Myths and Realities about Israel
Myth No. 1: About UN Partition Resolution
The UN voted in 1947 to create the State of Israel in the land
between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. Israel accepted the compromise
while the Arabs rejected it.
REALITY: The 1947 UN resolution is a General Assembly resolution,
not a Security Council resolution. The UN General Assembly can
only make recommendations. Recommendations have no obligatory character.
Member states are free to accept or reject them.
Israel’s apologists are quick to say that Israel accepted this compromise.
The Partition Plan granted 52% of Palestine to the Jews who were 30% of the
population and owned no more than 6% of the land. This is a net gain on
the part of Israel, not a compromise.
Israel’s apologists are quick to claim that the Arabs started the 1948
war. Ben-Gurion himself in Rebirth and Destiny of Israel wrote:
“Until the British left, no Jewish settlement, however remote, was entered
or seized by the Arabs, while the Haganah, under severe and frequent attack,
captured many Arab positions and liberated Tiberias and Haifa, Jaffa and Safad”
(p. 530). Israel’s military activity started well before any attack by the
Israel’s apologists are quick to accuse Jordan of occupying and annexing
what is now called the West Bank. While not a single Arab soldier entered
the area allotted to Israel in the UN resolution, Israel occupied and annexed
areas in excess of what was allotted to it in the UN Partition Plan. These
areas include, among other areas, the Arab cities of Nazareth, Jaffa, Acre,
Lydda and Ramleh. Thus Israel expanded from 52% to 78%.
Moreover, according to the UN Partition Plan, 49% of the population of
the Jewish state was supposed to be Arabs. Through a war of ethnic cleansing
this percentage was reduced to 12%. The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians
was the result of a deliberate master plan, code named Plan Dalet.
In light of all the above, it is ludicrous to pretend that Israel accepted
UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947.
Myth No. 2: About Annexation
The military occupation of Palestinian territories has never been
converted by Israel into an annexation.
REALITY: Immediately after the 1967 war, the Israeli government issued
an order declaring that an area comprising the Old City of Jerusalem and
some adjacent territory should be subject to the law, jurisdiction and administration
of Israel. Thus Israel expanded municipal East Jerusalem from 6 km2 to 73
km2 of the West Bank. Furthermore, Jewish colonization of East
Jerusalem went beyond the extended municipal boundaries to include what Israel
calls Greater and Metropolitan Jerusalem comprising 330 km2 and 665 km2,
The Annexation of the Old City of Jerusalem was carried out under the
Law and Administration Ordinance (Amendment No. 11 of June 27, 1967). Not
only did Israel annex East Jerusalem but it also feverishly worked toward
the judaization of its population by expropriating Arab land to build Jewish
As for the rest of the occupied territories, the real reason for not annexing
them is the racist nature of the Zionist state. The only way for Israel to
annex the occupied territories is by cleansing them of their indigenous inhabitants,
following the pattern of 1948 (see Myth No. 1 above).
Furthermore, on December 14, 1981, Israel officialy annexed the Golan Heights.
The legislation, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights
was adopted by the Knesset by a majority of 63 against 21.
Myth No. 3: Jordan attacked first
Israel in 1967 notified Jordan that it wished to maintain non-belligerent
policy between the two states and that Jordan nevertheless attacked Israel.
REALITY: “The pretence that Israel would not attack Jordan
is belied by the secret decision adopted by the Israeli cabinet on June
4, 1967 (which was made public on June 4, 1972) to attack Egypt, Syria and
Jordan on the following day” (Henry Cattan, Jerusalem, p.69).
Also, Israel was well aware that Jordan signed on May 30, 1967 a defense
pact with Egypt, allowing Egyptians to take command of the Jordanian army.
Myth No. 4: Recognizing and making peace with Israel
When Egypt recognized and made peace with Israel in 1979 the entire
Sinai was returned to Egypt.
REALITY: The purpose of such a statement is to give the impression
that Israel is willing to withdraw from the land it occupied in exchange
for peace. The return of the entire Sinai would be a proof of that. In this
context, the name of Anwar Sadat is mentioned.
Jimmy Carter’s memoirs: Keeping the Faith: Memoirs of a President
shatters this impression. Menachem Begin did not want to withdraw from the
entire Sinai. For Israel to come to it senses, it necessitated the pressures
that only an American President could have applied.
For Israel’s apologists to say that when the Palestinian Authority agreed
to recognize and negotiate with Israel, Israel began to “transfer control
of West Bank lands” is further evidence that Israel’s goal is not to achieve
with the Palestinians a peace resembling the peace with Egypt, (the withdrawal
from the entire occupied territories, similar to its withdrawal from the
entire Sinai), but to establish another form of occupation.
Israel's defenders claim that by mid-2000 more than 90% of the Arab population
of the West Bank and more than 25% of its land were under complete Palestinian
control. This only demonstrates what Israel is really after: an indigenous
authority controlling its indigenous population, while Israel continues to
build Jewish settlements in the remaining 75% of Palestinian land. The result
of such policy is the establishment of numerous disconnected Palestinian
enclaves (bantustans) in a sea of settlements rendering the free movement
of the Palestinians difficult, if not impossible.
Myth No. 5: Barak’s “unprecedented offer”
Israel made an “unprecedented offer” consisting of giving back
95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza. Jerusalem itself would be partitioned
into Israeli and Palestinians sectors.
REALITY: The Jerusalem that is being referred to here is just
the Old City of Jerusalem, not the entire East and West Jerusalems. Not only
will Israel keep West Jerusalem but it also wants to partition East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians, by the way, accepted to give Israel sovereignty over the
Jewish holy places, something that the Israelis refused to give to the Palestinians.
They rather talked about “religious sovereignty” over Haram al-Sahrif, and
“autonomy” over the Christians and Muslims quarters.
The 95% of the West Bank referred to is in fact 95% minus the expanded
municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, that Israel has already annexed (see Myth
No. 2 above), which makes Barak’s offer more like 85% of all the West Bank.
Furthermore, the so-called Palestinian state that would have been created
according to the “unprecedented offer” would have control neither over its
natural resources nor over it air space (For more details see: Camp
Myth No. 6: Israel never target civilians
Israel does not deliberately target civilians.
REALITY: How else can we qualify dropping a 2,000 pound bomb on an
apartment building in a civilian neighborhood supposedly to kill one “terrorist
Also, a Jan. 3, 2003 editorial in The Washington Post had this to say:
“Israeli paramilitary forces have reportedly been operating something they
call ‘the lottery,’ in which they detain Palestinians and order them to
choose from pieces of paper labeled with punishments such as ‘broken leg’
and ‘smashed head.’ The practice was reported by an Israeli newspaper on
Dec. 22, more than a week before Amran Abu Hamediye was beaten to death.”
This is what a self-censorship press revealed. What is not being reported
must be even worse.
Myth No. 7: The “only democracy”
Israel is the “only democracy” in the Middle East.
REALITY: How many times have Israel’s apologists repeated this
slogan? In fact, Israel is not a democracy by Western standards. Not a single
Western democracy occupies another people’s land, rules another people and
subjects them to all kinds of humiliations, torture and mistreatment. Israel
indeed is a democracy, but a democracy by Zionist standards, just as South
Africa, under the White minority rule, was a democracy by apartheid standards.
It is true that Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have the right to vote
in Israel. So are all the citizens of the Arab countries. This however doesn’t
make them democracies. In Israel, there is no equality between Jews and
non-Jews. In a Jewish state, Jews are more equal than non-Jews. It has always
been that way and unless Israel becomes the country of all its citizens, it
will lack the characteristics of a Western democracy.