After visiting Israel with my wife in May this year (2016) I realised how much the western media distort the truth about Israel. The following article was written in 2000 by Victor Schlatter1 gives a very concise view of the history of the land they call Palestine. I have only made a few minor editorial corrections and some comments in square brackets […]. I added the addendum and all graphics.
Something over six decades ago Adolph Hitler initiated it, and his propaganda chief, J P Goebbels, perpetuated it. It was the Big Lie of the century. In simple summary, the Jew is the decadent evil behind world finance, the arch-enemy of society, and consequently must be destroyed. Today to most of the civilized world, this is preposterous logic in the light of the political correctness of the 21st century. Yet in those days most of Germany and even much of Europe bought into the diabolical scheme, but not before 6 million Jews ultimately perished in the incomprehensible treachery of Hitler’s gas chambers.
Unfortunately only a limited few of us are still alive today who would yet clearly remember those sordid details as they unfolded. But just as sad, are all the others who have heard the reports but have all too little sensitivity to this tragic episode of history. Philosopher George Santayana warned that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to relive it. And alas, that condemnation is once again heavy upon us. The Jew – the world’s scapegoat since the ancient kingdoms of Egypt, Babylon and Persia – once more bears the heaviest condemnation of all. And the world barely blinks.
In these days, in newscast after newscast referring to the land of Israel, we hear the one-liner “the occupation” bandied about. And just what occupation is being spoken of, may we ask? But Joseph Goebbels knew that the bigger the lie, the better it was swallowed. Not much has changed in 60 years!
If one would only take the time and effort to probe the annals of the last century and a half with regard to the so-called Palestinians, he would find some startling statistics.
Historians, theologians and authors, including the celebrated — and less than biased — Mark Twain, spoke as if with one solitary voice of the barrenness and desolation of this land the Romans had vindictively renamed Palestine in 132 AD. In spite of the Jews being driven far from their homeland in those days, there was always a remnant Jewish population in what was historically known as Judea and Samaria. By 1893 the total Arab population within the Jewish settled areas was but 92,300 souls. Many of these Arabs were even recent arrivals who had followed their Jewish cousins as they trickled back to their ancient lands from the middle of the 19th Century onwards.
An intriguing work by Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial, published by Harper and Row in 1984 tells the entire story. [Reviewed by Daniel Pipes here.]
Ms Peters was a no-nonsense non-Jewish, secular English journalist, who in deep empathy for the displaced Arabs (from the wars their own leaders happened to initiate in 1948 and again in 1967), had initially absorbed the propaganda as it was served up. And as an idealistic and bright-eyed young journalist she assumed that the Arab generated fiction of their rights to this hotly contested bit of the Middle East real estate was built on solid fact. With the plight of these refugees deeply embedded within her heart, her professional integrity set her on a course to expose and defend their miserable situation.
Then the shocker. Digging deeply into the pre-1915 Ottoman records, and the ensuing post-war statistics from the British Mandate period that lasted until 1947, Ms Peters discovered that the majority of the present day Arabs flooded into the land only after World War I. And the more she probed, the more she came up with an impelling revelation of the truth that all the world should know. But all the world does not want to know. No one is so blind as he who does not wish to see! Peters discovered that from the Ottoman census in 1893 until the recognition of Jewish independence in 1947, Arab population in the predominately Arab-only areas of western Palestine grew by a little over 200%, a figure which demographers would describe as “natural increase”.
BUT, the revelation of the hour was that during that identical period of time, the Arab in-migration within the expressly Jewish areas of population was no less than 500% increase, or two and a half times above what demographics would allow as natural growth! Why the massive Arab influx? Historians inform us that Arabs from neighbouring Middle East countries migrated in because of the job and economic opportunities being created with the Jewish reclamation of barren sites and wastelands.
So much for the crude media propaganda that the Jews have replaced the “Palestinians” and driven them out of their 5000 year homeland! Unfortunately, most journalists today have swallowed the Big Lie revisited, like crocodiles coming off a hunger strike!
Incidentally, the label “Palestinians” was initially applied to the Jewish Diaspora who had returned home in the late 19th Century to drain the malarial swamps in the north and otherwise restore the inhospitable and nearly uninhabited land all the way down to the Negev. But after the combined attack on Israel in 1967 by Syria, Egypt and Jordan (the Six Day War) when King Hussein lost the disputed land he had seized west of the Jordan River – which he cleverly renamed “the West Bank” – only then did they begin in earnest to call the Arabs living there “Palestinians”. Most of us would hardly be privy to the facts of those days. But the virulent propaganda since that time against so-called “Jewish settlers” (the major “obstacle to peace” we are told), has generated another flood of media one-line indictments. Occupation, indeed! But it is hardly the Jews who are occupying someone else’s turf.
And just where are these despicable settlements that are allegedly on Palestinian land? They are by and large on uncultivated rocky hilltops that were once crown land under the Turks, then under the British Mandate until 1947, and then snatched up illegally by the Jordanians for 19 years after Israel’s War of Independence. And the world looked the other way because the powers that be hardly wanted to upset King Hussein, most often regarded as the “nice guy” among Israel’s less than hospitable neighbours.
But those so-called “settlements” are hardly what could be termed Palestinian lands. And how could they ever be regarded as “greatest obstacle to peace” since terrorist-cum-statesman Arafat initially set about to “liberate” Palestine in 1964, a full three years before these Jewish communities even began to be built on those isolated ridges!
And where, we might probe, did those miserable refugee camps come from? (And they are unquestionably miserable, teeming and horrific.) When Israel was granted her independence on May 14, 1948 she extended an olive branch to her Arab neighbours with the offer for them to stick around and help build the land together. About 11% stayed and did just that. Today they are known as Israeli-Arabs and have 10 seats in the 120 seat Knesset, the parliament of Israel.
But for the other 89%, it was another story. The Islamic Mufti called upon the faithful to immediately flee their homes for safety. Rejecting the UN partition of November 29, 1947, they declared that there would be a violent battle, but within 6 months the Jews would be “driven into the sea”. Then the Arabs who fled to safer havens – like Gaza – could then return to their own properties, along with the spoils of what the Jews would leave behind in a presumed panic exodus. Those who trusted their Mufti, never had a home to go back to. In their gullible hope of ultimate Jewish destruction, they blew the lot.
The Jews’ invitation to “build the land together” did have a rider. You are welcome to stay, but if you go, don’t ever come back. Eleven percent opted to stay and build. Eighty nine percent chose the blind edict of the Mufti, and now fester in the refugee camps, with no road back. In the last 5 decades, Israel would have even tried to ease the pain, but under the influence of the Arab bloc in the UN, they were forbidden to resettle the Palestinians in any way, shape, or form. “These camps are not yours to touch!” Today they remain as a showpiece of propaganda. More fiction fodder for the media one-liners without ever checking up on the facts!
Am I readjusting reality to my own imagination? I suggest you get a copy of the once popular bestseller, O’ Jerusalem by Collins and La Pierre published in 1972 by Simon & Schuster. It is a dynamic and even-handed account with hundreds of interviews of both Jews and Arabs during this long forgotten period. And I suggest you further study the brilliant research and records of Joan Peters – a bit more technical but a damning revelation of the truth of the matter. She has meticulously probed, documented and reported the Arab in-migration records during the British Mandate. The so-called “occupation” is a monstrous fabrication, the straight-faced assertions of 5000 years of “Palestinian” tenure notwithstanding!
The problem is not quite land, but an inordinate hatred of anything Jewish in general and the state of Israel in particular.
So wouldn’t it be nice if the journalists, the columnists, the newscasters would do their homework and be a bit more even-handed? A bit less biased? A bit more truthful? Wouldn’t it be nice if the photo-journalists took equal footage of the terrorist tactics, and the murderous terrorist training camps of sub-teen Palestinian kids? Wouldn’t it be nice to quit blaming Israel for the wretched failures of the Palestinian refugee camps which the Islamic Mufti in actual fact generated? Wouldn’t it be fair to translate what the Palestinian Authority is saying in the Arabic media into English? And while we’re at it, why not translate the shocking anti-Jewish hate materials in the Arabic Primary School textbooks that these kids are fed from childhood? Ironically, all of this hate agenda has been translated, but far too many of our reporters are choosing to not tell us the whole story. Any ideas why?
Never mind. Ever since the Pharaohs of Egypt, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Prime Minister Haman of Persia, the Caesars of Rome, the Roman Catholic Church of the Dark Ages, and Adolph Hitler of recent times, has it been any different? Should we be surprised that a majority of Arab nations today – “Palestinian” or otherwise – have seized Hitler’s baton and turned truth on its head. And those who make their living from simplistic politically correct slogans will continue to glaze our eyes with the mischievous myth of an “occupation”, all at the expense of perhaps the world’s most ancient scapegoat.
A most unsettling experience is to return to Australia after a journey to Israel, where even the tourists live under the constant threat of Palestinian terrorism, and to then hear the media reports condemning Israel in a total reversal of reality. In a globe of escalating trial by media, inequality and injustice, the victim once again is indicted for the crime!
- The author is a former nuclear scientist turned linguist, translator, literacy and community development advisor in Papua New Guinea, and is currently the director of South Pacific Island Ministries, Inc. He has spent considerable periods of time researching and writing in the Middle East and has published several books, including, “Who Told You You were Naked?” Website: http://www.spim.org.au
In “The lost Palestinian Jews,” David Shamah of the Jerusalem Post tells about the unlikely work of Tsvi Misinai. He wrote:
After years of research, Misinai says that he can declare with certainty that nearly 90 percent of all Palestinians are descended from the Jews. “And what’s more, about half of them know it,” he says.
A Ḥamas leader, Fathi Ḥammad, said on March 23, 2012, that “half of the Palestinians are Egyptian and the other half are Saudis,” providing Gideon M. Kressel and the late Reuven Aharoni with a proof text for their brave and original study, Egyptian Émigrés in the Levant of the 19th and 20th Centuries. In it, they establish that many “Palestinians” in fact came from Egypt. Indeed, “the Egyptian population is a very large component that, relatively speaking, only recently arrived in Palestine.”