Fact vs. Fiction
Fiction: All the Jewish people left the land in the first century A.D.
Fact: Jewish people have lived in the land from the time of Joshua to today. In fact, there has never been a time when the Holy Land was bereft of Jews.
After the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in A.D. 70 and barred Jewish people from Jerusalem, Jews spread throughout the area later known as Palestine. By the ninth century A.D., Jewish communities were prospering in Tiberias and again in Jerusalem. During the Middle Ages Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Ramallah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Jaffa.
In the 12th century, the Crusaders murdered Jews there en masse. In Jerusalem, they herded them into their synagogue and burned them alive. Yet Jewish people remained entrenched in at least 50 cities and continued to multiply over the next two centuries.
Later, substantial communities of immigrants sprouted up throughout what was once called Judah and Galilee. Early in the 19th century, many years before anyone dared to dream of a Jewish state in Palestine, more than 10,000 Jewish settlers made the Holy Land their home. And the return continued.
Fiction: Israel is violating Palestinian borders.
Fact: What borders? Since there has never been a sovereign Arab country known as Palestine, how can there be Palestinian borders? For centuries, the ancient land of the Bible was called Palestine, but it constituted an undefined region that was part of a greater kingdom. What constitute borders today are merely armistice lines. The Palestinian Authority wants Israel to return to the pre-June 1967 lines. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once retorted, “If those lines are so sacred to the Arabs, why was the Six-Day War launched to destroy them?”
Fiction: The PLO is a freedom-fighter organization, founded to liberate the occupied territories.
Fact: The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. Israel did not acquire the “occupied” territories until 1967. Before 1967, the PLO never called for Jordan (holding Judea/ Samaria) or Egypt (holding the Gaza Strip) to create a Palestinian state. Yet in 1964, three years before Israel acquired the disputed territories, the PLO produced a charter calling for Israel’s destruction and has repeatedly attacked Israeli civilians, businesses, movie theaters, factories, and private homes.
Fiction: The Israeli settlements are illegal and hinder the peace process.
Fact: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), the Israeli settlements are legal because no inhabitants were forced to relocate there. They moved there voluntarily. Furthermore, the Arabs refused to make peace with Israel when they themselves controlled the territories and not a single Jewish settlement existed there. None of the Oslo Accords speak against settlements, only against changing the status quo. Israel understands that provision to mean that neither side shall unilaterally annex the disputed territories or declare its own state. Israel has made it clear that the settlements are negotiable, as it has demonstrated by abandoning the ones in the Sinai.
Fiction: Israel’s occupation of the territories prevents the creation of a Palestinian state.
Fact: Egypt and Jordan were in control of the Gaza Strip and Judea/Samaria respectively before 1967. If there was so much need and concern for a second Palestinian state (Jordan being the first), why did the Arabs not create one when the territories were in their hands?
Middle East Media Research Institute: www.memri.org
Palestinian Media Watch: www.pmw.org.il
Israel Defense Forces: www/idf.il/newsite/English/main.asp
Debka File (news): www.debka.com
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/home/asp
The Jerusalem Post: www.jpost.com
Facts and Logic About the Middle East: www.factsandlogic.org
Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund: www.walk4israel.com
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: www.jcpa.org
The Media Line: www.themedialine.org
Bridges for Peace: www.bridgesforpeace.com
Information Regarding Israel’s Security: www.iris.org.il
Myths and Facts On-Line: www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/cover.html