Frequently Told Lies (FTL)
You like IAVFA? You want to be a member of IAVFA but you don't know how to 'digest' the BDS' lies about Israel?
We at IAVFA think that Israel is not exempt from criticism. But we also believe that there is a big difference between a legitimate argument and relevant criticism, and a monumental campaign of false claims of apartheid, genocide and proclamations that Israel was born in sin. The following short answers do not attempt to defend Israeli governments. They are meant only to refute some of the false claims against Israel.
Lie No. 1: "Zionism is a colonialist movement. You conquered from the Palestinians land that is not yours"
Truth: Zionism is a national liberation movement, like many others formed in the 19th and 20th centuries. Zionism did not "conquer" and there was no Palestine at the time. Many Jewish people, who were persecuted, made their way to a piece of sparsely populated land, under Ottoman Empire rule. Herzl appealed to world leaders for permission to allocate this land to the Jews. Consent was received in 1917, with the Balfour Declaration granting “a national home for the Jewish People”. Until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, not one Arab was driven away from his land, and every piece of land the Jews settled on was paid for in full.
Lie No. 2: "The Jews drove millions of Palestinians off their land. That is ethnic cleansing"
Truth: In the first half of the 20th century, there were waves of population exchanges for the purpose of establishing nation states. About 60 million people were uprooted from their homelands. In 1947, the UN declared the establishment of two states – a Jewish State and an Arab State. The Jews accepted the decision. The Arabs rejected it, and declared a war of annihilation. Many Arabs fled, a few were driven away following the invasion of the Arab state armies into the newly born State. About 711,000 Arabs became refugees. As a result of that conflict about 850,000 Jews were forced to leave Arab countries and their possessions were confiscated.
Lie No. 3: "Israel enforces an apartheid policy in the occupied territories"
Truth: Israel has completely withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, and most West Bank Arabs live under the Palestinian Authority. Over the last few decades, Israel has accepted, time and again, a settlement of two states for two peoples. Arafat rejected Bill Clinton’s proposal, and Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) rejected a similar proposal by Ehud Olmert. On the very day that the Palestinian leadership accepts a two state solution – a peace agreement will be within reach.
Lie No. 4: "The IDF arrests Palestinians in order to lead a terror regime in Judea and Samaria"
Truth: The Israeli army arrests only Palestinians who are suspected of hostile activity. The struggle against terrorism is not Israel's struggle, but a difficult and complex struggle of both the free world's countries and some of the Arab countries. Even the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), is fighting terrorism. Thanks to the activity of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as for the establishment of the separation wall, the level of terror and violence had decreased. Any struggle against terrorism by any country, could result in harming innocent people. No country is a foolproof.
Lie No. 5: "Israel murdered thousands of children in Gaza"
Truth: Israel struggles against Hamas, which is recognized by the free World as a terrorist organization. The Hamas charter calls for the extermination of Jews. Hamas uses children as human shields, and launches rockets out of schools and densely populated areas. Israel takes extreme measures, more than any other army in the world, to avoid hurting innocent people. But Hamas’ cynical use of civilians and children resulted in unfortunate harm to innocents.
Lie No. 6: "Israel is strangling Gaza in a siege with no reason"
Truth: Israel withdrew from Gaza a decade ago in order to enable its people to flourish under self-rule. Hamas chose the path of violence and terror. Ten years after the disengagement, the great majority of the areas evacuated by Israel are used as training grounds for terrorist organizations. The violence against Israel is not a result of the siege. The siege was implemented because of the violence.
Lie No. 7: "Israel does not let the Palestinian Authority manage the population in the territories"
Truth: Most Palestinians living under Palestinian Authority rule do not see Israeli soldiers and do not live under Israeli rule. Almost all the Israeli checkpoints have been removed as a result in the decline of terror. In most aspects, the Palestinians run their lives without Israeli interference.
Lie No. 8: "The Palestinians want peace with Israel, but Israel does not want peace with them"
Truth: The Arabs were the ones who said “No” to the Peel Commission Partition Proposal in 1937, to the UN Partition Proposal of 1947. After the Camp David conference in 2000, President Clinton presented both sides with parameters for a peace agreement: two states for two peoples, including the division of Jerusalem, withdrawal from 90% of the West Bank as well as from the entire Gaza Strip, and rehabilitation of the refugees. Israel decided to accept the terms. Arafat refused, and launched the second Intifada. In 2005 Israel withdrew from the entire Gaza Strip, up to the last centimeter. Since that time, almost 20,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza towards Israel.
Lie No. 9: "Israel should respect the Palestinians’ ’Right of Return’ in accordance with the international law"
Truth: Tens of millions of people who became refugees after the two World Wars did not get a Right of Return because such a right would have caused world chaos. International law does not include such a right. Petitions by refugees from central Europe after the Second World War, and by refugees from Cyprus, were dismissed out of hand. Mass return of refugees to their fore-fathers’ birth place would mean the destruction of the State of Israel.
Lie No. 10: "Continuing the settlement project is proof that Israel does not want peace"
Truth: The settlements are at the center of a heated debate within the Israeli public. But the peace proposals make it clear that the settlements are not an obstacle for peace. Israel has evacuated thousands of settlers from the Gaza Strip. In any future agreement, there will be settlers living in settlement blocks on 5% of the area.
Lie No. 11: "Israel is committing Palestinian genocide"
Truth: Some 11,000 to 12,000 Palestinians have been killed between 1967 and 2015. The vast majority were involved in hostile activities. Relative to the size of the population this number is smaller than the average death rate from road accidents. One can call it many things – but not genocide.
Lie No. 12: "Only an academic and consumer boycott of Israel will improve the situation of the Palestinians and bring peace"
Truth: Objective data proves that the Palestinians’ situation has improved under Israeli rule. For example, in 1967 there was not even one academic institute in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.Under Israeli rule, scores of institutions of higher education have been established. The will of Palestinians for peace has to be respected, but one should realize that the main demand of the boycott movement is not “put an end to occupation”, and not even “two lands for two peoples’’’ but rather “the right of return” i.e. the annihilation of the State of Israel.
Lie No. 13: "The definition of Israel as a "Jewish state" is an expression of racism"
Truth: The most important principle in the UN Charter is the right to self-determination. Jews who want autonomy, as well as Palestinians, have that right. Jews have fought for the right to self-determination because they suffered persecution. Czechoslovakia was divided into two nation states; Yugoslavia was split into six entities because each people claimed their right to self-determination. An effort to deny any people this right is a violation of international law, and in itself is an expression of racism. As a Jewish democratic state, non-Jews have full and equal rights in Israel.