by the Arab nations, this area has expanded continually. In it settlements have formed that are the biggest threat to world peace ever, according to the tenor of the global politics and the global media.

If only the settlements were not there and if only Israel would not exist and if only the Jews did not exist, then the world would be freed of almost every problem. But Israel does exist and the inhabitants of Judea and Samaria exist, they settled for the most part from a deep religious conviction in the exact area where the prophets speak of. They will not leave. And as argued, they not only have a biblical right, but are also legally fully entitled to settle there.

The statement of Abbas that when a Palestinian State is founded there will be no place for the Jews, is preposterous! Preposterous, but honest: the Arabic world is after only one thing: a “Judenfrei” Middle East. The two-state solution is in Arabic eyes only a compromise, like Arafat already stated: first a state beside Israel, then a state in the place of Israel and then subsequently all Jews gone! Then Hadj Amin Al-Husseini’s dream will have come true. He was in cahoots with Hitler, his Muslim militias aided with the “Endlösung” in Europe, so that Hitler would help with the extermination of the Jews in the Middle East. Of course I mention this on purpose, we must not close our eyes for the deep hatred and the ardent anti-Semitism that inspire both Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. They will not call themselves anti-Semites but anti-Zionists – like so many opinion formers in the rest of the world.

But I think about what Martin Luther King said: “They say that they are against the Zionists, but they mean the Jews”. Abbas categorically refuses to recognise the State of Israel from the same background. In my opinion the two-state solution will never work. It is simply a strategy to weaken Israel and to force her back behind indefensible borders. Withdrawal from Gaza and before that from Southern Lebanon has taught us what the effects are: from “Palestine” a cloud of smoke and fire by thousands of fired rockets and mortars and waves of Arab terrorist infiltrators and suicide terrorists that cause gigantic bloodbaths. I am under the impression that not so many people believe in the two-state solution anymore; every time this solution was in reach the Arab NO sounded and it looks like the chances are lost. But what ever solution will turn out to be the winner (if ever, before the Messiah comes!) it is absolutely unacceptable that the biblical heartland should be forbidden for Jews. Whoever desires or defends that is an anti-Semite.

Oppression, Apartheid, excessive violence, genocide
The fate of the Arab Israelis and even more so that of the Palestinians in the so-called occupied territories are in the western press more often than not drawn as particularly gloomy. Israel suppresses the non-Jews, discriminates them in an Apartheid System, worse than at the time in South Africa, and is openly striving for genocide on the Palestinians in the “open air prisons of Gaza and the West Bank”. Added to this of course the vicious accusation of excessive violence in military actions. To start with the latter: the two military actions of the recent years in Gaza are still fresh in our memories. When finally, after years of daily rocket fire from Gaza with increasingly effective weaponry was decided to intervene, Israel did so with utmost carefulness. Civilian targets were avoided as much as possible, just like civilian casualties. There were warnings preceding imminent actions. But when Hamas positions itself in schools and hospitals and keeps civilians from fleeing, civilian casualties are unavoidable.

Netanyahu said sharply but quite appropriately: “we use weapons to protect our children, they use children to protect their arms”. And nevertheless during manifestations in our country it regularly resounded that Israel was committing genocide on the Palestinians. This accusation is as grotesque as untrue. Of course, there are constantly Palestinian victims. The reason is that the Palestinians themselves start the violence. Israel responds with legitimate self defence. Israel’s targets are militants, rocket launchers, tunnels and buildings of Hamas et cetera. Israel does not deliberately attack random civilians, let alone that the number of victims has the magnitude of a genocide.

Since 1950 in the Israeli-Arab conflict 35,000 Arabs and 16,000 Jews were killed. But in the same period another 11 million Arabs were killed – of which more than 90% by their fellow Muslims! Despite all these accusations it is a fact that Israel has massively invested in facilities to improve the living conditions of the people in the Gaza strip and the West Bank. And with regard to Arab inhabitants of Israel: they have normal rights as civilians of a democratic state (the only one in the Middle East!). Israel is not better or worse than any other democracy in the world, and certainly mistakes do happen; there are not many societies under such pressure as the Israeli society. But no other group of Arabs in the entire Arab world has so many rights, such a high degree of general education et cetera, as the Arabs inside the State of Israel. The accusation of Apartheid and oppression is malicious slander, meant to deligitimise Israel. There is absolutely no legal segregation or discrimination.

 

Prejudice
So much for some of the examples of false propaganda about Israel. Unfortunately this is not complete by a long shot. Still the old libels circulate about Jewish conspiracies undermining world peace. The “Jewish lobby” is supposed to be extremely influential in the USA and Europe and shielding Israel from just criticism. My opinion is that to the contrary there is a global atmosphere of deligitimizing Israel nowadays, disproportional criticism of Israel, applying double standards in international institutions et cetera. If Israel is involved strange alliances occur: left wing activists, fascist Islamic groups and ardent anti-Zionists join forces in condemning Israel – look at the manifestations in our country in last year’s (2014) Summer during the Gaza war. Unfortunately many reporters do not bother in making an effort in digging deeper than superficial into the complex reality and complex history. The news of the day is for the main part biased and negative regarding Israel. An important task for Christians these days to strike a completely different note! But, anyway: Israel lives! And the God of Israel lives. He will not let His people go!

 

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