Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Talking (And Lying) About Israel 

IAC held a seminar Monday afternoon where a social worker from Israel discussed her thoughts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Interesting to listen to, though I didn't get too much new stuff out of her talking (except for the fact about 500,000 children under the poverty line in Israel).

What did make the conversation a lot more interesting (albeit much less intelligent) was the presence of a couple of pro-Palestinian guys who made a lot of argument about how Israelis are supposedly abusing and mistreating Palestinians. Of course, they aren't interested in the corruption of the PLO/PA, the suicide bombings, the mistreatment and struggle that the Jews went through to develop their own country, the long list of missed opportunities for the local Arabs to have their country, squandered by racial and religious prejudices and political manipulations of other Arabs... ...the list goes on and on.

What I hate most about the Israeli-Palestinian debate is when the pro-Palestinians slip in the occasional lie, and because their entire position is a cascade of BS, it is impossible to pick them out individually and the lies, told enough times, become truths.

Case in point: pro-Palestinian says "Israel massacred Arabs during the 1948 War." Haganah (predecessor of the IDF) did no such thing, and the closest event to a "massacre" was Deir Yassin, which was between Etzel and Lechi (Jewish paramilitaries) against Arab forces. Let's not forget that Etzel and Lechi were throwing grenades into houses with snipers inside, an Etzel armored car tried to warn villagers to leave but was stuck in a ditch, and Arab fighters were dressing as women and pretending to surrender, in order to kill Jewish forces.

The fellow then cites Benny Morris, claiming that Morris has shown definitively that the Jews were ethnically cleansing Arabs in 1948. Never mind that Morris himself points out that Arabs of the neighbouring states have been, since 1946, inciting their fellow Arabs in the Palestine mandate to leave if fighting starts, and that he found no blanket Jewish policy to kick out Arabs. And of course, let's not forget what happens to the Jewish residents when Arabs capture a village in 1948: just ask the 120 massacred at Kfar Etzion.

Times like these make me sick that such lying apologists for anti-Semitic terrorist scumbags exist, but glad that I bought The Case for Israel.

The $1,000,000 moment: the more argumentative pro-Arab had been complaining that the Israeli position is shrouded by the language of the discussion, words like "democracy", "freedom" and "security". The guest speaker retorted that he was doing exactly that with words like "apartheid", "colonialism" and "genocide". This generated a round of applause and a very embarrassed hypocrite.
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