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How to answer anti-Israel arguments
PLEASE, NO PHOTOS OR VIDEO
You have my permission to tackle anyone violating the rule
WHO AM I, ANYWAY?
Just a guy, you know? Blogging since 2004
Original analysis, historical research, legal arguments, lots of sarcasm, Arabic article translation, unusual links, cartoons, videos. posters, infographics, snark, scoops, media criticism, and more
16,000 posts Quoted all over – CNN, NYT Lede, Commentary, Tablet, etc. This week a cartoon of mine was published in Forbes Spoke at YU/2010, AZM/2012 Tweeting since 2008; 17,000 tweets
TODAY’S TOPIC :
How to answer the most popular antiIsrael slurs
I am not repeating my last YU talk; it is online
WHEN IS IT WORTH ARGUING?
You will not convince dyed-in-the-wool Israel-haters Most message boards and YouTube comments are filled with idiots You are arguing for the audience, not usually to convince the person you are arguing with Twitter arguments with reporters or famous people is ideal, but the format makes it challenging. But you can sometimes elicit a real news story by doing that Amazon message boards can be effective long-term, audience is small but potentially influential
ARGUMENTS VS. SCORING POINTS
Depending on the circumstance, sometimes you want to engage your opponent – and sometimes you want to ridicule him There is a reason for “ “הַ קְ הֵ ה אֶ ת שִ נָּיו Other times brevity is more important than 100% accuracy, because by the time you explain the full truth, you lost your audience
This happens often in my cartoons/posters – exaggeration to make a point at the expense of pure accuracy
Always keep in mind who your audience is – it is rarely your opponent Helping the morale of your own side (preaching to the converted) is also valuable
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT
You only have so many words/characters to make an argument But you need to know a lot of background to make a short, effective argument We will try to briefly explain the major arguments, and also give the Twitter (sound-bite) versions when possible We will also try to use the arguments as a springboard into an attack – because you cannot win a war playing defense
“ISRAEL IS A COLONIALIST STATE”
Joseph Massad loves to say this, without ever defining colonialism! Arabs say this because they believe Israel was placed in the Middle East as a Western project to put Westerners into Arab lands ANSWER:
Colonialism by definition requires a “metropole,” a mother country – Zionism has none besides Israel itself. Israel is hardly a British satellite. Zionism is the national liberation movement for the Jewish nation, making it as anti-colonialist as possible!
For those who argue that settlements are colonialist, the answer is the same – whether you agree with settlements or not, the settlers aren’t moving there for colonialism, but for Jewish nationhood on historic Jewish homelands.
THE FRAMEWORK IS CRITICAL
The history of the Jewish nation in the Middle East does not start in 1948, or with Herzl, or with the First Aliyah – it begins with Moses and Joshua You must never concede to the other framework or else you are at a disadvantage of having Jews show up out of nowhere to displace “indigenous” residents Jews didn’t move to Israel – they returned!
“ISRAEL IS TAKING UP 78% OF HISTORIC PALESTINE”
“The Jews aren’t sharing the land fairly” Fayyad, Abbas, really everyone uses this term What is “historic Palestine”? Answer:
Nothing at all like the boundaries of the British Mandate Lots of “Eastern Palestine” in today’s Jordan, none of the Negev My estimate: Israel takes up about half of “historic Palestine” within the Green Line (4000 West/3000 WB/4000 TJ) Which brings up many new questions….
WHY AREN’T TODAY’S PALESTINIANS CLAIMING EASTERN PALESTINE?
If “historic Palestine” includes parts of Jordan, why don’t Palestinian Arabs claim that area? Why didn’t the PLO claim the West Bank and Gaza before 1967? (1964 PLO Charter explicitly excludes those areas!) Have you noticed that their claims are always congruent with what Jews control? Why do they accept the boundaries drawn by the hated Western colonialists? “Invented people,” anyone?
“ZIONISTS ALWAYS INTENDED TO ETHNICALLY CLEANSE ARABS”
The haters usually harness lots of fake or out-of-context quotes to “prove” this.
For example, a fake quote by Ben Gurion: “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war.” Quoted by Ilan Pappe but not one of his sources checked out.
Researching them takes a long time. Counterexamples, however, are easy.
The Palestine Post archives shows no interest in getting rid of Arabs, ever. The Haganah explicitly tried to get Arabs to stay in Haifa. Ben Gurion did say “In our state there will be non-Jews as well — and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: the state will be their state as well….”
And if Israel wanted to ethnically cleanse Arabs, they are doing a really poor job of it, since there are more today in Israel then ever.
IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT ETHNIC CLEANSING…
How many Jews remained in the West Bank from 1949-1967? Exactly zero. Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, and so forth – now, that’s ethnic cleansing!
“ISRAEL EXPELLED 700,000 ARAB REFUGEES IN THE NAKBA”
History: In 1936-9, the Arabs revolted and hundreds were killed. Tens of thousands of wealthy Arabs fled to Lebanon to wait out the fighting; they then returned. In 1947, when fighting started within hours of the Partition vote, the rich and powerful started fleeing first. The vast majority didn’t flee because of either massacres or because of expulsions (or because Arab leaders told them to.) Most fled out of simple fear of fighting, and fear of Jewish revenge for the 1929 massacres. Rumors of massacres helped, as did the collapse of the authorities who fled, Others feared being branded “collaborators.” Jews had fear too – but had nowhere to run. Arabs assumed their fellow Arabs would accept them, Jews had no choice. (Many, although not most, of the Arabs in Palestine moved in only the previous 60 years or so. Their “Palestinian” identity doomed them in the Arab world they came from! )
“ISRAEL CREATED, AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR, THE REFUGEE PROBLEM”
Arab nations refuse to naturalize their Palestinian brethren – for over 60 years Israel did not want a potential fifth column to return without assurances The UN created UNRWA specifically for Palestine refugees, with different definitions and a different mandate than later UNHCR. Arab leaders have been treating the PalArabs like pawns since 1949 – and they still do (Syria, Iraq). Lebanon is particularly bad. The “refugees” themselves are given no say in what they want to do – when they can become citizens they jump at it Arab nations are ignoring generally accepted “Rights of the Child” (to citizenship) and others Human Rights Watch, amazingly, supports Palestinian Arab statelessness
“UNGA 194 DEMANDS THAT REFUGEES HAVE THE RIGHT TO RETURN”
UNGA 194 is not international law; it even includes portions about Jerusalem that were never accepted by anyone It deliberately does not use the word “right” when dealing with the issue It only says “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date” – that clause is important The UN Conciliation Commission (created by UNGA 194!) in 1950 determined “homes” as meaning actual houses, not “homeland.” Compensation is appropriate – indeed, the only solution - for those whose homes no longer exist.
SO WHY DOESN’T/DIDN’T ISRAEL ALLOW ARABS TO “RETURN”?
Israel always wanted to include the issue of return/compensation to be part of an overall comprehensive peace agreement – which was the major goal of UNGA 194’s Conciliation Commission There definitely was fear of a fifth column, especially among those who saw their Arab neighbors turn violent
Dorothy Bar-Adon in Palestine Post described exactly why the idea of snipers returning to the hill above her village is not possible
In 1967, thousands of Arabs fled from Gaza and the WB to Jordan even though they weren’t under threat – they simply didn’t want to live under Jewish rule. Israel allowed many to return but not the potential terrorists.
“THERE ARE MORE PALESTINIAN REFUGEES THAN ANY OTHER REFUGEE GROUP”
“5 million Palestinian refugees vs. 3 million from Afghanistan, 1.6 million from Iraq…” Comparing apples to oranges:
UNRWA definition of “refugee” different from that of UNHCR, UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
UNRWA counts descendants (practically all of them) UNRWA counts citizens of Jordan UNRWA counts people in their homeland!
Actual number of remaining refugees: probably far less than 100,000 UNHCR tries to resettle refugees; UNRWA does not 98% of UNRWA staff is Palestinian Arab – it is now a political organization, against its own charter
Fun fact: Israel resettled its Arab refugees within a couple of years and refused UN camps saying the idea was “repugnant” – Israel treated its Arab refugees better than any Arab country did!
JEWS HAVE BEEN STEALING LAND FROM PALESTINIANS
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MAP THAT LIES:
1946 picture: Private Jewish-owned land vs. government-owned and leaded lands
Jews owned about 1/3 of the privately owned land, Arabs 2/3 Jews were under severe restrictions on purchasing land from the 1930s through 1948
Partition has nothing to do with land ownership – and Arabs rejected partition! 1967 map – WB was Jordanian/Gaza Egyptian, not “Palestinian.” Lots of public lands there as well. Arabs own land in Israel as well – not in the later pictures
A MAP THAT TELLS THE TRUTH
ISRAEL’S CONCESSIONS FOR PEACE
Land: The entire Sinai – 90% of the territories! Southern Lebanon Gaza Allowing the PA to control much of Judea/Samaria Other: Accepting a two-state solution Recognizing a terror group (the PLO) Offering to share Jerusalem! Negotiating the Golan with Syria
ISRAEL WAS THE AGGRESSOR IN 1967
Arab nations increased their threats against Israel (radio broadcasts, cartoons) during May 1967 Egypt expelled UN troops from the Sinai Israel said it would not initiate any hostilities as long as Egypt kept the Straits of Tiran open – and Egypt closed them, a casus belli
The mouths of the guns of eight Arab countries: Sudan, Algeria, United Arab Republic, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Al Jarida , Beirut, May 31, 1967
Israel did fire the first shot, against Egypt, but it was hardly the aggressor Even so, Israel did not start the war on the Syrian or Jordanian fronts – the Arabs did, even after Israel warned them Therefore, every inch of land “occupied” today was gained in a defensive war by any definition of the term
International law on land gained in a defensive war is inconclusive
ISRAEL MUST RETURN TO ITS INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BORDERS
Israel never had internationally recognized borders The Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement of 1949 states:
“The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”
The “Green Line” was the armistice line roughly marking where the armies ended up before the last ceasefire in 1949 (with some adjustments) The borders, along with issues like refugees, were always meant to be part of a comprehensive peace agreement UNSC 242 makes this clear:
Israel and her neighbors have the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” This admits that the existing boundaries were neither secure nor recognized.
ISRAEL ILLEGALLY OCCUPIES THE TERRITORIES
This gets into minutiae of international law, and I am not a lawyer, but … Background: Definition of “occupation” comes from Hague Convention of 1907:
Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.
The Fourth Geneva Conventions do not define “occupation” but set up rules to protect civilians under occupation
THE TERRITORIES AREN’T OCCUPIED
The land isn’t “occupied” but “disputed” The reason it isn’t occupied is that it had no recognized sovereign before 1967, as Jordan’s annexation of the WB was not recognized by most nations The Hague definition only applies to parties of the Convention, meaning states Moreover, Israel has the best legal claim to Judea and Samaria, based on the terms of the British Mandate approved by the League of Nations of the Jewish people’s right to settle in Palestine
“The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home….”
The League of Nations decisions remain legal under the UN Since Jordan’s claim from 1949-1967 was illegal, the only valid claim on the land is that of the Jews under the terms of the League of Nations
THE LAWS OF BELLIGERENT OCCUPATION DO NOT APPLY TO NON-STATES
(I found this just last week) From Principles of International Law, Hans Kelsen, 1952:
If the territory is not to be considered a stateless territory, it must be considered to be under the sovereignty of the occupant belligerent, which—in such a case—ceases to be restricted by the rules concerning belligerent occupation.
Israel has voluntarily enforced the Geneva Convention humanitarian rules in the territories, but never accepted the idea that they are legally occupied – it always maintained they were disputed
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ILLEGAL OCCUPATION
International law does not have any definition of what occupations are “legal” and which are “illegal.” It is merely a state of being. The UN will declare some occupations to be illegal, but there is no consistency in its definition (Iraq illegally occupied Kuwait but the US legally occupied Iraq) Saying that Israel “illegally occupies” the territories is a rhetorical, not a legal, argument
(Yael Ronen tries to create such a distinction ex post facto in a paper I saw, but the paper accepts the UN declarations and tries to shoehorn in a definition after the fact.)
GAZA AND AREA A ARE CLEARLY NOT OCCUPIED
I think a good definition of whether territory is occupied is whether the “occupier” can replace the mayors of the cities. Or fire the sanitation workers. By the Hague’s definition, it requires “boots on the ground” By Geneva’s definition:
[T]he Occupying Power shall be bound, for the duration of the occupation, to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory
Gaza is certainly not occupied now; neither is Area A, as Israel is not acting as the government in those areas People who say that controlling the borders is “occupation” have zero legal basis for their opinion I’ve seen groups like the UN and Amnesty twist themselves into pretzels trying to argue that Gaza is occupied today
THE SETTLEMENTS ARE ILLEGAL
This is accepted as fact by virtually the entire world and is the single hardest argument to fight against Israel has never done a proper job countering this idea and now it is accepted as fact, meaning even strong arguments are not going to change anyone’s mind The source for this charge is Geneva IV Article 49 para. 6:
“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
Legal scholars (Eugene Rostow, Julius Stone) have argued that Geneva is only prohibiting forced transfers of the population, as practiced by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, not the voluntary movement of the population to the territories The Levy Report uses the argument that Israel is not an occupier and that it has the best claim to the land UNSC 242, which is accepted by Israel and has the force of law, says that Israel does not need to return all the territory, meaning that the territories not returned are effectively disputed
“Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” (deliberately not “the territories”) Israel has already given back about 90% of the land won in 1967 (the Sinai)
Answers 1 and 2 to #11 apply here as well I have not seen a decent answer to the Levy report Would Geneva allow uprooting hundreds of thousands of people from their homes?
BUT LEGAL ANSWERS ARE BORING
Your audience already fell asleep while you tried to make these arguments So what else can you do?
GO ON THE OFFENSIVE WITH SOUND BITES
The emotional arguments:
This is the land of our forefathers, where all of Jewish history started We have cried to return to this land for millennia We do not want a repeat of what Jordan did to the Mount of Olives (etc.) Jewish human rights are no less important than Palestinian Arab human rights
The security arguments:
Having Ben Gurion airport within shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft range is not very appealing A nine miles wide state is virtually indefensible
The recent history arguments:
Withdrawing from Gaza didn’t bring peace, why won’t history repeat? Remember who won the last PA elections – Hamas
Sometimes, the status quo is the lesser of all evils – the perfect is the enemy of the good
Terror now is way lower than during the heady days of Oslo
US STATEMENTS ON 1967 BORDERS
President Johnson, September 1968:
“It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of 4 June 1967 will not bring peace. There must be secure and there must be recognized borders.”
President Reagan, September 1982:
“In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely ten miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.”
Secretary of State Shultz, September 1988:
“Israel will never negotiate from or return to the 1967 borders.”
President Bush, April 2004:
“In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”
ARGUMENT #12: A “JEWISH STATE” IS INHERENTLY RACIST
Usually with some self-righteous talk about human rights and equality Answer:
Admittedly, there is tension between the concept of a “Jewish State” and full democracy – but: The entire reason for a Jewish State is to have one place in the planet that Jews do not have to worry about suffering from discrimination. The right of Jews to national self-determination is no less important Israel safeguards the rights of its Arab population as much as possible; in fact Israeli Arabs have more rights than Arabs in any Arab country You cannot claim racism when Israeli Arabs have been on the Supreme Court and even acting President (Not to mention the number of Arabs that win reality TV shows)
JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF THE HYPOCRISY OF THE ACCUSERS
They have a problem with a Jewish state, but not with over 20 Arab states – that discriminate against non-Arabs? And most of which enshrine Islamic law as the main source of legislation in their constitutions? This is typical. The accusers measure Israel against an idealized perfect and impossible standard but no one else must reach that standard. The fact is that they don’t care about human rights; they just want to bash Israel and they use human rights as a club to do it Notice that they are silent at anti-Palestinian discrimination by Arab countries
Lebanon – no land ownership, many jobs off limits Every Arab country except Jordan – no citizenship, as opposed to other Arabs Syria slaughtered over 800 Palestinian Arabs so far – silence from the “proPalestinian activists” The Iraqi Palestinian refugees
SOME TWEETS TO POINT OUT THE HYPOCRISY
“Hypocrites who attack only Israel in the name of human rights are the same who deny only the rights of Jewish people to self-determination” “Using ‘human rights’ as a weapon against only Israel while tacitly condoning abuses by Arabs makes one a hypocrite, not a humanitarian” “The major purveyors of Holocaust denial and antisemitism today are the ones Israel is expected to make concessions to for peace.”
JEWS ARE NOT A NATION
Especially popular after Shlomo Sand’s idiotic book Muslims like to say Judaism is only a religion, not a nation Answer: Jews have always considered themselves a nation (ּומִ י כעַ ְּמְ ָ יִשְ ראֵ ל ּגֹוי אֶ חָּ ד )דברי הימים א יז כא ָּ ְ בָָּארץ ֶ The world has also considered Jews to be a nation, often referring to Jews as “Israelites” in the 19th century They are certainly more of a nation than “Palestinians” are!
THE PALESTINIANS ACCEPT A TWO-STATE SOLUTION
Israel regards the two-state solution as “two states for two peoples” So does the US The PLO has always been dead-set against that
2010 poll: 90.7% of Palestinians said it was essential or desirable to have Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterranean (AWRAD) “Moderate” Salam Fayyad insisted that “two states for two peoples” not be mentioned in joint press release with Israel’s deputy FM “Palestine Papers” shows adamant refusal for that formula Nabil Shaath (“moderate”) in 2011 said Palestine would be a state for one people but they will never accept Israel as the state of the Jewish people 2011 poll: 91% agreed “Over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land” Same poll: 68% said the real goal is to start with two states and move to one single Palestinian state destroying Israel
This drives the Israeli left crazy
ISRAEL IS TURNING MORE HAWKISH
Popular even before last week’s elections proved it wrong The facts:
In 1988, Israel would never consider talking to the PLO In 1993, Israel had a peace treaty but still refused to accept a Palestinian Arab state
Rabin in 1995: “We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. …First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev -- as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty…The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term…
In 2001, Israel offered a Palestinian state on over 90% of WB In 2004, Israel abandoned Gaza and uprooted thousands of Jews Today, the “rightist” Prime Minister accepts a two state solution in theory. His position is not far off Peace Now in 1989 – talking with the PLO and accepting a Pal state – and to the left of Yitzchak Rabin, Nobel Peace Prize winner!
ABBAS IS A MODERATE
Mahmoud Abbas in 2011:
“The Palestinian leadership is still adherent to the national agenda which was approved by the Palestinian National Council in 1988, and never gave up on any of the inalienable principles as some claim.“ No public movement on “right to return,” Jerusalem, “refugees”, water, demilitarized state, “1967 lines”
Abbas used to accept peace talks with Israel while settlement building continued – he made the decision to stop negotiating without a settlement freeze as a new condition in 2009 (Palestine Papers, showing George Mitchell upset with Erekat over this: “You’re not taking the same position as before. You negotiated without a freeze all the time.”) So while Israel moved to the left, the PA moved to the right – yet no one in the media notices this and the world still makes demands of Israel
ABBAS IS AN EXTREMIST AND A LIAR
Abbas is negotiating to include two genocidal terror groups in the PLO (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) Abbas just accused Zionists of the 1930s of complicity with the Nazis in the Holocaust Abbas himself wrote a Holocaust-denial paper minimizing the number of Jews killed Abbas has claimed that his family was expelled from Tzfat in 1948; in Arabic he admitted that they fled before any Jewish troops arrived fearing Jewish reprisals for the 1929 massacres Abbas told Western media he is against naming public squares after terrorists; in Arabic he supports it Abbas has praised the terrorist mastermind behind the Munich Olympics massacre (Abbas in fact bankrolled the operation in 1972)
MORE ABBAS LIES
He claimed that the Israeli demand for calling it a “Jewish state” was a new demand by Netanyahu; in fact Olmert demanded it in 2007 (at least) The PLO refuses to recognize the existence of the Jewish people (Palestine Papers: “Recognizing the Jewish state implies recognition of a Jewish people and recognition of its right to selfdetermination. …Therefore, recognition of the Jewish people and their right of selfdetermination may lend credence to the Jewish people’s claim to all of Historic Palestine.” Abbas told the Arab League that Israel was “ethnically cleansing” Arabs from Jerusalem.
YET MORE ABBAS LIES AND DELUSIONS
January 2013: “Jews were never expelled from Egypt” February 2012: “Israel is changing the character of Jerusalem by allowing the Hurva synagogue to be built higher than the Dome of the Rock” February 2012: “Archaeologists found no evidence for Jewish Temples in Jerusalem” April 2012: “Zionists forced Iraqi Jews to emigrate using threats of violence and murder” May 2011: Claimed that Zionists started expelling Arabs immediately after 1947 partition vote; in fact Arabs started attacking immediately (and Jews were expelled from Jaffa first!) January 2013 and other times: Abbas praised Nazi-collaborator antisemitic Mufti of Jerusalem
I’M NOT DONE YET WITH ABBAS’ LIES
September 2011: Claimed Obama promised him a full state within a year in 2010. It never happened. September 2011: at UN, Abbas claimed that settler train wild pigs and dogs to attack Palestinians; pigs uproot Palestinian trees September 2011 to NYT: “We don’t want to delegitimize Israel” but then “We have been under occupation for 63 years.” September 2012: “We are a state which applies the fourth Geneva convention.” This while Gaza was bombarding Israeli civilians with rockets. December 2012: “Hamas approves of two-state solution” May 2012: “Lebanese Palestinians do not want citizenship” November 2011: “Israel’s acceptance to UN was preconditioned on accepting UNGC 181 and 194”
THE “MODERATE” REJECTIONIST
“MODERATION” IS RELATIVE
Abbas is “moderate” – next to suicide bombers Netanyahu is “hawkish” – next to Ha’aretz Using those words without context is worse than lying – it encourages people to think of Israel as the obstacle to peace
ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE
Variant: Israel is not a democracy because it doesn’t allow non-citizen Palestinian Arabs to vote The charge is so disgusting and so wrong that to answer it in kind only gives it legitimacy My answers are in poster form:
WHO PRACTICES APARTHEID?
Every Arab state discriminates against Palestinians, specifically Jews being ethnically cleansed out of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon isn’t apartheid? Over 100,000 Egyptian Copts fleeing Christians throughout the Middle East being forced out A Judenrein Palestine
ARGUMENT #18: ISRAEL TARGETS CIVILIANS
Goldstone Report was the worst, but HRW and Amnesty say this routinely as well Alternate: Israel’s aim is so good that no civilians should ever be killed If Israel is targeting civilians, it is doing a very poor job! Roughly 50% of those killed in Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense were civilian – an extraordinarily low number for urban warfare
Hamas admitted the Cast Lead numbers – a couple of years later I had a team counting “martyrs”
Some of those supposedly killed by Israel were killed by Hamas rockets that fell short Many civilians are killed “hanging out” with terrorist targets (brothers, friends) Unfortunately, getting information from the IDF is still not easy
ARGUMENT #18A: ISRAEL TARGETS CHRISTIANS
This is seen a lot around Christmas, blaming Israel for Bethlehem Christians fleeing Fact: They started fleeing under Jordanian rule If the security barrier is so terrible for Christians, then why are more Muslims moving to Bethlehem? Just this past year Muslims in Bethlehem tried to stop a pastor from putting up a billboard with Jesus on it In 1967, Fatah – Abbas’ party – threatened Christian tourists for Christmas – and now they claim it is Israel that threatens Christians?
CONTIGUIT Y/JERUSALEM NECESSARY FOR “PALESTINE” TO BE VIABLE
One question: why? Zionists even accepted the partition plan in 1947 without Jerusalem (an “international city.”) Insisting that Jerusalem is a necessity is not the same as it really being a necessity British officials in 1921 set up the Mandate to include Jerusalem as part of the Jewish state and not part of any Arab state. Why? Sir Henry McMahon said because Jerusalem wasn’t that important to Arabs at the time! From 1949-1967, Jordan did practically nothing to enhance the city or the importance of Jerusalem
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Chaim Weizmann famously said the Jews would accept a state the size of a tablecloth When your priority is the safety of your people, statehood is the most important thing, not borders But when your priority isn’t the building of one state but the destruction of another….you insist that the heart of the other state gets taken away Similarly to how the PA talks about Syrian Palestinians and Lebanese Palestinians – their welfare is far less important than the “right of return” to destroy Israel As far as contiguity being necessary for a viable state…
ISRAEL IS NOT A DEMOCRACY BECAUSE IT CONTROLS SO MANY PALESTINIANS
“If Israel holds onto the territories, Jews will soon be practicing apartheid against the Arab majority” Variant:” Israel is not a democracy now because Palestinian Arabs couldn’t vote in the January elections” Um, non-citizens cannot vote in any country. You know that, right? The PA has autonomy and (theoretically) holds its own elections. Should settlers be allowed to vote in them? Gaza is not under Israeli control. Neither is Area A, and Area B has autonomy as well. Over 95% of Palestinian Arabs live outside of Israeli control under their own government. Israel doesn’t want to control them – but it needs to protect its own citizens Pals demand “all or nothing” – and the world’s believing them is what keeps peace far away
THE “IF/THEN” FALLACY
We’ve seen many times that people say “If Israel would do X for peace, then Y will happen”
“If Israel withdraws to the ‘1967 lines’ then there will be peace”/”Palestinians would get no support for breaking the agreement”
They are invariably wrong Time 1988: “If [Israel puts forth a detailed plan for peace and] the Palestinians reject an offer reasonable people can identify as forthcoming and courageous -- as they have rejected every attempt at compromise for almost a century -- [then] no one could fault Israel for then saying, "Shalom. Come to talk to us again when you've grown up.“ But it doesn’t work. And it didn’t work in Gaza. Or in Lebanon. And there is no evidence it would work today with the PA.
ZERO-SUM VS. WIN-WIN
Israel has consistently tried to come up with “win-win” formulas that help everyone The Arabs have consistently acted (and said) that if Israel wins, they lose – it is a zero-sum game This makes compromise nearly impossible – you have to play games to make the other side feel like they “won”; and if they won, then they are powerful and don’t need a peace agreement; they can win again Think about Hamas and Hezbollah claiming victory
WISHFUL THINKING VS. REALIT Y
Lots of Westerners honestly, truly want to see peace Nothing wrong with that – until it interferes with their ability to see things clearly Arab abuses, incitement, hate, anti-semitism and lies are constantly downplayed in the mistaken impression that ignoring them makes them go away or publicizing them makes it worse On the contrary – exposing them shames them, and shame is the most effective tool the West has Peace is great, but détente is not too bad either!
QUESTIONS (BEFORE THE HASBY AWARDS)
2013 HASBY AWARDS
Winners are chosen completely and utterly subjectively based on nominations on my blog
BEST PRO-ISRAEL TWEETER
Avi Mayer David HaIvri Challah Hu Akbar Martin Kramer Arsen Ostrovsky
BEST PRO-ISRAEL TWEETER WINNER
BEST PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA OUTLET NOT EXCLUSIVE TO ISRAEL Nominees:
Douglas Murray Melanie Phillips The Commentator Gatestone Institute Charles Krauthammer Evelyn Gordon
BEST PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA OUTLET NOT EXCLUSIVE TO ISRAEL
BEST PRO-ISRAEL COMMENTATOR
Caroline Glick Martin Kramer Daniel Gordis Barry Rubin
BEST PRO-ISRAEL COMMENTATOR WINNER
BEST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA OUTLET Nominees:
Algemeiner Times of Israel Israel HaYom Tablet JPost
BEST ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PRO-ISRAEL MEDIA OUTLET
BEST MAINSTREAM MEDIA WATCHDOG
CAMERA Honest Reporting BBC Watch CiF Watch David G Daily Mideast Media Sampler Huffington Post monitor
BEST MAINSTREAM MEDIA WATCHDOG
BEST PRO-ISRAEL BLOG (PRESENT COMPANY EXCLUDED)
Israellycool Israel Matzav Missing Peace Daphne Anson Augean Stables Sultan Knish Daled Amos This Ongoing War Size Doesn't Matter
BEST PRO-ISRAEL BLOG
BEST PRO-ISRAEL VIDEO
Pat Condell, Israel and the United Nations The Red Line (Shraga Simmons) Zionism without Jerusalem (Im Tirtzu) The Children are Ready (Temple Institute) The Rhythm of Israel (AJC) Real Apartheid in the Middle East (Stand With Us) IDF aid missions around the world (IDF) Israel vs. Palestine (cartoon)
BEST PRO-ISRAEL VIDEO
The Red Line
OTHER CATEGORIES TO CHECK OUT
Many categories didn’t get enough nominees that were seconded, but on my blog you can check them out:
Funniest Hasbara Willingness to Confront the Enemy Best “own goal” – Israel-haters who screwed up Best article Best speech Best NGO Watchdog Best Arabic Media Watchdog
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