Coming Soon To You: Another Desperate Israeli Propaganda Campaign
Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News | 20 September 2012
For many decades, Israeli propagandists aided by the complicity of an unquestioning media had successfully managed to obscure the harsh realities of its apartheid policies and illegal occupation of Palestine from the eyes of the world. Palestinians were conveyed as violent beings always initiating conflict, and Israel as a tiny, embattled state relentlessly struggling for its survival. A sustained disinformation campaign had reaped its dividends, making the spectre of a just settlement to the conflict appear all the more distant. A 2004 audit of British understandings of the Palestinian question even made the shocking revelation that two-thirds of the British public were still unsure whether Israel was occupying the Palestinians or vice-versa.
Fortunately, the winds of change that have blown through the Middle East seem to have altered all that. So too have phenomena such as the Occupy Movement that has gripped the countries of the West. The world has of late seen the emergence of the ‘enlightened citizen’ who is ever wary of the machinations of the elite and will no longer tolerate deceit and ineptitude. Tools such as social media and mass mobilisation have assisted him to amplify his voice and the effectiveness of state propaganda and military might in subjugating and controlling is steadily declining. In brief, the global balance of power is shifting.
In its immediate neighbourhood, Israel today confronts the daily reality of a shrinking circle of friends. Where it could once count on the Mubarak cabal in Egypt and court Turkey as a co-operative ally, it now has an unstable Syria, an emboldened Egypt and an antagonistic Turkey. Added to that, the determination of the global Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions(BDS) movement has succeeded in increasing its isolation on a global stage.
Faced with such dim prospects, the Zionist State is being forced to adopt increasingly drastic measures. It has sought friendship from African nations such as Uganda and Kenya, and is pursuing strategic alliances with minnows Cyprus, Turkey and Azerbaijan perceivedly seeking economic benefit. In a further attempt to reinvent itself, Israel’s latest gamble involves a high profile drive to highlight the cause of Jewish so-called refugees, whom it says were forced to flee Arab States en masse following the founding of Israel in 1948. According to Israeli Foreign Ministry figures, it is alleged that 850 000 Arab Jews fled their native countries across the Middle East due to state-sponsored persecution and were forced to abandon their property and possessions. Dubbed “I am a Refugee,” the campaign, energised by the Foreign Ministry and World Jewish Congress is canvassing for the sympathy of the international community. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli envoys at the UN as well as embassies around the world have been instructed to raise the matter in all official government meetings and to highlight it to parliamentarians. They purport that just as many, or perhaps even more Jews were displaced by events in 1948 than Palestinians, and have undertaken to ensure that “Jewish refugees are not forgotten.” Israeli officials also have suggested the campaign to be a counterbalance to the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba, which Israeli Minister Danny Ayalon bemoaned as having been allowed to stand uncontested for too long.
A campaign Facebook page has also been setup with “personal stories, photos, video documentaries and documents…of Jewish life and escape from various Middle Eastern countries.”
Palestinian officials have scorned the motivations behind the new Israeli drive and describe it as a reiteration of a decades-old plan meant to absolve the Israeli government from the responsibility of compensating Palestinian refugees. PLO Executive Committee member Hana Ashrawi labelled it a form of deception and delusion and has accused Israel of seeking to distort the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and deny the rights of Palestinians it ethnically cleansed 64 years ago. Writing in the Huffington Post, Ashrawi said the intention of Israel’s campaign was not to protect the rights of Jews, but rather to “undermine the rights of the Palestinian refugees, whom it uprooted, dispossessed, and expelled from their homeland.”
Researcher and historian at the Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations in Lebanon, Dr. Mohsen Saleh agrees. He says many facts exist to belie the narrative now being marketed, including the involvement of Zionists themselves in evicting Jews from Arab lands.
“No Arab country ever forced any Jewish community in their land to emigrate to the Zionist state. The Zionist organisations were very active in such countries are were trying their best to convince the Jewish communities there to emigrate to the Zionist state to strengthen it and to bring more Jewish people to the newly established state, to the extent that Zionist organisations in countries like Iraq, in North Africa made much unrest and even orchestrated some terrorist attacks on Jewish places and synagogues in these countries, to put these Jewish communities in these countries in such an environment to psychologically force them to emigrate by giving them the feeling that they are not in a safe country, or that their security may be in jeopardy.”
Dr Saleh argues that if Israel was honest in seeking justice for the so-called Jewish refugees, they would respond favourably to Arab proposals for the exchange of the displaced peoples. “If they consider themselves refugees, let’s ask them to go back to their countries of origin, and at the same time everyone in the world knows that the Palestinians are also refugees who were driven out of their own country and homeland, Palestine, by force by the Zionist state when it was established in 1948 . So if this Foreign Ministry is serious about the case of refugees then they should accept the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland, then there’d be no problem with Jewish refugees returning to their countries.”
Echoing a contention made by Ashrawi, Saleh believes the Israeli government is not interested at all in the return of Jews to their own communities because this is at odds with the basic Zionist precept of all Jews worldwide adopting Occupied Palestine as a homeland. “At the very core of Zionist ideology is the idea that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people,” writes Ashrawi. “They cannot be returnees to Israel and refugees from another homeland at the same time.”
Responding to recent claims made by pro-Zionist former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler that United Nations Resolution 242 – which Palestinians highlight as offering a just basis to settle the refugee problem – also referred to Jews, Saleh accused Zionist advocates of being hypocritical. “Why be selective, let us deal with all UN resolutions, we have resolution 181 which gave the basis of a Palestinian state, we have 194 which gave the basis of the right of return to their own homeland, we have hundreds of UN resolutions! So they cannot be selective and select an article here or there. If they are serious about taking about Jewish and Arab refugees – Are they serious in dealing with the Palestinians as refugees and accepting their right of return? Israelis should answer such questions first before going for such lies and baseless claims about the so-called Jewish refugees.”
The distinguished researcher said the world needed to comprehend the magnitude of injustice meted out to the Palestinians during the Nakba, to avoid being sidetracked by Zionist claims. “The Zionist organisations and terrorist groups in 1948 committed 34 massacres on Palestinian innocent people to force them out of Palestine and this caused the problem of the Palestinian refugees which destroyed the social fabric of the Palestinian community. Around 60% of the Palestinians were forced out of their homeland. We have more than 120 UN resolutions supporting the right of return which the Israelis continuously reject and ignore.”
Muslims and Jews, explained Saleh, had co-existed peacefully in the Middle East for centuries prior to the establishment of Israel. “Jews always found a safe haven in the Muslim world and they were dealt with on the basis of equality and had full citizenship.” Jews, he said, preferred Muslim lands as a refuge to Europe which in contrast was the author of Jewish persecution. “Because of such continued persecution(in Europe) they had no choice but to emigrate to Muslim lands where they found a safe haven and protection. Anti-Semitism is not a Muslim creation but was a European one.”
He accused Israel of using such campaigns to buy time and divert global attention from its ongoing violations of international law. “The Israeli government is working day and night to Judaize Bayt al Maqdis and areas of the West Bank; they continue confiscating Palestinian land; establishing settlements. The Israelis have no intention of any kind of a peaceful settlement to the Palestinian issue, the 2 state solution is null and void after almost 18 years of negotiations with the PA and PLO; they don’t have any real solution for the Palestinian issue..I think it is just prolonging time.”
A committee of Iraqi Jews has hit back at the Israeli plan demanding an investigation into alleged Mossad links to bombings of synagogues in Baghdad, and secret negotiations Israeli leaders may have entered into with Iraqi leaders to hasten the exodus of its Jewish population. In a letter, they have also threatened to file a suit in an international court demanding half of the sum total of compensation for their refugee status from the Israeli government and half from the Iraqi government.
Dr. Saleh agrees that such questionable campaigns convey Israeli desperation vis a vis the Arab Spring and the changing balance of power in the Middle East. “Activists have become much more expert in conveying the Palestinian plight to the mainstream and delegitimising the Israeli state and also espousing the ugly face of the Israeli government in the area and in the region.” However as Israel’s freshest “new victimhood campaign” itself attests, the wounded tiger is still on the prowl.
The lies about the 1967 war are still more powerful than the truth by Alan HarT
Alan Hart views the Zionist-manufactured myth that the 1967 war was a defensive war – rather than a war of aggression – launched by Israel because it faced a threat of extermination by its Arab neighbours, and laments the lazy – or Zionist-motivated – journalism which continues to perpetuate this myth in the Western media.
In retrospect it can be seen that the 1967 war – the Six Days War – was the turning point in the relationship between the Zionist state of Israel and the Jews of the world (the majority of Jews who prefer to live not in Israel but as citizens of many other nations).
Until the 1967 war, and with the exception of a minority of Jews were politically active, most non-Israeli Jews did not have – how can I put it? – a great empathy with Zionism’s child. Israel was there and, in the sub-consciousness, a refuge of last resort; but the Jewish nationalism it represented had not generated the overtly enthusiastic support of the Jews of the world. The Jews of Israel were in their chosen place and the Jews of the world were in their chosen places. There was not, so to speak, a great feeling of togetherness. At a point David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and first prime minister, was so disillusioned by the indifference of world Jewry that he went public with his criticism – not enough Jews were coming to live in Israel.
So how and why did the 1967 war transform the relationship between the Jews of the world and Israel?
Part of the answer is in a single word – pride. From the Jewish perspective there was indeed much to be proud about. Little Israel with its small but highly professional defence force and its mainly citizen army had smashed the war machines of the frontline Arab states in six days. The Jewish David had slain the Arab Goliath. Israeli forces were in occupation of the whole of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip (Egyptian territory), the West Bank, including Arab East Jerusalem (Jordanian territory), and the Golan Heights (Syrian territory). And it was not much of a secret that the Israelis could have gone on to capture Cairo, Amman and Damascus. There was nothing to stop them except the impossibility of maintaining the occupation of three Arab capitals.
“…neither … Egypt nor any of the frontline Arab states had any intention of attacking Israel. And Israel’s leaders, and the Johnson administration, knew that.”
”Big, fat propaganda lie”
But the intensity of the pride most Jews of the world experienced with Israel’s military victory was in large part a product of the intensity of the fear that came before it. In the three weeks before the war, the Jews of the world truly believed, because (like Israeli Jews) they were conditioned by Zionism to believe, that the Arabs were poised to attack and that Israel’s very existence was at stake and much in doubt.
The Jews of the world (and Israeli Jews) could not be blamed for believing that, but it was a big, fat propaganda lie. Though Egypt’s President Jamal Abd-al-Nasser had asked UN Emergency Forces to withdraw from Sinai, had closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and had reinforced his army in the Sinai, neither his Egypt nor any of the frontline Arab states had any intention of attacking Israel. And Israel’s leaders, and the Johnson administration, knew that.
In short, and as I detail and document in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the offensive Israel launched at 0750 hours (local time) on Monday 5 June was not a pre-emptive strike or an act of self-defence. It was a war of aggression.
The summary truth about that war is this.
Assisted by the regeneration of Palestinian nationalism, which became the tail that wagged the Arab dog despite the brutal efforts of the intelligence services of the frontline Arab states to prevent it happening, Israel’s military and political hawks set a trap for Nasser; and he walked into it, with eyes half-open, in the hope that the international community, led by the Johnson administration, would restrain Israel and require it and Egypt to settle the problem of the moment by diplomacy. From Nasser’s perspective that was not an unreasonable expectation because of the commitment, given by President Eisenhower that, in the event of the closure of the Straits of Tiran by Egypt to Israeli shipping, the US would work with the “society of nations” to cause Egypt to restore Israel’s right of passage, and by so doing, prevent war.
A large part of the reason why today rational debate about making peace is impossible with the vast majority of Jews everywhere is that they still believe Egypt and the frontline Arab states were intending to annihilate Israel in 1967, and were only prevented from doing so by Israel’s pre-emptive strike.
If the statement that the Arabs were not intending to attack Israel and that the existence of the Zionist state was not in danger was only that of a goy (a non-Jew, me), it could be dismissed by supporters of Israel right or wrong as anti-Semitic conjecture. In fact, the truth the statement represents was admitted by some of the key Israeli players – after the war, of course.
“I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May  would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli Chief of Staff, 28 February 1968
Israel’s generals in their own words
On this 45th anniversary of the start of the Six Days War, here is a reminder of what they said.
In an interview published in Le Monde on 28 February 1968, Israeli Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin said this: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May  would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”
On 14 April 1971, a report in the Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar contained the following statement by Mordehcai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government. “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”
On 4 April 1972, General Haim Bar-Lev, Rabin’s predecessor as chief of staff, was quoted in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv as follows: “We were not threatened with genocide on the eve of the Six Days War, and we had never thought of such a possibility.”
In the same Israeli newspaper on the same day, General Ezer Weizmann, Chief of Operations during the war and a nephew of Chaim Weizmann, was quoted as saying: “There was never any danger of annihilation. This hypothesis has never been considered in any serious meeting.”In the spring of 1972, General Matetiyahu Peled, Chief of Logistical Command during the war and one of 12 members of Israel’s General Staff, addressed a political literary club in Tel Aviv. He said: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war.”
In a radio debate Peled also said: “Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel.” He added that “Israeli intelligence knew that Egypt was not prepared for war.”
In the same programme General Chaim Herzog (former Director of Military Intelligence, future Israeli Ambassador to the UN and president of his state) said: “There was no danger of annihilation. Neither Israeli headquarters nor the Pentagon – as the memoirs of President Johnson proved – believed in this danger.”
On 3 June 1972 Peled was even more explicit in an article of his own for the French newspaper Le Monde. He wrote:
All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, have never been considered in our calculations. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our “defence” against the Egyptian threat. This force was to crush once and for all the Egyptians at the military level and their Soviet masters at the political level. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel’s existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analysing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army.
The preference of some generals for truth-telling after the event provoked something of a debate in Israel, but it was short-lived. If some Israeli journalists had had their way, the generals would have kept their mouths shut. Weizmann was one of those approached with the suggestion that he and others who wanted to speak out should “not exercise their inalienable right to free speech lest they prejudice world opinion and the Jewish diaspora against Israel.”
It is not surprising that debate in Israel was shut down before it led to some serious soul-searching about the nature of the state and whether it should continue to live by the lie as well as the sword; but it is more than remarkable, I think, that the mainstream Western media continues to prefer the convenience of the Zionist myth to the reality of what happened in 1967 and why. When reporters and commentators have need today to make reference to the Six Days War, almost all of them still tell it like the Zionists said it was in 1967 rather than how it really was. Obviously there are still limits to how far the mainstream media is prepared to go in challenging the Zionist account of history, but it could also be that lazy journalism is a factor in the equation.
For those journalists, lazy or not, who might still have doubts about who started the Six Days War, here’s a quote from what Prime Minister Begin said in an unguarded, public moment in 1982. “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”