Western Wall and Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.
Jerusalem, Israel. Getty Images.


Four Pervasive Myths About Israel And Why They’re Wrong 


Among Israel’s numerous critics around the world today, it may come as a surprise that some of the most vocal critics of the Jewish State reside on the far-left of the political spectrum.

Those who assert they are “allies of the oppressed” and claim to stand against things like “colonization” and the “erasure of indigenous rights,” find themselves leading the fight against a state of indigenous people who decolonized their homeland to escape oppression.

In recent times, the dishonest attacks made by these radicals have become so common that they have moved from being chanted on college campuses to being echoed by politicians in congress.

So here are the four myths about the state of Israel and the truth behind each one.

Myth #1: Israel Is An Apartheid State

On May 15th, 2021 “squad” member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took a jab at Israel on twitter saying, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.”

According to Cornell Law, “Apartheid refers to the implementation and maintenance of a system of legalized racial segregation in which one racial group is deprived of political and civil rights.”

South Africa became an Apartheid state in June of 1948 when Daniel F. Malan’s National Party took control. Under Apartheid numerous laws were enacted, subjecting South Africa’s black majority population to strict forms of segregation.

In the state of Israel today, Israeli Arabs — who comprise around 20% of the total population — have full access to all of the rights and opportunities that their Jewish neighbors do. This is explicitly protected in the State’s constitution.

It’s been reported that in 2016, 23% of Israeli doctors, 46% of Israeli pharmacists, and 16% of the students in all of Israeli higher education were Arabs. There are also numerous Arabs serving in the Knesset and Supreme Court, directly contributing to the future of the country.

There is also an argument to be made that because Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, Arabs living there have far more opportunity and freedom than their Arab brethren anywhere else in the region.

Aside from Israeli Arabs, oftentimes those who make accusations of ‘Israeli Apartheid’ do so in reference to Israel’s treatment of Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The problem with this is, aside from select areas of the West Bank, Israel is not the governing body of either of these regions, so the definition of apartheid cannot be correctly applied.

The Gaza Strip has been under the control of Hamas — an internationally recognized terror organization — since they were democratically elected in 2006, while the majority of population-heavy cities in the West Bank have been controlled by the Palestinian Authority since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.

While heightened security and occasional Israeli involvement in these areas occur due to terror threats, falsely attributing the poor quality of life Palestinians face to race-based ‘Israeli Apartheid’ instead of the terror organizations that run their communities is dishonest at best.

Take it from Fredrick W. De Klerk, the South African leader who won a Nobel peace prize for bringing South African apartheid to an end in 1993: “I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state.”

Myth #2: Israel Engages In Ethnic Cleansing

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, ethnic cleansing can be defined as “the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity.” A few examples that come to mind are the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide and the Rwandan genocide.

In other words, some of the greatest atrocities in all of human history.

On November 5th, 2020 representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) lashed out on Twitter in response to an Israeli sanctioned destruction of Bedouin tents that were built illegally. She claimed, “The United States of America should not be bankrolling ethnic cleansing. Anywhere.”

The claim that Israel is ethnically cleansing its own Arab population or the Arab population in the Palestinian territories is undeniably false when looking at the numbers. According to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, in 2013 there were 1.648 million Arab Israelis who comprised a total of 20.6% of the population. Flash forward to today, the population has grown to 2.03 million. That is an increase of roughly 380,000 in just ten years.

Likewise, significant population increases have also occurred in the Palestinian territories.

According to the CIA, the estimated population of Gaza in 2022 was 1.99 million with a 2.02% annual growth rate. Compared to the full list of populations that the CIA tracks, Gaza’s rate is relatively impressive. Furthermore, Andres Thomsen of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) claims that figure will double in the next few decades, reaching 4.8 million by 2050.

The CIA also reports a healthy population increase in the West bank, with 2022 seeing a 1.69% growth rate and population of three million.

Considering all of the population growth, if the accusation of Israel ethnically cleansing Arabs — Israeli or Palestinian — were to be true, one thing is certain; Israel is terrible at it.

Myth #3: Israeli Settlements Are An Obstacle To Peace

From recent statements made by the Biden Administration to comments from the UN, a claim is often made that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are the primary obstacle to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Taking Israel’s extensive history of pursuing peace into account, it’s no surprise the Jewish state has on many occasions taken the bait and attempted to halt settlements.

Unfortunately, it has become apparent those concessions were made in vain because Palestinians largely see the entire state of Israel as a settlement. Not just the West Bank.

According to the Washington Institute, over a six year polling period, “a plurality of respondents in the West Bank and Gaza have generally chosen ‘regaining all of historical Palestine from the river to the sea’ as their preference. There was an exception in 2017, when 44 percent of West Bank respondents, a seven-point plurality, said that ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to achieve a two-state solution was their main goal. By 2020, however, West Bank support for a maximalist Palestine rose sharply to two-thirds—even higher than in Gaza, where the option garnered 56 percent support.”

This sobering reality was demonstrated in Israel’s pullout of the Gaza strip in 2005.

Israel not only withdrew its entire military presence from the Gaza strip, it also forcibly removed every single Jewish settlement within it. The Government was so fixated on an unlikely peace that they forced their own people out of their homes.

Flash forward to today, the Gaza strip can best be described as a terror powerhouse.

Various groups dedicated to Israel’s destruction such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad control the streets, frequently shooting rockets over the border into Israeli civilian areas.

If Israel were to completely remove itself and its Jewish citizens from the West Bank today, it would most likely suffer the same fate.

Myth #4: The Jews And Arabs Were At Peace Before 1948

Many claim that before 1948 there was a meaningful peace between Jews and Arabs living in the Levant. It wasn’t until the creation of Israel — they claim — that peace was destroyed.

This is blatant history revision.

Starting around 1920, nationalist Arab groups carried out some of the most grotesque violence against Jews the region had seen in a period of nearly two thousand years.

In 1936, Arabs living in the British mandate initiated the infamous Arab Revolt, a three year wave of violence against both the British and Jews.

As a result of the revolt, some 400 Jews were killed.

The 1937 Peel Commission which was sent by Britain to investigate the cause of the violence found that the revolt was largely motivated by the Arab’s desire for independence and a disapproval of Jewish immigration into the region.

This was not the only example of violence. Many instances such as the Nebi Musa riots of 1920, Jaffa riots of 1921, Hebron Massacre, and Palestine riots of 1921 were all initiated for similar reasons and collectively claimed the lives of hundreds of Jews.

Furthermore, the most prominent Arab leader to preside over the Mandate of Palestine was Haj Amin al-Husseini, a rabid antisemite. From 1941-1943 both Adolf Hitler and SS Chief Heinrich Himmler met with Haj Amin in Germany to discuss the continuation of Hitler’s persecution of Jews, this time in Palestine.

Hitler affirmed that his goal was “the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space under the protection of British power.”

Jacob Falach is an associate producer at The Daily Wire. You can find him on Instagram at @thatjewishconservative.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire. 

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