Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro breaks down four myths generally propagated by Left-wing media about the history of Israel and the Palestinians in the latest episode of Shapiro’s YouTube series “Facts.”
“The things that we’ve been seeing on our screens from Hamas are atrocities, obviously,” Shapiro said in the video. “But the media have said that these atrocities, they’re really missing context. The context they are providing all that context is a bunch of lies.”
The four myths Shapiro dispels are, one, that Israel is historically Muslim territory; two, that Israel is the cause of the failure of land partition in the Middle East; three, that Israel expelled all Palestinian Arabs from British mandate Palestine; and four, that Israel is an apartheid state.
Challenging the first myth, Shapiro said it’s a “pure and absolute lie” to suggest Israel is Muslim territory. “Israel is historically Jewish territory, according to the Bible and certain interpretations of contemporaneous archeology,” he explained. “Joshua entered the land of Israel in 1,400 B.C., the Kingdom of David was found around 1,000 B.C., the first Temple of Solomon was built in approximately 957 B.C., the second temple was built in approximately 515 B.C., the Hasmonean dynasty was founded in 166 B.C., Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 [C.E.], and the Jews exiled from Israel in 136 C.E.”
“After the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the Romans, in an attempt to shame the Jews, renamed the area Palestine as an insult after the Jews historic enemy, the Philistines,” Shapiro continued.
“Even during the exile there was continuous Jewish presence in the land,” he said. “Islam, which is the religion of the Palestinian Arabs, was not even founded until the seventh century. C.E. or A.D. No independent Arab state has ever existed in the area known as Palestine.”
Moving on to the second myth, Shapiro explained that it’s a “pure lie” to blame Israel for the failure of land partition in the Middle East, going back to 1917, when the British promised the Jews the entire area of Palestine, all the way to the present.
In one example, Shapiro noted that the Arabs began pogroms, the mass murder of Jews in Jerusalem, by 1920, “as a sign of anger at the British mandate in Palestine.”
The British government then repeatedly made concessions to the Arabs in Palestine. By 1937, the “Arabs would get the entire Negev and nearly the entirety of Judea and Samaria, and the Jews would get a tiny swath of territory along the coast, including Tel Aviv and Haifa,” and by 1939, “the British, in response again to Arab pressure, restricted Jewish immigration,” Shapiro explained.
The Arab League in 1967 then announced the “three no’s: No peace, no recognition, no negotiations with all of Israel’s enemies.”
In response, “Israel launched a preemptive strike on the Egyptian air force inaugurating the 1967 Six-Day War,” the author explained. “This ended with Israel gaining miraculously the Sinai Desert, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria — now known as the West Bank, as well as the entirety of Jerusalem.”
Israel then made numerous concessions seeking peace, Shapiro noted. By 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat, the terrorist leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), “91% control over the West Bank in contiguous territory and an Israeli security presence along 15% of the border with Jordan,” he said. “Arafat walked away from the table and began the second intifada, a massive terror wave that ended with the death of thousands of Jews.”
“In 2005, Israeli unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip,” the conservative said. “Hamas immediately took it over and began using it as a base for terrorist activity. That continues until this day. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered even more than Barak in terms of territory with some land swaps to maintain Jewish-populated areas in exchange for some Israeli territory. Olmert even offered to relinquish Israeli sovereignty at the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, as well as the entire old city of Jerusalem, to a five-member non-sovereign international trusteeship comprising Israel. The PA Jordan, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia. PA head Mahmoud Abbas walked away without a counteroffer.”
Tackling the third myth, Shapiro said it’s false that Israel expelled all Palestinian Arabs from British-mandate Palestine.
“Israel’s founding documents asked Arabs to stay,” he said. “Israel’s Declaration of Independence, in the middle of an ongoing war with Arab nations reads, ‘We appeal in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the building of the state on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.'”
“Debate has raged for decades over how many Arabs left the nascent state of Israel thanks to expulsion and how many left because they were told to leave by their own leaders,” he explained. “An estimated 250,000 to 300,000 refugees left before their homes were even in a war zone. We didn’t compel them to leave. They left on their own view — or rather on that of the Arab leaders who advised them even before trouble started the collapse of Arab society during the 1947-48 war.”
Shapiro noted that “Israel will do everything in its power to help the resettlement of these refugees,” adding, “Arab nations refused to take in hundreds of thousands of Arabs turning their coreligionists into refugees who have maintained that status for literally decades, a situation unparalleled in human history.”
And finally, myth four: Shapiro said Israel is “most certainly not an apartheid state.”
“Arab citizens of Israel have the same rights as Jewish citizens,” he said. “Twenty percent of all citizens of Israel are Arab. The vast majority of Palestinians live under Palestinian rule in the West Bank. All Arabs in the Gaza Strip lived under Hamas rule. Israel’s population, again, is 20% Arab. Arab parties have sat in the Israeli government. An Arab sits on Israel’s Supreme Court.”
Alternatively, “there are zero Jews living under Palestinian rule,” he said. “The only apartheid state is any state of Palestine.”
“These myths matter because they lead people into a peculiar moral relativism whereby attempted murder or successful murder of Jews is excused,” Shapiro asserted. “And meanwhile, the evil human rights violations of the Palestinians are minimized.”
“We ought to listen, not make up silly excuses as to why they don’t actually mean what they say,” Shapiro said. “The consequence of buying your own lies, not even their lies, your own lies, is dead Jews.”