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Enough!- Another Israeli-American Says No to Zionism

“Masbirim”; “Explaining” Violations of Human Rights and International Law for the Beginner Israeli Tourist

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Today while turning to Ha’aretz for some news from Palestine, I was confronted by a banner advertisement

by the Israeli Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. Since I guess I am one such “member of the diaspora” (albeit entirely by choice) my interest was piqued. Once clicked, I was lead to a video of a British Steve-Erwin-esk guide walking through the dessert accompanied by a camel, being lead by what appeared to be a Bedouin (Israel acknowledging the existence of Bedouins after their recent demolition of entire Bedouin villages? Peculiar!) The announcer begins by telling us that this is Israel, that camels are the most popular mode of transportation for Israelis- that even the military uses these camels in their daily practices. *RECORD SCRATCH*-

Excuse me?….

In an attempt to purify Israel’s name, the Ministry of Public Diplomacy (read: Israeli apologists, Hasbara crusaders), seems to be hitting new lows even for itself: the suggestion that the “prejudices” or accusations against Israel have something to do with it being an underdeveloped, primitive country. Has anyon

e been noticing this kind of criticism? Because maybe I’m just reading the wrong papers and talking to the wrong people but the criticism I hear about Israel tends to be about… *drum roll please*…. Settlements, occupation, checkpoints, denial of human rights, the massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara, Lebanon 2006, Cast Lead 2008-2009, the blockade of Gaza, an unwillingness to implement a settlement freeze amidst “Peace Talks” and the denial of the rights of return for the millions of Palestinians living in diaspora to name a few of the

grievances. Hmm. Weird.

But then when we turn to the written “how-to” manual, it seems Palestinians, war, and violations

of International Law are suddenly back in the picture.  I found the “Myths vs. Reality” portion particularly illuminating… albeit terribly contradictory.

Responding to the myth “Israelis really don’t want peace”, the site explains the concessions Israel has made time and time again in order to achieve peace. Their answer:

“False.Seven wars and terror activities lasting more than six decades during which Israel w

as forced to defend its citizens has not altered the peace-loving nature of Israelis who continuously seek new ways to achieve mediation and compromise, talks and coexistence. We have encountered difficulties and challenges on the road to establishing peace with the Palestinians and other neighbors and we pray for the day when our attempts will succeed. History proves that Israel has made extensive concessions for the sake of

peace with its neighbors Jordan and Egypt”

So the recent move in the Knesset to make it an act of treason for any Israeli to support Boycott Divestments and Sanctions against Israel is ok by the Ministry of Public Diplomacy? Good to know. The r

eason I include the answer to this myth is that it lends itself nicely to the following myth…

Myth: Palestine has always been an Arab country

False.Palestine was never an Arab state, and there has never been a “State of Palestine”. The term was coined to punish the Jews following the Bar Kochba Revolt against the Roman Empire. It refers to the

Philistines, the Jews historic rivals for control of Israel’s coastline. The Arabic language became dominant following the Muslim invasion in the 7th century. No Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in the Land of Israel. When the pre-eminent Arab-American historian Prof. Phillip Hitti of Princeton University testified a

gainst the Partition Plan before the Anglo-American Commission, he claimed that “throughout history, there has never been such a concept as Palestine”

So in the first “myth” we learn that Israel has tried to make peace with the Palestinians. I

n the headlines this week are mentions of talks between Israelis and the Palestinian authority- but hold up, according to this answer there is no such a thing as Palestine! If this is the case, who are these Palestinians the Israelis are negotiating with? Is Netanyahu hallucinating and talking to his invisible friend Mr. Abbas again?…

Perhaps proponents of the Hasbara fail to see their own ridiculous contradictions and rationalization of their own pietywhen faced with those who claim that these “Peace Talks” are yet another dog and pony show for the US, but there is an inherent problem with claiming that you will do everything in your power to create peace when you fail to recognize your partner’s existence.

So- Novice Israel traveler, when you travel abroad (particularly if you travel to a European country) and are asked why Israel routinely violates International Law by denying the rights of the Palestinians, simply state that there is no such thing as Palestine, hence, all of your actions are essentially committed against an imaginary group that does not exist- a ghost people that cannot feel pain, hope, desire, love, or even thirst or hunger (which is why the siege on Gaza is appropriate, right?) At this point your European counterpart would quietly excuse his or herself and contact the local mental institution to have you committed for insanity- claiming that a people is there and not there.

Unless of course your European counterpart is one of the millions of Palestinians waiting to return to the land that they never really lived in…. ya dig?

http://masbirim.gov.il/eng/index.html

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Written by Keren Carmeli

October 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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