Lying about the Jewish state is antisemitism. What follows are the most prominent of those lies:
“Palestine” and “Palestinians”
The concepts of “Palestinians” and “Palestine” are political tools used to subvert, demonize and destroy the Jews’ legal right to the land of Israel. Before the Arabs assumed the name “Palestinians” in 1964, they were simply “Arabs.” Before 1964 no concept of the “Palestinian nation” existed.
Who Are the Indigenous People of the Land of Israel?
After their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites established their first commonwealth. The Israelites named the land after their forefather Jacob, who changed his name to “Israel,” meaning “a struggle with God.”
One of the Israelite tribes named their part of the land “Judea.” The land is also referred to as “Zion,” a biblical name for Jerusalem, from which the term “Zionism” was born.
Jews have been living in the land of Israel for close to 4,000 years, though for 2,000 years they were not a sovereign entity. The Arabs invaded the land of Israel and occupied it for 451 years without ever forming any sovereign entity. Clearly, Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel.
The claim that the modern State of Israel was founded by Jews who “ethnically cleansed” the local Arabs is a blood libel.
The “ethnic cleansing” narrative ignores or deliberately downplays the 1948 invasion of the new State of Israel by several Arab armies. Though the Jews suffered heavy losses, they successfully fended off this attack, while Arab communities in the land of Israel did what people often do in war—they ran away. The Jews, of course, had nowhere to go.
While this was going on, the British manned the coastline and deported hundreds of young Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors of fighting age. These Jews were forced into camps in Cyprus and Europe. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors were waiting in displaced persons camps hoping to come to the new Jewish state.
Anti-Zionists claim that Israel had to expel the Arabs to achieve demographic superiority in the land. The hundreds of thousands of Jews waiting for Israel to open its doors to them prove otherwise.
Israel Commits Genocide Against Arabs
According to one study, 156,000 Arabs lived in Israel in 1948, comprising approximately 19% of the population. In 2001, the Arab population was 1.2 million, remaining at 19%. Moreover, the Israeli Arab population increases by 3.4% each year.
Genocide does not increase the population of its targeted group. Accusing Israel of committing genocide against its Arabs, as the Nazis did to the Jews, is a dangerous blood libel and legal steps should be taken against it.
Israel Occupies Arab Lands
Much has been written about the Jews’ biblical, historical and legal rights to the land of Israel. All of it is ignored by the allegation that Israel occupies Arab land.
The land that Israel liberated during the 1967 Six-Day War—Judea and Samaria—is now referred to by Israel’s detractors as “occupied territory.” Even the Gaza Strip, from which Israel unilaterally withdrew, is ludicrously described as “occupied.”
Before Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War, governance of these lands was split between Egypt, which occupied Gaza, and Jordan, which occupied Judea and Samaria.
Thus, Israel is not “occupying” any land that it “conquered” from a sovereign country. Israel has territorial claims to the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The hostile Arab population of Judea and Samaria is still squatting on Israeli land and enjoying the huge concessions Israel has made to them.
The accusation of occupation goes hand-in-hand with the Arabs’ claim that places like Tel Aviv are built on Arab land occupied by Israel.
What is really meant by the word “occupation” is revealed by the slogan “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” It means that Jews are unwanted illegal occupiers who must leave the land of Israel.
Israel Is an “Apartheid” State
Apartheid is the system of racial segregation and discrimination practiced for decades in South Africa. Despite the claim that Israel is an “apartheid” state, all Israelis enjoy the same human rights and Israel has no system of racial segregation and discrimination.
The Wrong Terminology
So long as Israelis, Jews, pro-Israel activists, misguided politicians and the media wrongly use terms like “West Bank” instead of Judea and Samaria; “Palestinians” and “Palestine” instead of “Arabs” and “Arabs living in Israel”; or “East Jerusalem” instead of simply “Jerusalem,” there will never be peace in the region.
Because of the systemic subversion of Israel as a sovereign state through these lies, the attacks on Israel and Jews will continue and become more and more explosive, producing an ongoing worldwide tidal wave of anti-Israel extremism and antisemitism.
Everyone should be reminded that the truth is not halfway between a fact and a lie. This is the Jews’ history. It is fact. It is unchangeable. If we do not defend it, it will be stolen away from us, if it has not been stolen already.
Nurit Greenger was born in the British Mandate for Palestine in 1947 and now writes from southern California.