In the Arab-Israel conflict the one issue which rises above every other is the accuracy of what is presented. The Palestinians are relying on people not knowing history in order to advance their narrative. Israel on the other hand is relying on people knowing history. From where I sit, over the past 2 – 3 decades it appears most people do not know history very well. Thus, the Palestinian narrative has gained popularity and has shaped much of public opinion.
What’s especially troubling is mainstream media has adopted most of the Palestinian propaganda, or sympathizes with it. Sadly, the days of objective news reporting appear to be gone. Today’s news reporting has pretty much turned into op-eds, rather than simple straight forward news.
Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, we hear noble words such as “just solution,” “dignity,” “peace,” etc. on a regular basis. Who has fault with these?
Yet, if this conflict ever stands a chance of being resolved isn’t it incumbent upon the world to know the actual facts and to stand for the truth, so these noble goals actually apply to its resolution?
If so, we need to understand whose narrative reflects the truth and whose are false. For this we need to unpack what we frequently hear and apply a litmus test.
- CLAIM: Palestinians are an ethnically unique people or nationality
The Palestinians are Arabs They are a mix of Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrian, etc. Several hundred thousand of them were displaced, many be choice, as result of the 1948 and 1967 wars. In both wars the goal of the Arab nations was to destroy the Jewish state. They failed. After this their tactics changed. Not that destroying Israel militarily was dropped, it remains their goal. However, in 1964 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was formed for the specific purpose of destroying the Jewish state of Israel.
After the devastating defeat in the Six Day War, and the refusal of the surrounding Arab nations to absorb the displaced Arabs, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat embarked on a campaign to bring their plight to the world stage. Part of his effort included calling them “Palestinians.” This took root and the world has bought into calling them Palestinians to this day.
Answer to the claim: FALSE
Ironically, what many people forget, or are unaware of is that prior to 1948 the Jews were called Palestinians!
- CLAIM: Israel is illegally occupying ‘Palestinian’ land and violating international law
After the British Empiredefeated the Ottoman Empire during WW1 they controlled a large swath of the Middle East. By virtue of the Balfour Declaration written in 1917 the British committed to set aside 43,000 sq. miles of land as a national homeland for the Jewish people, which included the area where ancient Israel was located. Since they had militarily defeated the Ottomans, under international law they had the right to determine the future of the area they controlled. In 1922 the British gave away 75% of the ‘promised land’ to become Transjordan, today’s Jordan.
After many years of upheaval, which included WWll and the Holocaust, the British decided they wanted to pull their troops out of the region. They turned the matter over to the United Nations.
In November 1947 the UN voted 33 to 13 with 10 abstentions to partition the remaining 25% of the land into two states, one Arab, the other Jewish. Jerusalem was not contiguously connected to the Jewish state of Israel. This infuriated the Jews. However, they accepted the UN vote.
The Arab nations did not.
Ignoring the UN vote, one day after the Jewish state of Israel declared independence in May 1948 the surrounding Arab nations attacked it.
In my view it is the refusal of the Arabs to accept the vote of the UN which bears the most responsibility for what we are dealing with today. This cannot be overstated.
The war lasted until July 1949 at which time an armistice was signed. The original partition called for the Jewish state to have roughly 5,000 sq. miles. As a result of the defensive war Israel was forced into, they gained control of additional land, including Jerusalem. However, Jordan remained in control of the Old City.
In 1967 Israel gained control over all of Jerusalem.
Under international law when a defensive war in fought, any territory gained by the victor belongs to them. In plain language whatever territory Israel gained is theirs to keep.
Many people consider the ‘rebirth’ of modern Israel, along with the Jewish people gaining control over all of Jerusalem in 1967 as prophetic.
Whether prophetic or procedural through a legally designated organization (UN) there is no illegal occupation, and Israel is not violating international law.
Answer to claim: FALSE
- CLAIM: Jews have no connection to Jerusalem
King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel over 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible over 600 times. It is not mentioned once in the Quran. To go on would give too much undeserved attention to this claim.
Answer to claim: FALSE
- CLAIM: Temple Mount never housed a Jewish Temple, it is an exclusively Muslim site
Temple Mount is the location of the First Temple built by King Solomon 3,000 years ago. It was destroyed in 586 BC. The Second Temple was completed roughly 70 years later and was destroyed in 70 AD. This is confirmed in the Bible as well as countless historical and archaeological records. The current Muslim Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa was completed in 692 AD. Jewish temples predate any Muslim presence on Temple Mount by at least 1,700 years.
Answer to Claim: FALSE
If you are shaking your head at the aforementioned claims you may be even more surprised to find out some others.
- CLAIM: Jesus is a Palestinian and was the first Palestinian martyr
- CLAIM: Virgin Mary was a Palestinian
It seems the ‘Palestinian’ narrative has no limits as to how absurd their claims are.
Resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict is unquestionably a daunting task. There are political, geographical, economic, historical, theological, and cultural issues which are entwined. However, one element which must not be overlooked is the importance of knowing the facts. Without facts one cannot come to appropriate conclusions.
This piece has provided proof that the so-called ‘Palestinians’ have been manufactured and marketed for a specific purpose. That purpose includes promoting a false narrative based on rewriting history in order to delegitimize Israel and the Jewish people. They are counting on people’s ignorance, and frankly some degree of anti-Semitism to be their ally. In short they are intentionally lying to the entire world.
Are we going to allow this to triumph? Aren’t we better than that?
Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker.
For more of his material visit his Facebook page.