Undermining Jewish history and the Jewish connection to Eretz Yisrael

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 Arab Museum that “Rewrites” History Funded by the West (VIDEO)

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.

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15 Responses to Undermining Jewish history and the Jewish connection to Eretz Yisrael

  1. Reality says:

    Avigdor lieberman is absolutely right. Can you imagine England allowing the IRA a place in the governmnt & a “celebration ” day of revenge, or the Americans allowing thanksgiving tobe turned into a Nakba by the American Indians (who I for one think they should protest about their occupation). Nobody would stand for it. Its treason!I saw a very clever talkback in an article about their protest that basically asks where are Arabs happy? Not in any Arab state only in the West & Israel as there they can say what they want ,do what they want & get all the benefits they could only dream about in their arab countries. There they would’ve been arrested ,tortured & perhaps never heard from again.

    • anneinpt says:

      I saw a very clever talkback in an article about their protest that basically asks where are Arabs happy? Not in any Arab state only in the West & Israel as there they can say what they want ,do what they want & get all the benefits they could only dream about in their arab countries.

      Excellent point! Well said to that talkbacker and thank you for posting it here.

      The hypocrisy and double standards are breath-taking and yet no one seems to blink an eye. It’s outrageous and frustrating.

  2. cba says:

    Israel’s desperate war of survival in 1948, and its celebration at having survived and thrived

    I’m reminded of that famous book by Ephraim Kishon, with illustrations by Dosh
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ephraim-Kishon-So-Sorry-We-Won-Hebrew-Israel-1st-Edition-Dosh-Caricatures-1967-/321075698546

    • anneinpt says:

      Ha! I remember that one! He also had a column in Maariv in Hebrew with the same title. One day I’ll see if I can find a translation and post it, or translate it myself. It’s as relevant today as it was 30-40 years ago when it was written.

    • cba says:

      Inbal, if that’s truly what you believe then you’ve been taking too many drugs.

      No villages? No olive trees? I guess you’re blind as well as stupid.

      “So Sorry We Won” totally sums you up.

    • cba says:

      By the way, Inbal, how do you feel about the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and from the Etzion Bloc (in 1947-8) and from Hevron (in 1929) and from Gaza (in 2005) etc. etc. etc.

      That’s not counting the ethnic cleansing of Jews from MENA, including the Iraqi community that has been there since the Babylonian exile.

      Or is it that “good” ethnic cleansing?

      • Inbal says:

        un like you i read history not zionist propoganda I know , not believe. you should read some history to. start with the zionist: Benny Morris “he Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem”” Cambridge University Press, 2004.
        and I like you i know personally some of the familys that were deported from sheikh jarrah and Hebron. most of them opposed to the settlers that took over their houses

        • cba says:

          Way to avoid the question.

        • anneinpt says:

          But they were opposed to the settlers only AFTER they took the settlers’ money – and then they received death threats from their dearly beloved Palestinian brothers. I would also recant if I was threatened with death, but that doesn’t mean they were opposed to the settlers.

          In addition, the “settlers”, actually Jewish Israelis, OWNED the houses and had paid for them at least once if not twice. Those houses originally belonged to the Jewish community in Hebron and Jerusalem before the Jews were ethnically cleansed in 1948.

          You see, ethnic cleansing is a two-way street. If you feel the Palestinians can reclaim their land from 1948, so can the Jews.

          Or is it a case of, when the Jews are ethnically cleansed, they had bloody well STAY ethnically cleansed?! (h/t cba)

        • anneinpt says:

          You cite Benny Morris yet you seem blissfully unaware that Benny Morris recanted his stance that “it was all the Jews’ fault”.

          I quote:

          1 February 2008

          Israel haters are fond of citing – and more often, mis-citing – my work in support of their arguments. Let me offer some corrections.

          The Palestinian Arabs were not responsible “in some bizarre way” (David Norris, 31 January 2008 ) for what befell them in 1948. Their responsibility was very direct and simple.

          The UN’s partition plan of 1947

          In defiance of the will of the international community, as embodied in the UN General Assembly Resolution of November 29 1947 (No 181, the partition plan) they launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence if the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. But they lost; and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes.

          How did the Arabs come to be displaced?

          It is true, as Erskine Childers pointed out long ago, that there were no Arab radio broadcasts urging the Arabs to flee en masse; indeed there were broadcasts by several Arab radio stations urging them to stay put. But, on the local level, in dozens of localities around Palestine , Arab leaders advised or ordered the evacuation of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Haifa in late April 1948. And Haifa ‘s Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, did, on April 22, plead with them to stay, to no avail.

          Most of Palestine ‘s 700,000 “refugees” fled their homes because of the onset of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of the victorious Arab leaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramleh, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.

          The displacement of the 700,000 Arabs who becames refugees – and I put the term in inverted commas, as two thirds of them were displaced from one part of Palestine to another and not from their country (which is the usual definition of a refugee) – was not a “racist crime” (David Landy, 24 January), but the result of a national conflict and a war, with religious overtones, from the Muslim perspective, launched by the Arabs themselves.

          Plan D….

          There was no Zionist plan or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of “ethnic cleansing”. Plan Dalet (or Plan D) of March 10 1948 (it is open and available for all to read in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Archive and in various publications) was the master plan of the Haganah – the Jewish military force that became the IDF – to counter the expected pan-Arab assault on the emergent Jewish state. That’s what it explicitly states and that’s what it was. And the invasion of the armies of Egypt , Jordan , Syria and Iraq duly occurred, on May 15 1948 (the date of Israel ‘s declaration of independence).

          It is true that Plan D gave the regional commanders carte blanche to occupy and garrison or expel and destroy Arab villages along and behind the front lines and the anticipated Arab armies’ invasion routes. And it is also true that mid-way in the 1948 war the Israeli leaders decided to bar the return of the refugees (those “refugees” who had just assaulted the Jewish community), viewing them as a potential fifth column and threat to the Jewish state’s existence. I for one cannot fault their fears or logic.

          The demonisation of Israel , and Arab propaganda

          The demonisation of Israel is largely based upon lies – much as the demonisation of the Jews during the last 2000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.

          I would recommend that the likes of Norris and Landy read some history books, and become acquainted with the facts, not recycle shopworn Arab propaganda. They might then learn, for example, that the ‘ Palestine war’ of 1948 (the War of Independence, as Israelis call it) began in November 1947, not in May 1948. By May 14, close to 2000 Israelis had died – of the 5800 dead suffered by Israel in the whole war (ie almost 1 percent of the Jewish population of Palestine/Israel, which was about 650,000).

          Yours sincerely

          Prof Benny Morris

          • Rob Harris says:

            Anne, that is an excellent letter by Benny Morris to the bs of that anti-Israeli demagogue David Norris who is now claiming Israel was behind the destruction of his campaign for the Irish presidency despite denying it while in the race. A real lowlife in my opinion.

            One thing I would disagree with Morris over slightly:

            “It is true, as Erskine Childers pointed out long ago, that there were no Arab radio broadcasts urging the Arabs to flee en masse; indeed there were broadcasts by several Arab radio stations urging them to stay put. But, on the local level, in dozens of localities around Palestine , Arab leaders advised or ordered the evacuation of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Haifa in late April 1948.”

            Childers seems to have come to the conclusion that no broadcasts were made telling Arabs to leave based on the fact that he could not find the tapes. This was a time when broadcasts were monitored by the US. That is quite possible but not definitive for two reasons. (a) They would not necessarily have captured a multiple of sources, and (b) there is a distinct possibility all the recordings would have survived until 1960 when Childers made his search because it was common practice for broadcasters over the decades to recycle open reel tapes because they were a highly expensive commodity. Even the BBC erased tapes of Beatles performances during the Beatle-mania era back in the sixties, and this was a point when tapes were a significantly cheaper commodity by that point. The razor thin steel tape possibly used by the US in 1948 would have cost a multiple of that, and recording hundreds of thousands of hours of multiple sources.

    • anneinpt says:

      What a load of crap. As cba said, “no olive trees? No towns?”. The fact that you need to exaggerate to try and make your point says it all. You have no point and you have no story and no tragedy.

      I also find it extremely offensive that your friends (or is that you in the film?) impersonate religious Israelis in order to trick the bystanders. Quite pathetic.

      As for the ethnic cleansing of an entire people, how come the numbers of Palestinians in Israel keep growing? Every time I read a population report they add another million to their numbers. So who’s lying?

      As for the Prawer plan, that is in no way to ethnically cleanse the Bedouins. It is in order to rehouse them and give them a decent standard of living – something your Palestinian friends have no clue about and no inclination to try and give to their people. They and you are not about Palestinian rights – you are all about ERASING Jewish and Israeli rights. Well, too bad, we’re here to stay. You’re welcome to leave.

      • cba says:

        you are not about Palestinian rights – you are all about ERASING Jewish and Israeli rights
        Exactly.

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