How to Lie About Israel, Part Two: The Hard Left

On the heels of last week's "How to lie to college students about Israel," four new lies, beginning with Genocide and ending with a question: If Jews aren't indigenous to the Holy Land, can they ever be indigenous anywhere?

Bradley Burston
Bradley Burston
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Protesters in France call for a boycott of Israeli products.
Protesters in France call for a boycott of Israeli products.Credit: AP
Bradley Burston
Bradley Burston

I want to stress that I am convinced that the people quoted below are sincere in their beliefs and statements. The problem, as it so often is in the Middle East, is that there is so much more to the whole truth, as to render these statements and arguments, for lack of a better word, untruths.

Here, then, on the heels of Part One, "How to lie to college students about Israel," are four new lies of the week:

Lie No. 1: Genocide

Ethnic Cleansing is too gentle a word for what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, which is genocide.

Journalist Philip Weiss, interviewing retired CUNY Baruch College clerical worker Fran Korotzer, as she demonstrates at Google Headquarters, Manhattan, against Cornell's partnership with Israel's Technion university:

Philip Weiss: What are you telling these people about Israel?

Fran Korotzer: I say that they are committing genocide against the Palestinian people. It may be a slow genocide - sometimes it's not so slow. The number of deaths - I think that we're too gentle when we use the word 'ethnic cleansing.' I don't think that really tells the whole story … When they shoot people that come out for peaceful protest, that's murder.

PW: Fran, you're Jewish, right?

FK: Yes.

PW: How'd you come to this issue? Aren't most Jews Zionists?

FK: I don't know. I don't know. But I come from a progressive background …

PW: Fran, would you have used the word genocide a few years ago, or was that part of your learning curve?

FK: It was part of my learning curve. [In the past] I just thought there was a lack of equality. I didn't realize how bad it was.

PW: Have you been over there?

FK: No. I won't go. I won't go to Israel.

PW: Have you ever been there?

FK: No.

PW: I've got to feel and touch and see something to believe it. Why are you convinced of the truth of the statements you've made? You haven't even been there.

FK: Because I read my cousin's blog, pretty much every day.

PW: Desert peace?

FK: Yes. And he describes a child killed by a rubber bullet while playing in a playground. ... I trust the people that I hear talking about it and writing about it.

Lie No 2: Israel never had a right to exist as a nation. Nor do the Jews have a genuine tie to the Holy Land.

Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, cited in the Desert Peace blog above, writing in Middle East Monitor:

"Sometimes, (Israelis) allude to imagined historical rights as if these pathological liars from Eastern Europe, who lie as much as they breathe oxygen, had any truly historical rights in the land of Palestine.

"Sometimes, they speak of Jewish continuity as if these Khazari racists had any biological connection with Jacob and the ancient children of Israel, most of whose descendants had long converted to Islam and Christianity."

"… Zionism is much more than criminal and nefarious. It is also genocidal, racist, rapacious, covetous, and of course utterly mendacious. Zionism is expansionistic, very much like a malignant cancer. This is why no people on earth can remain safe if living with or next to Zionism. In other words, if you don't eradicate Zionism, Zionism will eradicate you."

Lie No. 3: Israel has forfeited any right it may have once had to exist as a nation

Political analyst Sharmine Narwani, writing in Al Akhbar:

"What moves me instead in this post-two-state era, is the sheer audacity of Israel even existing.

"What a fantastical idea, this notion that a bunch of rank outsiders from another continent could appropriate an existing, populated nation for themselves – and convince the 'global community' that it was the moral thing to do. I’d laugh at the chutzpah if this wasn’t so serious."

"Israel has no right to exist. Break that mental barrier and just say it: 'Israel has no right to exist.' Roll it around your tongue, tweet it, post it as your Facebook status update – do it before you think twice. Delegitimization is here – have no fear. Palestine will be less painful than Israel ever was."

Lie No. 4: Jews are not indigenous to the Holy Land

From a conversation at the University of Pennsylvania between author and journalist Max Blumenthal and Prof. Ian Lustick, on Blumenthal's new book Goliath. Blumenthal refers at one point to "Israel's attempt to engineer and maintain a Jewish, non-indigenous majority."

Ian Lustick: "What I come away from a book like this feeling, is that Israel is not just a little bit fascist, Israel is a lot fascist. And one of the things that happens when you use the word fascist - and it's being increasingly used throughout the discourse – is that it's the ultimate de-legitimizer. Nothing post-World War Two can be legitimate and be fascist, and even be allowed to survive.

"So I'm asking you the question; What is your conclusion, with respect to the implications of the extent to which Israel is fascistic as a society, and whether or not you think that it must be ended entirely?"

Max Blumenthal: "…My concern, first, is to find some kind of scenario that will relieve the suffering of the indigenous people of Palestine.

"As for the Jewish Israelis, there are implications on what kind of future they should enjoy, in my last chapter. There is something implied there, which is that these are Israelis who are attracted to Europe, and do not feel that they are part of the Arab world.

"And it's that attraction to Europe - that manifestation of Herzl's famous quote that the Jewish state will be a rampart of civilization against barbarism – which has led to the present crisis and the failure of Zionism. Because there is absolutely no way for Jewish people in Israel/Palestine to become indigenized under the present order.

"And that's what really has to happen. You have to be willing to be a part of the Arab world. Because you're living in the Arab world. If you don't, then you have to maintain this system, and continue to harden the present system, of the separation wall running along the West Bank, which Benjamin Netanyahu freely said was placed there not for security reasons, but to prevent demographic spillover.

"So, there should be a choice placed to the settler-colonial population: Become indigenized, which I think many Israeli Jews would be happy doing … But if you think that you can maintain a kind of Berlin reality, you've created a recipe for the current dystopia and the environment that many describe as fascist.

"So this choice needs to be placed to the Israeli Jewish population, and it can only be placed to them through external pressure, the kind of pressure that the BDS movement is exerting.

"The maintenance and engineering of a non-indigenous demographic majority is non-negotiable."

SAMPLE FOLLOW-UP QUESTON, IF I MAY: My dictionary defines indigenous as "Originating or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc); Native to a particular region or environment but occurring naturally in other places as well."

Believing, as I do, that both Jews and Palestinians are indigenous to the Holy Land, if Jews are not indigenous here, does that mean that Jews can never be indigenous anywhere?

An anti-Israel protester at Dublin Airport, Ireland, June, 7, 2010. Credit: AP

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