The only way to downplay or criticize the miraculous significance of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 is the revise history. Such is the domain of the anti-Semite who cannot accept Jewish success and therefore does what he can to play it down or pervert it. A good example that should be responded to was published in The National Post in the days leading up to Yom Ha'atzmaut. I would like to debunk the lies that this article propagated, not because they're new or groundbreaking but because an old lie is the most dangerous one around. People ignore them, figuring that everyone knows they're false. Such complacency can allow tremendous damage to happen.
The first problem is the title:
Jeet Heer on Israel's creation: Ethnic cleansing by any other name
This is the biggest lie told nowadays about the establishment of Israel - that it was done by European Jews who came in and drove out the poor native Arabs and stole their land. Yet it is almost the easiest to refute. Simply remember the population compositions of Israel and Yehudah/Shomron/'Aza (Yesha) after the final ceasefire in 1949. There were still over 100 000 Arabs in Israel. There were ZERO Jews in Yesha. When Jews are driven from their land, it was not a crime or even worthy of criticism. When the Arabs fled rather than defend themselves, it was a crime. Israel has a thriving Arab sector today. Jews are legally forbidden by Hamas and Fatah to buy land or take up residence in the Palestinian Authority. Who ethnically cleansed who?
Sixty years ago, a 12-year-old boy witnessed the slaughter of his family. His name was Fahim Zaydan, and he lived in the Arab village of Deir Yassin in Mandate Palestine, which was attacked on April 9, 1948, by Irgun and Stern Gang troops, paramilitary forces allied with the right-wing of the Zionist movement.
Relying on Arabs for testimony is like asking hardened criminals to be bank guards. You just don't rely on some things. There are two versions of what happened at Deir Yassin and unfortunately, like in so many other parts of history, the Israelis long ago abandoned their version to the dustbin of history while the Arab side propagated its version until it became the official tale of what happened. The facts that the Irgun had warned the village to evacuate before the attack, that they had been ambushed when they then entered the village because the locals had promised to surrender, that the Arab fighters used their women and children as shields because they believed the Irgun would never fire upon them, all these facts are lost to the narrative. Jeet Heer probably believes in the Jenin Massacre and Santa Claus too.
: Zionist troops, including those under Ben-Gurion’s command, used terror tactics to force the indigenous population to flee.
Notice: not a word about how Arab governments encouraged the local villagers to run so that they wouldn't get in the way of the "victorious" conquering armies. We know the real tale of the tape. The Arab leaders of the day were not invading Israel to help their so-called Palestinian breathren establish their own state. They were invading to grab whatever land they could and slaughter as many Jews as possible. But with time and repeated lying, this truth has also been twisted out of recognition.
The external war against Arab armies was mirrored by an internal war against Arabs living inside Palestine. Because of this tragic legacy, uncritically celebrating 1948 does a disservice to Jews and Arabs alike.
That's right. Arabs in Israel have full citizenship, serve in all parts of society and even have representatives in the Knesseet. They have the lowest infant mortality rates in the Arab world, the highest level of education, best indicators of health and longest lifespans. If you exclude the oil sheikhs, they also have some of the highest incomes. In return their leaders have openly campaigned in support of Israel's deadliest enemies and their schools teach their children that they are not Israeli but rather Palestinians living in Israel. Is anyone still surprised that Jewish Israelis look at them with suspicion? The significant fact here is not that there is an unofficial double standard in Israeli society. It's that the Arabs are treated so well despite their selfish and short-sighted behaviours.
But the fact is that the best recent historians of Israel’s founding, some of whom are ardent Zionists, have made it clear that the events of 1948 were an ethnic cleansing.
No, the fact is that the best recent historians of Israel's founding are not ardent Zionist but rather post-Zionist self-hating Israelis who have decided that to be enlightened they must feel guilty of the success of Israel in establishing itself and enduring. The idea that the Arabs are responsible for their own misery is incomprehensible to them.
They had too few Jews (less than half the population of Mandate Palestine), too little land (Jews owned less than 6% of the land) and too many Arabs.
Well of course this was the case. The British, who seems to want to compete with the Germans for the title of "Worst enemy of the Jews in the first half of the 20th century" made sure that Jewish immigrations was curtailed, that Jewish land purchases were restricted and that Arab migration into Israel was unfettered. The success of Israel came despite these efforts.
But if you look at Zionism from a global perspective, one that acknowledges that Arabs are human beings, then the morality becomes much murkier. Unlike the peoples of Europe, the Palestinians weren’t direct participants in the Holocaust. Why should Palestinians lose their land because of crimes committed by Germans, Poles, Ukrainians and other Europeans?
The so-called Palestinians were, in fact, direct participants in the Holocaust. The Mufti of Jerusalem was an avid supporter of the Nazis and an entire brigade of Arabs served in the Wehrmacht. There can be no doubt that if Rommel, y"sh, had managed to defeat the British in North Africa and successfully invaded Israel, that the local Arabs would have participated in the subsequent liquidation of the Jewish community with a zest that would have made the Polish, Ukrainian, Croatian et al efforts look like nothing.
Like ancient Sparta, the citizen-soldiers of Israel have to constantly be on guard lest the helots revolt. The Arab population, both those who live in Israel as citizens and those under military occupation, are a constant source of worry.
The citizen-soldiers of Israel have to be constantly on guard because the helots are revolting, and because every state on the border with the exception possibly of Jordan are openly hostile to Israel's very existence.
Israel’s greatest point of pride, its claim to be a democracy, is undermined by the decades old occupation of Palestinian lands, a situation that resembles apartheid-era South Africa.
Ah yes, the "apartheid" canard. Never mind that apartheid was about one segment of South Africa oppression another segment of its own population while the so-called occupation of Yesha is about Israel reclaiming lands it was legally granted by the League of Nations in 1922 which happen to contain a population that has been raised to dream of its destruction. Never mind that until Arafat, y"sh, started his second intifada there was actual economic growth, good educational opportunities and hope for the future found nowhere else in the Arab world. Never mind that if the Arabs were to droptheir hostility tomorrow they would be embraced by the Israelis who are desperate to live in peace. Why let facts get in the way of a good slur?
The bottom line that the Israel and Jew haters of the world don't want to admit is that it was the Arabs who refused to allow the Jews to return to Israel and settle there, even before there was any thought of a state. It was the Arabs who refused every compromise plan offered to them by the British and the United Nations, no matter how biased it was against the future Israel. It was the Arabs who denied the legitimacy of the 1947 vote which granted them an opportunity to build a state. It is the Arabs who started the War of Independence, the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. If the Arabs are looking for someone to blame for their so-called naqba, they have only to look into the mirror.
As Rabbi Hillel goldberg has recently noted, Arab hatred of Israel isn't so much about the loss of Arab land or the denial of a state for them but about the destruction of Israel. That's why, despite the trillions of petrol dollars and countless opportunities, no serious efforts to build an Arab state have ever, ever been made. And we who love Israel must remember this and always work to counter those whose lies would make a mockery of the sacrifice, effort and triumph that God has brought us to today.