In July and August of 2014, almost four thousand missiles were fired by the terrorist group Hamas at Israeli civilian communities. It was a relentless barrage. One of the enemy’s objectives was to paralyze the country. But during those months, Israel not only defended itself in a war called Operation Protective Edge, it continued to work and live. The commerce of life limped a bit, but was never paralyzed.
Today Israel continues to be the target of a barrage. For now at least the weapons being fired are not missiles. Instead they are words. Literally by the thousands and from platforms around the world, carpet bombs of lies, libels and fallacies are launched at the Jewish state. Once again, the objective is to destroy Israel, in this case by delegitimizing it among the world’s family of nations. A parallel objective is to hit with such a barrage that Israel’s defenders are paralyzed, unable to respond or defend against the hailstorm of toxic lies.
Even as the high-tech missile interception system, Iron Dome, was developed to intercept rockets from Gaza, Israel today needs a global network of defenders from the “missiles” of Toxic Tongue Syndrome.
The training process for counteracting lies while they are in play, when assaults are launched and in the air, begins with knowing the enemy’s arsenal. Each weapon of deception must be identified. Identification includes basic understanding of every lie’s origin and assertion, its flaws and power, and basic ways to intercept or counteract it.
What follows is an introduction to rhetorical missiles stockpiled around the world in what might be called depots of deception. They can be divided into six categories: Conspiracy–Deicide Libels, Criminal Libels, Illegitimacy Libels, Catch-22 Fallacies, Palestinian Fallacies and Anti-Semitic Classics.
One reason that the lies about Israel work so well is because their roots are old; so old, that slanders and deceptions against Jews and Israel have worked their way into the cultural DNA of people groups throughout the West and Middle East.
Much of the world has several thousand years of history interacting with Jews. One of the oldest libels against Israel is the conspiracy myth. Its roots go back four thousand years. When the son of Israel’s namesake, Joseph, became Pharaoh’s right-hand man and caretaker of Egypt’s immense wealth, myths of secret Jewish cabals, plots and even superpowers were born. According to the Bible, Joseph’s rise to second place was God’s doing. In that day, however, the world regarded the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as a minor league deity. Four hundred years later, when this God humiliated and defeated the “major league” gods of Egypt, the illicit virus of Jewish conspiracy libels was born.
In short, it was inconceivable to the known world that their gods could be put down. When they were, there was an almost universal tendency to attribute their drubbing to the visible Jewish people instead of their invisible God. This tendency was somewhat understandable in light of the common conviction that various gods inhabited or incarnated themselves in the people who worshiped them, especially so in their political and religious leaders.
When the God of the Jews walloped Egypt’s home team panoply, the conspiracy–deicide libel was born. The sentiment went something like this: Somehow these Jews conspired to kill our gods; how dare they! This is a key reason why, days after releasing his Jewish workforce, Pharaoh came after them with genocidal intent. When he and his armies were spectacularly destroyed, the conspiracy–deicide libel entered the collective soul of global government superpowers. In the centuries that followed, Jewish influence in Babylonian and Persian halls of power and the defeat of the Greeks under Antiochus Epiphanes (the Hanukkah story), solidified the libel.
Little wonder that the deicide libel resonated in the non-Jewish psyche of early Christianity—or that it also does today among the descendants of Egypt and the nations Israel defeated when it first entered the Promised Land.
In the 21st century, conspiracy–deicide libels include the Temple Mount or Al-Aqsa libel. According to this lie, Jews are actively plotting to destroy Islamic mosques on the site in order to build a Third Temple. Israel repeatedly and emphatically denies the lie. Proof that this is not Israel’s intent is its persistent determination to maintain the “status quo” on the site even to the detriment of Jewish worship there. Among religious Jews, the prevailing sentiment is that only God can resolve the current situation so that, in His time and His way, the Third Temple prophesied by Ezekiel will be built.
Other well-known conspiracy libels today include Economic and Settlement libels. The myth that Israel has stolen and is determined to steal more land is as old as Joshua. The central role of Israel’s God in giving Jews the Land makes matters worse, causing these libels to resonate in the very marrow of Islam’s soul. Hence the often murderous passion with which these lies are perpetrated and embraced by most of its 1.6 billion devotees.
The supernatural-Jew-instead-of-God myth is also behind Zoological and other Dark Conspiracy libels. Zoological libels include reports that Israel is controlling fish in the Mediterranean, the weather and wild pigs in the biblical heartland of Judea–Samaria. Dark Conspiracy libels blame Jews and Israel for Islamic in-fighting, ISIS, 9/11 and every global economic woe. In most cases, the most effective interception of such whoppers is simply to expose them in places where they are told.
Inasmuch as Conspiracy–Deicide Libels stem from the religious realm, Criminal Libels are related to political and judicial worlds. They are, however, linked. The essence of a criminal charge is the allegation of moral injustice. Moral codes are a direct result of a culture’s belief system. What’s tricky is when belief systems make lying a moral virtue. The Islamic doctrine of taquiyya, for example, has taken root throughout the Shia Muslim world as an obligation to lie in service to Allah. In Western terms, it is the argument that “the end justifies the means.”
The most notorious criminal allegation against Jews, and hence Israel, is the Blood Libel. The outrageous assertion is rooted in 10th-century England when, in the wake of a murder, a story was fabricated that Jews kill a child every Easter in order to ensure their eventual return to the Holy Land. The fictional libel was soon conflated to assert that Jews used the blood of a Gentile child sacrifice to make unleavened bread for the biblical holy days of Passover. Today variations of the blood libel are exploding throughout the Middle East. Ironically, they are doing so even as Palestinian leadership provokes its children to sacrifice themselves in suicidal terror.
Other criminal libels against Israel include Genocide (against Arab–Palestinians), Illegal Occupation, Extrajudicial Executions, Excessive Force, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Apartheid, Expulsion (when Israel was reborn in 1948), UN Resolution Violation and Water Libels (the latter claiming Israel withholds water from Arab communities in the contested territory of Judea and Samaria—what the world calls Palestine).
Each of these is easily disproven by the facts. Many around the world believe them, however, because of a rhetorical technique called repetition. Israel’s enemies have used this technique to such perfection, many criminal libels against Israel are assumed to be true in Western media, parliaments and popular belief.
How are they neutralized? The only way is by telling the truth and doing so with as much repetition as Israel’s enemies.
Illegitimacy libels are closely related to the category of Criminal libels. The slight difference is that Illegitimacy libels appeal more to presuppositions and prejudices than to established law. Accordingly, Israel’s detractors regularly portray the country to be a colonial, expansionist venture as was the United Kingdom in the 19th century. One unique twist to this allegation is the assertion that most of Israel’s Jews are not really Jews. Instead, according the Khazar libel, they are descendants of a group in southern Russia that converted to Judaism in the 8th to 9th century.
The added twist gaining popularity in Europe as well as Islamic countries in the Middle East is that these Jews, who are not really Jews, are running Israel and doing so as Nazis carrying out pogroms and campaigns of genocide against Arab–Palestinians. At the same time and in breathtaking irony, there is a growing movement that argues the Nazis were right to target the Jews for annihilation.
As with all anti-Israel lies, one of the most effective strategies for neutralizing them is by proving hypocrisy. Palestinians who call Israel a Nazi state are not keen to let the world see its infatuation with Hitler.
Catch-22 fallacies are “cursed if you do, cursed if you don’t” arguments. Followed to their logical conclusions, they either reinforce Israel’s sworn enemies or result in the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.
In this category, fallacies that weaken Israel and strengthen its enemies include the Settlements Fallacy (take them away and there will be peace), the Peace-is-up-to-Israel Fallacy (for example, unilateral withdrawal to 1967 “lines”), and the Two-State Solution Fallacy. Regarding the latter, some argue that any two-state settlement with the Palestinians is a fallacy. Perhaps it is. But the self-evident fallacy is calling this arrangement a solution. In and of themselves, two separate states will not result in peace.
Catch-22 arguments that would result in Israel’s dissolution as a Jewish state include the closely related Refugee Fallacy and Right of Return Duplicity. Unlike anyplace else in the world, the United Nations has granted refugee status as a perpetual inheritance to the children and children’s children of those who claim refugee status. As a result, if all were granted the Right of Return, the Jewish state would have to be dismantled.
In its various forms, the International Intervention Fallacy argues that the only solution for peace is a third-party to make and enforce it. The cancerous nature of this “solution” is that it declares Israel’s sovereignty a failure and takes away its authority as a sovereign state. Followed to its logical conclusion, the best result would be Israel’s subjugation as a vassal to whoever comes in to “take over.” The worst and more likely result is death of the Jewish state.
Palestinian Fallacies are self-evident lies. They include the related Desperate Victim, Deprivation and Poverty Fallacies; and separately, the Terrorism-As-Resistance Fallacy, the Anti-Zionism and Israel-is-the-Obstacle-to-Peace Fallacies.
According to one researcher, in the last 20 years, on a per capita basis and adjusted for inflation, the Palestinians have received 25 times more financial aid than Europe under the Marshall Plan after the Second World War. Where has the money gone and why is the area not thriving?
Any casual drive around Arab communities in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) reveals thousands of luxurious villas built on hilltops throughout the land. Is there poverty? Yes. But there are also middle and upper classes, driving nice cars, prospering in business and thriving. The area’s third-class infrastructure for things like water, electricity and gas, is underdeveloped because it must be paid for by those who “administer” international aid. Because the lion’s share of that aid goes into personal, foreign accounts of those “administrators,” infrastructure never gets built. Who do Palestinian grafters blame? Israel, of course.
Palestinian leaders often say that their opposition is aimed at political Zionism, not the Jews. At the same time, their openly published, anti-Semitic propaganda rivals anything produced by Hitler’s Nazi regime. Likewise, their litany that “Israel is the obstacle to peace,” is the polar opposite of truth.
Why does the world believe these things? Mostly because there are too few who are willing to call these whoppers what they are: lies.
From every walk of life, Israel’s call to arms is for defenders who speak up, disputing every slander, refuting every lie. The Defensive Shield Israel needs today is people, people like you, to intercept the raining missiles of Toxic Tongue Syndrome—in such a time as this.
Source: By Brian Schrauger, News Bureau Chief
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