LOS ANGELES — It’s no secret to anyone that relations between the United States and Israel reflect a new reality and are not what they once were. The last few months have seen a worldwide frenzy of intimidation and threats directed against Israel that has backed its supporters into a corner. Very few have raised their voices in response.
For this reason, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has produced a new brochure, “2010 Top Ten Anti-Israel Lies,” that we will be distributing to millions of people worldwide. The brochure also provides contact information for U.S. and world leaders and key news bureaus.
Here is a condensed summary of the 10 top lies and the center’s responses:
Lie No. 1: Israel was created by European guilt over the Nazi Holocaust. Why should Palestinians pay the price?
Three thousand years before the Holocaust, before there was a Roman Empire, Israel’s kings and prophets walked the streets of Jerusalem. The whole world knows that Isaiah did not speak his prophesies from Portugal, nor Jeremiah his lamentations from France. Revered by its people, Jerusalem is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures 600 times, but not once in the Koran. Throughout the 2,000-year exile of the Jews, there was a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land.
Lie No. 2: Had Israel withdrawn to its June 1967 borders, peace would have come long ago.
Since 1967, Israel repeatedly has conceded “land for peace.” Following Egyptian President Sadat’s historic 1977 visit to Jerusalem, Israel withdrew from the vast Sinai Peninsula and has been at peace with Egypt ever since. But the Palestinian Authority has never fulfilled its promise to end propaganda attacks nor drop the Palestinian National Charter’s call for Israel’s destruction. In 2000, Prime Minister Barak offered Yasser Arafat full sovereignty more than 97 percent of the West Bank, a corridor to Gaza, and a capital in the Arab section of Jerusalem. Arafat said no.
Lie No. 3: Israel is the main stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution.
The Palestinians themselves are the only stumbling block to achieving a two-state solution. With whom should Israel negotiate? With President Abbas, who for four years has been barred by Hamas from visiting 1.5 million constituents in Gaza? With his Palestinian Authority, which continues to glorify terrorists and preaches hate in its educational system and the media? With Hamas, whose Iranian-backed leaders deny the Holocaust and use fanatical Jihadist rhetoric to call for Israel’s destruction?
Lie No. 4: Nuclear Israel, not Iran, is the greatest threat to peace and stability.
The United States and Europe can afford to wait to see what the Iranian regime does with its nuclear ambitions, but Israel cannot. Israel is on the front lines and remembers every day the price the Jewish people paid for not taking Hitler at his word. Israel is not prepared to sacrifice another 6 million Jews on the altar of the world’s indifference.
Lie No. 5: Israel is an apartheid state deserving of international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.
In fact, Israel is a democratic state. Its 20 percent Arab minority enjoys all the political, economic and religious rights and freedoms of citizenship, including electing members of their choice to the Knesset (Parliament).
Lie No. 6: Plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem prove Israel is “Judaizing” the Holy City.
Ramat Shlomo was not about Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem but about a long established, heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in northern Jerusalem, where 250,000 Jews live (about the size of Newark, N.J.) — an area that will never be relinquished by Israel.
Lie No. 7: Israeli policies endanger U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would benefit everyone, including the United States. But an imposed return to what Abba Eban called “1967 Auschwitz borders” would endanger Israel’s survival and ultimately be disastrous for American interests and credibility in the world.
Lie No. 8: Israeli policies are the cause of worldwide anti-Semitism.
From the Inquisition to the pogroms, to the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, history proves that Jew hatred existed on a global scale before the creation of the State of Israel. It would still exist in 2010 even if Israel had never been created. For example, one poll indicates that 40 percent of Europeans blame the recent global economic crisis on “Jews having too much economic power” — a canard that has nothing to do with Israel.
Lie No. 9: Israel, not Hamas, is responsible for the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. Goldstone was right when he charged that Israel was guilty of war crimes against civilians.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is obsessed with false anti-Israel resolutions. It refuses to address grievous human rights abuses in Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and beyond. Faced with similar attacks, every U.N. member-state, including the United States and Canada, surely would have acted more aggressively than the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza.
Lie No. 10: The only hope for peace is a single, binational state eliminating the Jewish State of Israel.
The one-state solution is a non-starter because it would eliminate the Jewish homeland. However, the current pressures on Israel are equally dangerous. In effect, the world is demanding that Israel, the size of New Jersey, shrink further by accepting a three-state solution: a P.A. state on the West Bank and a Hamas terrorist one in Gaza. All this as Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, stockpiles 50,000 rockets, threatening northern and central Israel’s main population centers. Current polls show that while most Israelis favor a two-state solution, most Palestinians continue to oppose it.
Full versions of the brochure are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (800) 900-9036. The online edition is available at http://www.wiesenthal.com/toptenlies.
(Rabbi Marvin Hier is the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.)