by: Bill Adams, Senior National Representative, BFP United States
Israel faces unrelenting criticism born of a prevailing false narrative that casts the Jewish state as the colonizing oppressor and the Palestinians as the colonized oppressed. We offer several examples from the most widespread and influential form of disinformation in modern culture: social media, and more specifically, X, formerly Twitter. We then counter that false narrative with the facts framed in an accurate understanding of Israel’s modern history, societal values and cultural aspirations.
“The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime…tantamount to genocide.”
—Presidency | South Africa @PresidencyZA
The Facts: Hamas commits a double war crime by targeting Israeli civilians while using their own civilians as human shields. Israel neither targets nor seeks to punish Palestinian civilians in any way. In fact, the Israeli military takes extraordinary measures and employs precision targeting methods to strike Hamas terrorists, tunnels and weapons caches while protecting non-combatant Palestinian lives.
“As people headed to their homes and areas after the temporary truce took effect, they found the bodies of Palestinian martyrs on the coastal road in the Gaza Strip.”
— ساج @sajeda1512
The Facts: Israel cherishes life and regrets the death of Palestinian civilians. However, the death of Hamas combatants, which many of the casualties are, is the necessary result of Israel’s stated goal of eradicating Hamas as both a terror threat to Israel and a controlling oppressor of the Palestinian people. When Israel calls on Gazan civilians to retreat from their homes for the safety of designated areas, the Hamas totalitarian regime forces their people to stay and die gloriously as martyrs.
“This is how the Zionist apartheid premeditatedly bombs ambulances and refugee families in the Gaza Strip, an extermination camp where nowhere is a safe haven.”
—inaya bisma @inaya_bisma
The Facts: What interest would an advanced, law-based, justice-seeking, sovereign state have in bombing ambulances, children, patients or refugees? None, of course. When innocent civilians are displaced, wounded or killed, it is because Hamas’s belligerence has put the entire region at risk. Often, the terror group’s own rockets have fallen short, hitting civilians in Gaza and increasing the death toll.
“Over a hundred unknown #Palestinians were buried in a mass grave this morning in Khan Yunis after being brought from the #AlShifa #Hospital in #Gaza, which is now under direct #Israeli military occupation. #IsraelIsATerrorist #IsraeliTerrorist #Gaza_Genocide #FreePalestine”
“The Israeli army targeted the infant intensive care unit of Kemal Advan Hospital in Jibaliya, north of Gaza City.”
The Facts: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is clearing Hamas terror operatives and infrastructure from within, underneath and around Gazan hospitals. Israel’s army liberated Al-Shifa patients and staff from Hamas, which was abusing them as human shields. Israeli medical personnel have come to their aid, bringing tons of much-needed aid. Rather than ceaseless condemnation from ill-informed social media hacks, Israel deserves universal praise for its compassionate wartime posture that spares Gazan lives and gives hope to hurting Palestinians.
“We are now beginning to see the full scale of the apocalyptic obliteration of the centre of Gaza by a fascist regime. Collective punishment. Ethnic cleansing. Genocide.”
—Howard Beckett @BeckettUnite
The Facts: Let’s unpack this devilish canard. Fascism refers to a racist, xenophobic regime marked by strict control and minimal individual rights. Israel is a liberal democracy with full civil rights that consistently ranks among the freest societies in the world.
Collective punishment entails sanctions imposed on an entire group for acts perpetrated by one member of the group. Israel acts against the terror organization Hamas for its many years of terrorizing Israel’s populace, culminating in the massacre of 1,200 innocents. Even so, Israel is not vengefully attacking but seizing on a rapidly closing window of international support to reduce a destabilizing terror threat.
Ethnic cleansing describes the systematic, forced removal of ethnic, racial or religious groups with the aim of making a region ethnically homogeneous. Israel—far more ethnically, racially and religiously diverse than any Arab nation—wages a limited war against an Iranian-backed terror army that is sworn to Israel’s destruction. At its founding, Israel welcomed all peoples of the region to be part of the reborn state. The several thousand Arabs who said “yes” are now two million strong and thriving citizens of Israel.
Genocide is the intentional annihilation of a people, in whole or in part. Israel is not destroying but preserving a free state for a free people, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian or a host of other religions and ethnicities. The IDF is the most humane army in the world. No other military goes as far to reduce civilian casualties, with millions of calls, texts, leaflets, and selective warning munitions. With its military might, Israel could have leveled Gaza from the air long ago. Instead, it waited 19 years, finally sending its soldiers door-to-door, many of whom will die while preserving the lives of Palestinians.
“For Palestinians to accept the right of Zionist, racist, #ApartheidIsrael to exist, will be like if Nelson Mandela would have accepted the right of #ApartheidSouthAfrica to exist…!”
—Carl Niehaus @niehaus_carl
The Facts: After shouting “Nazi,” the most triggering accusation on social media leveled at Israel is apartheid. Plainly put, Israel is not an apartheid state. Since 1967, Israel has managed a very complex humanitarian and security situation, involving several million stateless Arabs who assumed the “Palestinian” identity in 1964. In areas where Israel has given over security and civil authority to the Palestinian Authority (PA), terror abounds. The Gaza Strip, where Hamas expelled the PA in a violent coup, serves as one example. As a result, Israel is forced to spend billions securing its nine million citizens, 20% of whom are Arabs, all with full rights and privileges.
“Resisting the Israeli occupation is not a crime. Denying the oppressed Palestinians the right to resist is the crime. #GazaConcentrationCamp #InvokeGenocideConvention”
—Ahmed Samir @AhmedSamirPS
The Facts: There’s no Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip. In 2005, Israel pulled out of Gaza so completely that even the graves were exhumed. Since 1967, Israel has extended military and civil authority over portions of the Judea and Samaria, or the so-called West Bank, while facilitating partial settlement on 2% of the land mass.
The Bottom Line
While the merit of these facts should persuade, they are yet unlikely to sway the ardent social media activist committed to the false narrative that drives their anti-Israel rants. Armed with the facts, truth-lovers might influence more simply by confronting with the question, “Why do you want to blame Israel?” The answer to that can be nothing other than anti-Semitism. And that must be exposed for the evil it is.
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