MYTH 1: ISRAEL OCCUPIES ARAB PALESTINE
This is a genocidal claim made by the Muslim Students Association and other pro-Arab groups. It is genocidal because it obliterates the Jewish state. If Israel is actually “Occupied Palestine” then there is no legitimate Jewish state in the middle east.
Since Roman times when the Philistines inhabited the region around the Jordan (hence the name “Palestine”) there has never been a political entity – neither a province nor a state – called “Palestine” and no one claimed there was until well after the United Nations created Israel in 1948. The land on which Israel was created by the U.N. was also used by the colonial powers to create Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. It was land that had belonged to Turkey for 400 years. The Turks are not “Palestinians” and are not even arabs.
There never was an Arab country called “Palestine” or inhabited by “Palestinians.” Before the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1964, which was sixteen years after the birth of Israel, no Arab political entity was called by that name.
MYTH 2: ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE
The term Apartheid refers to the segregation of groups on the basis of ethnicity or race, and the denial of basic civil rights to the segregated group. There is no such segregation in Israel. Arabs are granted full civil rights under Israeli law, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or sex. Arabs take part fully in Israeli society and government. Arab citizens of Israel vote in national elections, have representatives in the Israeli Parliament, sit on the Israeli courts and on the Israeli Supreme Court benches, and serve as tenured professors teaching in Israeli colleges and universities. The Arab citizens of Israel have more rights, and enjoy more freedom, education, and economic opportunity than the Arabs of any Arab state.
MYTH 3: THE ARABS WANT PEACE AND A STATE ON THE WEST BANK
The Arab nations rejected peace and a state on the West Bank first in 1948 when it was offered to them by the U.N. and then in 2000 when it was offered by Presidents Clinton and Barak. In 1949, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which the U.N. had designated as a homeland for the Arabs, were annexed respectively by Jordan and Egypt. When the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964 its covenant made no mention of liberating the West Bank or Gaza from Jordan and Egypt. The PLO leadership stated that its goal was to “push the Jews into the sea.” Today the “liberation” of Palestine “from the river to the sea” is still the goal of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). The war in the Middle East is about the desire of the Arab nations and Muslims to destroy Israel; it is not about the desire for a Palestinian state.
There are 1.4 million Arabs living in Israel with civil rights that are the envy of the Arab world. Israeli Arabs vote in Israel’s elections, have representatives in the Israeli Parliament, sit on Israeli courts and on the Israeli Supreme Court, and serve as tenured professors teaching in Israeli colleges and universities. The Arab citizens of Israel have more rights, and enjoy more freedom, education, and economic opportunity than the inhabitants of any Arab or Muslim state.
MYTH 4: THE HOLOCAUST IS EUROPE’S PROBLEM; PALESTINIANS HAD NO ROLE IN IT
The father of Palestinian nationalism, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, planned death camps for the Jews in the Middle East. Haj Amin Al-Husseini, was a devoted follower of Hitler who spent the war in Berlin, recruited an Arab legion to the Nazi cause and planned a “Final Solution” for the Jews of the Arab world. The Muslim Brotherhood, which created Hamas, the government of Gaza, translated Mein Kampf into Arabic in the 1930s and called for the destruction of the Jewish state at its birth.
MYTH 5: ISRAEL’S SECURITY FENCE IS AN “APARTHEID” WALL
This is two myths in one. The West Bank fence is a fence, not a wall. About 97% of the fence is made of chain-link material. The remaining 3% is concrete, designed to repel sniper fire in particular areas. The fence was built in 2003 in response to thousands of suicide bombings and rocket attacks on Israeli citizens by Palestinian terrorists, sponsored and armed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The fence was built to keep out terrorists, not Arabs.
In the years since the construction of the fence, terrorist attacks have declined by more than 90%. The fence is Israel’s legitimate defense against a ruthless and amoral terrorist aggressor.
MYTH 6: ISRAEL IS THE CAUSE OF THE REFUGEE PROBLEM
The Palestinians claim there are 5 million Palestinian refugees who fled Israel during the 1948 war. This is false. There were only 500,000 Arab refugees from the 1948 war – an unprovoked war that Egypt and four other Arab states had launched against the newly created state of Israel. In the aftermath of the war, 500,000 Jewish refugees were driven out of the Arab states in the Middle East. There are no Jewish refugees today, sixty years later, because Israel resettled them. Why are there still Arab refugees? The Arab regimes have been given billions of dollars by Israel and the United States to relocate their refugees. But the Arabs are still in refugee camps. While Israel resettled Jewish refugees, no Arab country would take in the “Palestinians” who were forced into camps and were kept there by the Arab regimes to stir up hatred against the Jews. The refugee “issue” has been created by the Arab regimes as a weapon in their war against the Jews. It should be resolved by resettling the inhabitants of the refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza where almost all of them have lived all their lives.
MYTH 7: ISRAEL COMMITS WAR CRIMES BY KILLING CIVILIANS
This is the Big Lie, coming as it does from some Palestinians who have made terrorist attacks on civilians a weapon of choice, and who make martyrs and national heroes out of suicide bombers.
The Gaza strip was a base for 7,000 rocket attacks against schoolyards and townships in Israel before the Israelis responded in 2007. During Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza rocket sites there was one civilian death for every 30 terrorists. By contrast, a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross found that the civilian-to-military death ratio in wars fought since the middle of the 20th Century has been 10:1 – ten civilian deaths for every soldier death. In other words, the Israelis protect civilians at a rate 300 times greater than any other national army. As Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz observes, “No army in history has ever had a better ratio of combatants to civilians killed in a comparable setting.”
MYTH 8: JEWS HAVE LITTLE HISTORICAL CONNECTION TO ISRAEL
Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel for over 3000 years; the Arabs arrived through multiple invasions, beginning in the 7th Century AD. In the year 70 AD, when the Jewish civilization was already over 1000 years old, the Romans forced most of the Jews of Judea and Samaria (now the West Bank) into exile. By the end of the 19th Century, the majority population of Jerusalem was Jewish.
MYTH 9: THE KORAN DESCRIBES JERUSALEM AS HOLY TO ISLAM
The Koran does not mention Jerusalem because Mohammed never set foot in the city. Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies in 636 after the death of Mohammed. Muslim jihadists claim that the Koran mentions “The Furthest Mosque” — Al-Aqsa in Arabic – and that this is a Koranic reference to Jerusalem. This is a lie. The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem had not been built when the Koran was written, so the reference is to some other (or any other) “furthest mosque.” In contrast, Jerusalem is and has always been a holy city to Jews. The daily prayers of the Jews are focused on Jerusalem. The Hebrew Bible mentions Zion and Jerusalem a total of 809 times.
MYTH 10: THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON IS NOT JEWISH
This myth is one of many designed to steal the history of the Jews in order to justify erasing them from the Middle East. When the Palestinian Authority was established in 1994, it immediately began a campaign to delegitimize Israel by rewriting history with the intention of denying Israel’s right to exist. Among its false claims is that the remains of the Temple of Solomon – the Western Wall – are in fact the remnants of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque was deliberately built on top of the Temple after the Muslim conquest to humiliate the conquered.