The Conflict — Part 5
Even the most bogus claims, the most outrageous lies, will be believed if repeated often enough. Consider the Nazi propaganda against the Jews that began in the 1930s and culminated in the Holocaust. Repetition of outrageous lies was so successful that extermination camps were built throughout Europe to facilitate the eradication of Europe’s Jewish population. With the exception of Sundays, when gas chamber operators would attend church services — often with their families — the death camps operated around the clock at maximum capacity. The camps were responsible for the great majority of the six million Jews murdered in Europe. One of the saddest moments in the history of modern Israel was when the remains of 200,000 Austrian Jews were brought to Israel for burial in June 1949. For them the State of Israel had risen too late, and Hitler’s gas chambers had claimed their own. The ashes of 200,000 Jews was preserved in 30 jars and contained in one large glass casket. These ashes, the cakes of soap which Germans had made from Jewish bodies, the lamp shades and coats made from skin stripped from Jewish bodies, these were all that remained of 200,000 Jews.
The Jewish people personally experienced the bestial fruit of German hatred which sprang solely from the repetition of outrageous lies. Paul Josef Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, rightly argued that ‘a lie spreads in proportion to its size.’ Today the Arabs with the help of the news media and the academe are emulating the Nazis and working toward a similar goal ¯ the eradication of the Jewish population in the Middle East.
Millions of Palestinians now claim their ancestry goes back thousands of years ¯ to the Philistines and beyond, even to the Canaanites and Jebusites. And yet the Palestinian people have no history, no artifacts, language or culture. Claims of an ancient Palestinian history is another Arab myth. Until 1948 the only Palestinians in existence were Jews! Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University says, “Until the 20th century, the name Palestine referred exclusively to the ancient land of the Jews.”
During Britain’s mandatory period, the Jews of Palestine were always carefully referred to as Palestinian Jews by the British. This was done in order not to offend the Arabs. The Arabs, who came mainly from Syria, Egypt and what is now known as Jordan, scorned the name Palestinian and were simply referred to as Arabs. After the recreation of a sovereign Jewish state in 1948, the “Palestinian Jews” became “Israeli Jews,” and the name “Palestinian” became almost defunct. The current Arab pretension of possessing a Palestinian nationality is the Arabs’ way of laying claim to the land.
Arab defeat on the military battlefields caused a quantum shift in Arab strategy and hasbara ¯ propaganda entered the arena. A definite point of attack needed to be established if the Arabs were to successfully deliver a mortal thrust to the soft underbelly of the new Jewish state. An Arab activist, Musa Alami, proposed that the Arab people were ‘in great need of a ‘myth’ to fill their consciousness and imagination.’ According to Alami, an indoctrination of the myth of Palestinian nationality would create ‘identity’ and ‘self-respect.’ As no such Palestinian history existed, the Arabs simply sat down and created one¯a mythical history of a Palestinian Arab nation with roots that thread their way through the desert sands for thousands of years.
A strongly defined Palestinian identity did not emerge until after 1968 ¯ two decades after the myth was prescribed by Alami. It took 20 years of propaganda to establish a myth that is now deeply embedded into the hearts and minds of both the Arab and non-Arab worlds. It is now a self-perpetuating myth. By successfully influencing some of the world’s most prestigious reference books to promote a bogus Middle East history, the Arabs have already affected our academic world for generations to come. The distinguished historian and Arabist, Bernard Lewis of Princeton University, says: “The mythopoeic faculty is the ability to create myths, to believe in them, and to make others believe.” Arabs have scored incredible successes in each of these three areas. But, if you remember, Muslim jihad does not limit war to the use of swords, it also means to fight with “speech” and with the “pen.”
In 1986 Lewis wrote: “The rewriting of the past is usually undertaken to achieve specific political aims.” The political aim of the Arabs is to bypass the biblical Israelites and claim kinship with the Canaanites, the pre-Israelite inhabitants of the land. Then it becomes possible to assert an historical claim antedating the biblical promise and the subsequent possession of the land by the Jews. The Muslims intend to disconnect the Jewish people from their history in their homeland and have them appear as recent interlopers, thus providing the rationale for their removal or annihilation.
The mythical claim of Palestinian identity is simply another tactical maneuver in the Islamic war waged against Israel to effect her destruction. This has been admitted by Zuheir Muhsin, a member of the executive council of the PLO and late head of its Military Department:
“Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.” — Zuheir Muhsin quoted in the Dutch daily Trouw, March 1977. Cited in Peters, From Time Immemorial, p.137.
“In fact, there is no Palestinian people…. Only for political reasons do we speak of a Palestinian identity.” — Zuheir Muhsin quoted in the Dutch daily Trouw, March 1977. Cited in Dispatch From Jerusalem, 3rd Quarter, 1991.
Professor Philip K. Hitti, the leading Arab historian, decried the use of the word Palestine even in maps. He said that it was associated “in the mind of the average American ¯ and perhaps the Englishman, too ¯ with the Jews.” And testifying under oath to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946, Hitti stated unequivocally: “Sir, there is no such thing as Palestine in Arab history; absolutely not” (Philip K. Hitti speaking to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946. Quoted in Bar-Illan, Eye on the Media, p.166). But Arabs persevere in stating their false claims, the news media keeps on airing them, and the public continues to believe them. It has been proven time and again that when words are used to create false realities, people begin to live with these false realities.
To be continued
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