The assault by Israel’s enemies on Israel’s sovereignty and integrity takes many forms: from all-out war by standing armies to asymmetric warfare via terrorist attacks and missiles launched at civilians, to “lawfare”, boycotts (BDS) – and since most of these methods have failed, to the insidious rewriting of history in order to remove any Jewish historical connection to Israel, thereby undermining Israel’s justification for existing and laying it open to claims of “ethnic cleansing” and “land theft”.
An example of turning history on its head occurred just this week on Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day), when instead of celebrating their good fortune in living in a liberal democratic Western-oriented state, some Israeli Arabs (including an Arab member of the Knesset) marched to protest and mourn Israel’s founding. Former (and would-be) Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman remarked that if these Arabs are so unhappy they should be made citizens of the Palestinian Authority instead of Israel:
[Yisrael Beytenu leader MK Avigdor] Liberman’s comments came after thousands of Israeli-Arabs took part in the annual “Right of Return” march near Umm al-Fahm in the Wadi Ara region of central Israel. The march mourns the founding of Israel on its Independence Day and calls for the right of return for Arabs who fled their homes or were expelled during the 1948 Independence War.
Balad party leader MK Jamal Zahalka took part in the march, referring to Israel’s celebration of its Independence Day as “a dance on Palestinian blood and a provocation of Palestinian feelings and denial of their tragedy.”
Liberman responded Tuesday, stating that “the march of hatred of the Israel-haters and followers of the path of the Mufti of Jerusalem, which took place in Wadi Ara in mourning of the establishment of the State of Israel, is added proof that any agreement with the Palestinians must also include within it Israeli Arabs.”
“The situation in which those who enjoy and take advantage of Israel’s democracy and freedom of expression in order to mourn its creation, and at the same time stays silent in the face of the massacre of Palestinians in Syria, proves their hypocrisy and their true goal,” Liberman said.
“These people need to find their place as citizens of the Palestinian Authority, with which they identify and whose flag they wave, and to receive from it their ‘national insurance’ and unemployment pay,” he added.
Spouting these lies at their protest march while enjoying all the benefits of Israeli democracy – to the extent of being a member of that self-same Zionist Knesset – and keeping a straight face at the same time must require some gymnastics of the mind that are, well, mind-boggling.
It is all part and parcel of the Palestinians’ attempt to denigrate Israel, smear its good name and use the lie as a basis for accusations of human rights violations. Avigdor Liberman is perfectly accurate in his assessment and in his suggestions.
Furthermore, describing Israel’s desperate war of survival in 1948, and its celebration at having survived and thrived, as “dancing on Palestinian blood” is a blatant falsification of history and an outrageous lie into the bargain.
The only people who dance on blood are the Palestinians and their Arab allies who with murderous intent tried to annihilate the fledgling Jewish state the minute it was born. In fact their attempts started long before it came into being, when Jewish settlement of the country started to make it bloom and thrive. The bloodthirstiness of the Arabs (for there were no Arab Palestinians in those days, only Jewish Palestinians) and their attacks on Jewish civilian communities is well-documented, as is the alliance between the notorious Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler.
But the Palestinians do not let facts get in the way of their “narrative”.
Another extremely serious attempt at undermining Jewish history (in addition to the ongoing destruction by the Muslim Waqf of Judaism’s holiest site at the Temple Mount) comes in the seemingly innocent form of a new “Palestine Museum” whose real purpose is to undermine Jewish history. Read this excellent article and analysis from Mike Lumish at the “Israel Thrives” blog:
Palestinian Authority officials on Thursday joined a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a new museum of “Palestinian culture, history and society” in Birzeit near Ramallah.
In a video celebrating the museum’s launch the claim is made that Palestine was home to “one of the most infuential [sic] cultures the world has ever seen” but that the fabric of the nation was torn apart by “dispossession” and “forced exile” in the 20th century.
Part of the delegitimization effort among Israel’s enemies is the theft of Jewish heritage by the Palestinian-Arabs, as well as the fabrication of a Palestinian-Arab history that does not exist.
The truth of the matter, of course, is that there was no distinct and separate Arab nation that went by the name “Palestinian” until the end of the twentieth century. That is not a matter of opinion, but of historical fact.
In fact, it’s questionable if the Palestinian-Arabs represent a distinct “nation” even today. If they are a distinct nation, they are a distinct nation that is identical to the other Arabs in the region in all the ways that count.
Furthermore, if they are a distinct nationality they are a nationality that came into being for the sole purpose of destroying the Jewish national home. This being the case, it becomes rather difficult to respect any allegedly distinct Palestinian-Arab culture.
And, needless to say, if some local Arabs were dispossessed of their homes during Israel’s War for Independence that is entirely because they launched a civil war against the Jews at the end of November, 1948, only a few years after the Holocaust. The Arabs fought Jewish women and Holocaust survivors, yet they still got beat and now they want to pretend that they were merely innocent victims of those vicious, militaristic and racist Holocaust survivors.
In any case, heritage theft is a vile tactic that we need to counter in any way we can.
If they want to lie about our history, we’ll tell the truth about theirs.
Read the entire article.
The blogger Daled Amos has more on the Palestine Museum:
…the Palestinian Authority is starting to build a museum of Palestinian history. An uncritical article in the Jerusalem Post reports:
“The idea [evolved] from the “Memory Museum of the Nakba” to a museum that will use the tools of history to come out with a modern dialogue,” Jack Persekian, the director and curator of the Palestinian Museum told The Media Line. “We’re moving forward from representing an incident that happened in a certain time to representing the Palestinians wherever they are.”
Tzvi ben Gedalyahu observes in the Jewish Press:
It is a lot easier to convince the world that Israel is “occupying its land” if Arabs can show that the “Palestinians” existed 200 years ago and were not invented by Yasser Arafat. If you want to be particular, a case can be made that the term “Palestinian” was used in 1921 at the Syrian-Palestinian Congress, but then it must be taken in context at the time that Palestine is part of Syria.
“Palestine” used to be one of the two names of the land under the British Mandate — Palestina-Eretz Israel. The re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 all of a sudden reminded some Arabs that maybe they are Palestinians, but it was the Six-Day War in 1967 that gave Arafat the opportunity to fire up the concept.
All that was missing was a past, and the Palestinian Authority has become the master of inventing history.
Furthermore, Elder of Ziyon notes:
When museums are built in the rest of the world, they are funded by private donors and foundations, with perhaps the aid of local government. However, this museum in Bir Zeit – like most other Palestinian Arab initiatives – is using Western government funds.
The major funder is called “The Welfare Association.” Despite its universal sounding name, it is dedicated solely to Palestinian Arab projects.
I suppose a museum devoted to a false history is less damaging than ones that promote terror. But given that all three are devoted to the same goal – of denying Israel its right to exist – that’s a small comfort.
I am not in total agreement with Daled Amos’s conclusion. Obviously a war of words is better than actual terrorism – but only in the short term. In the long term this delegitimization and denying Israel’s right to exist will only lead to more terrorism and more attempts to wipe out Israel physically as the Palestinians are emboldened in their quest.
As always we must be vigilant and we must counter delegitimization and the falsification of history as strongly and as loudly as possible.