Sunday, November 03, 2013

Ten arguments against Israel

There are several arguments made by the enemies of Israel and accepted as conventional wisdom that simply do not hold water, that are based on disinformation, misconceptions and downright lies. Here are a ten of them:

1. The "occupation" is the cause of the conflict. This is baseless, since Israel did not occupy the so-called territories of Gaza and the West Bank from 1948-1967, yet during that time the Palestinians and the Arabs in general showed no sign of being prepared to resolve the conflict. Also, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, yet it has not reduced the militant anti-Israel policy of Hamas in Gaza at all. What many Palestinians mean by "the occupation" is the existence of Israel in Palestine, in other words they seek to destroy Israel, and many good liberals support them.

2. The settlements are the cause of the conflict: Also, during 1948-1967 there were no "settlements' in the "occupied territories" and yet the hatred and antagonism of the Arabs was no less. Further, during the period of 1967-1977, until the election of PM Begin, few settlements were built in the territories, yet there was no sign of any lessening of the conflict from the Arab side.

3. The israeli settlements are illegal: This is simply not true, the whole of the British Mandate, that included the territories of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza were supposed to become a Jewish State. In the protocols of the San Remo Conference of 1921 and the League of Nations Mandate for Britain of 1922, there was no provision for an Arab State west of the Jordan River (at that time the "Palestinian Arabs" did not yet exist). The sovereignty of these areas did not change from 1922 until now, since the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank (1948-1967) was never recognized as legitimate under international law. Hence Israel has a legitimate right to built there and a legitimate claim under international law to retain sovereignty of those areas. Furthermore, several settlements and blocs of settlements were inhabited legally by Jews prior to the War of Independence of 1948, including the Etzion bloc and several Gaza settlements.

4. The West Bank is Arab territory: Not true! Just because Arabs live there does not make it "Arab territory", any more than Washington DC is "Black American territory" or Kansas is "Indian sovereign territory" or eastern Turkey is "Kurdish territory." It is simply a matter of who has the sovereign right to that territory, and the Palestinian Arabs have never had sovereignty over that territory. You may think that they should have, but the fact of the matter is that they never have had!

5. There are 5 million Palestinian Arab refugees: This is a simple falsehood! Under international law the descendents of a refugee are not themselves counted as refugees. This is true of all refugees in the world under the protection of the UN High Commisioner for Refugees (UNHCR), except for rhe Palestinians who have their own UN agency the UNRWA, that counts descendents as refugees. The Palestinian "refugee problem" seems unsurmountable, except if you apply the usual international standard to them as to all other refugees and then you find that there are now only several tens of thousands of true Palestinian Arab refugees still surviving. By continually adding their descendents to the fourth and more generations, the supposed number of false "refugees" keeps increasing, while the actual number of true refugees keeps declining. This is how UNRWA continues to perpetuate the "Palestinian refugee problem" and keeps the UNRWA bureaucrats in jobs.

6. The Palestinian Arabs have the "right of return": This is simply not true! Under international law there is no such thing as a "right of return." There is no precedence for any such right. Noone can point to any case where refugees from a conflict have gone to court to take advantage of such a fictitious right, and no peace treaty has ever sanctioned such a right. Only under the terms of a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian representatives could any specific number of refugees be granted a right to return by the sovereign state of Israel.

7. The Palestinians deserve a State of their own: No group has obtained sovereighty over any territory by right without a struggle. There is no automatic granting of self-determination, each case has to be recognized on its merits. There are several groups that might be considered to be more deserving of a State of their own than the Palestinians, such as the Kurds (in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran), the Chechens (controlled by Russia), the Cypriot Turks (controlled by Turkey), the Baluchis (controlled by Afghanistan and Pakistan), etc., etc.

8. The Israelis treat the Palestinians as badly as the Nazis treated the Jews during WWII: This is a gross lie! It is a stain on the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered under horrific circumstances during WWII, and does not deserve to be taken seriously. Anyone who utters such tripe is being anti-Semitic, not merely anti-Israel.

9. A boycott of Israeli goods or academia will help the Palestinians: There is no basis for such a belief. Boycotts are rarely successful and in the specific case of Israel, the EU, UK and most other countries can only gain from the usual academic openness and free flow of ideas with Israeli academia. To boycott Israel would be out of all proportion to the situation whereby Israel is actually allowing scarce goods to be trucked into Gaza, when Egypt has closed all the illegal smuggling tunnels and has closed the Rafah border crossing.

10. Israel is an apartheid country: This is a gross falsehood, as any visitor to Israel can plainly see. There is no separation of any races within Israel. It is a "rainbow" nation, with black Ethiopians, Arabs and brown and white Jews from all over the world learning together, marrying and inter-mingling. The Israeli State does restrict the flow of enemy aliens such as the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, who are not Israeli citizens, who engage in terrorism against Israel, and have murdered thousands of Israeli citizens.


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