Jewish Voice for Peace needs a new motto, something like “We’re not really anti-Zionist, but we always act that way.” Their latest screed about the Palestinian Nakba reads like a textbook produced by the Palestinian Authority, full of allegations designed to incite hatred and prevent peace. It levels charges of atrocities allegedly committed against Arab civilians by the Jews of 1948 Palestine, who had the temerity to try to defend themselves not only against 5 invading Arab armies, but also against local villages that had long been launching attacks against Jewish civilians and besieging Jewish Jerusalem.
Their “fact sheet” accuses Israel of war crimes, in blood-curdling detail that brings to mind accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust. This of course is not by accident. There are three themes that anti-Zionists use to try to relate the Palestinian narrative to the Holocaust. First, they attempt to present the Arabs as nothing more than peaceful innocent bystanders who became secondary victims of the Holocaust (ignoring the fact that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al Husseini spent the war years in Berlin where he encouraged the Nazis to commit full scale genocide against the Jews, recruited Muslims for the Nazis, and toured Auschwitz with Eichmann, probably to help plan a similar facility should the Germans have overrun Palestine). Secondly, they insist on the false equation of the mass industrial-scale extermination of European Jewry based on a horrific racist ideology, and the dislocation of Palestinian Arabs caused by another war of extermination against the Jews—this one started by their fellow Arabs. Finally, and most outrageously, they claim that current Israeli self-defense actions against the terrorist organizations Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad are morally or legally on a plane with Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews.
The descriptions used by JVP are almost all credited to one source: Ilan Pappe’s book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Pappe, for those unfamiliar with him, is a former Israeli lecturer at the University of Haifa who has since relocated to the University of Exeter in the UK. A doctrinaire Marxist who once ran for Knesset with the Communist-led Hadash party, he opposes the existence of Israel as a Jewish state but nonetheless supports "resistance" by Hamas, a radical Islamist movement that seeks to impose sharia law and at least tolerates, if not incites, violence against Christian "infidels" . Most tellingly, he also frankly admits that he is not really interested in facts: “‘We do [historiography] because of ideological reasons, not because we are truth seekers... ‘there is no such thing as truth, only a collection of narratives’.” This philosophy was exposed when one of Pappe’s graduate students, Teddy Katz, was shown to have falsified evidence about an alleged massacre at Tantura in 1948 by claiming that his interview subjects said one thing while the tapes of the interviews proved otherwise.
There are historians such as Benny Morris who have indeed documented incidents of expulsion and even murder of Arabs during Israel’s War of Independence, when the Jews were fighting for their lives and the Arabs were fighting to kill Jews. Israel, no more and no less than other countries, was not born without violence, without wrongs being committed, without people being displaced. All Americans who are not part of the original Native American population live on their land by virtue of military conquest, much of it involving acts worse than anything Israel is accused of by its worst enemies-- and Americans are not returning to a homeland for which we have pined and prayed for centuries. The same holds true for Canadians and Australians. So by what moral right do those who point the finger at Israel and bellow “J’accuse!” continue to reside in their own comfortable homes?
The blood libel is an old staple of anti-Semitism. Jews through the centuries have been slaughtered because of the now-rejected Catholic teaching that the Jews were responsible for killing Jesus, then for the myth that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood for matzah. Now we have the new blood libels against Israel. The most prominent has been the al-Dura affair, used as a bloody shirt to create a jihadist frenzy during the Arafat’s terror war—and now that the entirety of the filmed evidence has been aired in a French courtroom, the questions about what might have been a fully staged hoax are larger than ever. Other examples of media gullibility to Arab manipulation abound—the “Jenin massacre” in 2002 during which world media eagerly swallowed Palestinian claims of hundreds of deaths during Operation Defensive Shield, the doctored pictures from Lebanon , blame placed on Israel for the deaths of civilians killed by Hamas mines on a Gaza beach. Of course, while the sensationalist false reporting of these incidents makes headlines, the “corrections” are always buried in small type at the bottom of page 10.
JVP has chosen to perpetuate the tradition of the blood libel, hiding behind anti-Zionism as a politically correct shield. As self-described experts on anti-Semitism, their leadership can’t claim to be ignorant of what they are doing. So one can only conclude that they agree with Pappe: facts aren’t important, advancing the ideology is. And the ideology, sadly, is not one of peace, but of fanning the flames of anti-Israel hatred.