Many of us receive and abundance of "I Love and Justify Israel" mail. Some of it is informative and worthwhile reading. Unfortunately, a goodly portion of the mail is a patchwork of gross misinformation at best, and misleading lies at worst.
Recently a friend forwarded one such e-mail entitled “Top 10 Anti-Israel Lies”. I reciprocated with the following response:
Thanks for sending us the informational file about the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Lies” (see attachment). I too see in the world media, the internet, and other propaganda material so many attempts to defame and malign our country through the use of lies, half-truths and devious misinterpretations of reality. We need to answer these accusations through our own media and propaganda tools. The above mentioned file attempts to do just that.
However, when disputing our antagonist’s lies and half-truths, we should not resort to our own lies and half truths. Otherwise we essentially arm our enemies with more propaganda ammunition. Unfortunately, the above file, released by the prestigious Simon Wiesenthal Center, does just that. Almost every one of the file’s rebuttals to the “Top 10 Anti-Israel Lies” contains either outright lies, half-truths, or contorted misrepresentation of real issues. These are so easily exposed, and will be used by our enemies to show how “the Zionist Propaganda Machine” deceives the world.
A couple of blatant examples will perhaps clarify the type of assertions which cause undue damage to our honesty and credibility:
In “Lie #1” the writer asserts that “Reclamation of the largely vacant land by pioneering Zionists blossomed into a Jewish majority long before the onset of Nazism.” This is not a half-truth nor a distortion. This is a lie. Or, can the writer be so ignorant?? “long before the onset of Nazism”???....by 1922, in the wake of the first, second and third Aliya, we Jews numbered about 10% of the Palestine population. In 1929, immediately before Hitler’s Nazi Party mustered 20% of the votes to the Reichstag, we numbered a little over 17% of the Palestine population. By 1939, at the outset of our Shoa in Europe by the Nazis, our Jewish population in Palestine rose to about 30% . In 1948, eve of our War of Independence, there were about 850,000 Arabs in the area that was to become Israel (not including the rest of Palestine.) There were about 650,000 Jews in the same area. We became a majority only after close to 700,000 Arabs fled or were evicted as a result of the war. True, there are marginal disputes on numbers, but nothing to change the overall statistics. “a Jewish majority long before the onset of Nazism”??? This blatant lie or ignorance portrays the accuracy and candor of much of the rest of the file.
Seemingly, much of what is asserted prefers distortions to lies, but these too are quickly sniffed out by our adversaries and used to show our lack of honesty. For example: In confusing East Jerusalem with “Jerusalem is Holy” there is an intentional attempt to blind the reader to the fact that most of East Jerusalem was never part of the East Jerusalem municipality prior to 1967, and was never part of the biblical “Jerusalem is Holy”. In fact, most of today’s “East” Jerusalem is made up of 28 Arab villages and their lands which had always been outside of the Jerusalem municipality.
As a Zionist and as a resident Israeli citizen (also native-born), I am daily involved with the need to struggle against the attempts at delegitimizing our right to a Jewish State. I have always felt that this can be done with integrity, honesty and truth. Truth often needs to be searched and researched, and at times an issue will have more than one truth because life and history can weave complicated scenarios. I am certain that our own use of lies and half-truths have a greater affect on delegitimizing us, than our adversaries’ propaganda. Therefore I am woefully distressed that such is the propaganda coming from the respectful Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Zev Jabotinsky is the father of our right-wing political party (Revisionism to Herut to Likud). In the 1920’s or 30’s he commented on our Palestinian-Jewish confrontation by stating that both peoples have a justified cause to see Palestine as their own. Jabotinsky was an honest leader. I fear many of his successors today are not.
Once again, I thank you for the material sent and the opportunity given to respond.