Debunking left-wing and Arab myths about Israel
Sometimes there are hidden gems hidden in the internet’s past, things that are relevant to the present, despite an earlier creation. Three years ago, Fred Maroun, an Arab from Lebanon currently living in Canada who self-identifies as a left-winger, wrote a post at The Times of Israel entitled “Debunking 25 left-wing and Arab myths from a left-wing Arab perspective.” Maroun does as promised, using data from reliably left-wing sources such as BBC, HuffPo, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and from some pro-Israel sources.
Maroun’s piece is a tour de force and those who support Israel should bookmark it. Here are a few excerpts that counter the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel nonsense that is now common currency in America:
2. “Israel keeps stealing Palestinian land”
Israel’s victories in defensive wars do not constitute stealing land. The land of Israel that is within the armistice lines resulting from the 1948 war (and usually referred to as the Green Lines) was legitimately acquired by Israel in a war of self-defence. Judea & Samaria and Gaza were also legitimately acquired by Israel in another war of self-defence in 1967 when several Arab armies congregated around Israel with the objective of destroying it. Israel later gave back the vast majority of that land in a peace agreement with Egypt, it voluntarily relinquished Gaza, and it voluntarily agreed to allow the Palestinian Authority to administer a large part of Judea & Samaria, referred to as areas A and B. What disturbs me as an Arab is that Arabs have at every turn made the wrong decisions, leaving them with less land, and even now that the Palestinians have had a chance to show their administrative capability in Gaza and parts of Judea & Samaria, they transformed Gaza into a terrorist base and they chose to fund terrorism in Judea & Samaria.
4. “Israel is an apartheid/racist state”
Israeli laws and police practices do not give preference to any race. All ethnicities, including Arabs, are treated equally. Freedom of religion is also guaranteed and strictly enforced, and so is protection of holy sites of all religions. One proof that Israel values diversity is its fast growing Muslim population. The only preference given to Jews is that Jews have an unlimited right of return to Israel, under the Law of Return, which is understandable considering that one of the reasons Israel exists is to be a haven for Jews who are persecuted elsewhere. Any of many Muslim and Christian countries, some of which are very rich, could provide such a law for Muslims or Christians if they so wished, but none of them do. Israel should be praised by leftists like me for ignoring race, gender, level of education, and economic background in order to accept and support any Jews who wish to return to Israel.
Israel also guarantees freedom of assembly, movement, and voting to all citizens, which include Arabs. There are a dozen Arabs in the Knesset (Parliament) and an Arab judge of the Supreme Court. Further, Arabs are very well represented in Israeli universities, both among students and staff. As a left-wing Arab who knows the level of bigotry and racism that exists in the Arab world, Israel is a breath of fresh air. I want the same for us!
6. “Jewish settlements in the “West Bank” are illegal”
There are reasonable legal opinions on both sides of the question of whether Jewish settlements in Judea & Samaria are illegal, but there is no dispute on one fact, which is that the Arab deportations of Jews from Judea & Samaria during the war of 1948 were illegal and even criminal. The return of Jews to that land is only fair, and there is no reasonable rationale as to why Jews in Judea & Samaria should not be welcome within a Palestinian state if such a state was formed on that land, unless one is to accept that Arabs are incapable of living peacefully with Jews.
As an Arab, I know that many if not most individual Arabs are capable of living peacefully with Jews. If Arab regimes are not capable of it, Jews should not be the ones punished by being banned from settling on land that has a Jewish history that is far deeper than any Palestinian history.
There are 23 other equally clearly stated, well-sourced, and meticulously argued facts. You can find all of Maroun’s posts here.
Maroun may call himself a “leftist,” but he is a liberal, from a time when people of goodwill understood that the Jewish state is legitimate and appropriate. Jews have occupied that land continuously for almost 4,000 years, speaking the same language, and worshipping the same God. Real liberals once found it reasonable a people who have been hounded from pillar to post in every land in which they’ve found themselves have a right to control their ancestral land, which they govern as a liberal democracy.
IMAGE: Praying at the Western Wall by 777jew on Pixabay.
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