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Tech Sergeant
Nov 5, 2005
I decided to start this thread b/c I once knew very little about Israel and in the last few years I have increased my research on Israel. I once made bold incorrect statements about Israel, I regret some now but still believe some. So I decided to share some of my findings with you all.

I have made this thread more to show what I have learnt and share it.....less so to debate the issue of Israel. Debating was and is not my intent on this thread. If you want to add anything or debate by all means go ahead. I hope you enjoy some of my findings. If I make any errors, please point them out, I have much of this information off the net or from articles.

I will start with : Does Israel really have claim to her lands, aka Israel.

A common misperception is that all the Jews were forced into the Diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. and then, 1,800 years later, suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.

The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises: 1) the Jewish people settled and developed the land; 2) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people; 3) the territory was captured in defensive wars and 4) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in the Land of Israel continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea.

The Crusaders massacred many Jews during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years. By the early 19th century — years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement — more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel.1 The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in the reestablishment of the Jewish State.

Israel's international "birth certificate" was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel's admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel's people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.

Abba Eban once said "Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its 'right to exist.'

Israel's right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel's legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement....

There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its 'right to exist' a favor, or a negotiable concession."
Some Arabs claim the Jews stole their lands:

Despite the growth in their population, the Arabs continued to assert they were being displaced. The truth is that from the beginning of World War I, part of Palestine's land was owned by absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Damascus and Beirut. About 80 percent of the Palestinian Arabs were debt-ridden peasants, semi-nomads and Bedouins.

Jews actually went out of their way to avoid purchasing land in areas where Arabs might be displaced. They sought land that was largely uncultivated, swampy, cheap and, most important, without tenants. In 1920, Labor Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion expressed his concern about the Arab fellahin, whom he viewed as "the most important asset of the native population." Ben-Gurion said "under no circumstances must we touch land belonging to fellahs or worked by them." He advocated helping liberate them from their oppressors. "Only if a fellah leaves his place of settlement," Ben-Gurion added, "should we offer to buy his land, at an appropriate price."

It was only after the Jews had bought all of the available uncultivated land that they began to purchase cultivated land. Many Arabs were willing to sell because of the migration to coastal towns and because they needed money to invest in the citrus industry.

When John Hope Simpson arrived in Palestine in May 1930, he observed: "They [Jews] paid high prices for the land, and in addition they paid to certain of the occupants of those lands a considerable amount of money which they were not legally bound to pay."

In 1931, Lewis French conducted a survey of landlessness and eventually offered new plots to any Arabs who had been "dispossessed." British officials received more than 3,000 applications, of which 80 percent were ruled invalid by the Government's legal adviser because the applicants were not landless Arabs. This left only about 600 landless Arabs, 100 of whom accepted the Government land offer.

In April 1936, a new outbreak of Arab attacks on Jews was instigated by a Syrian guerrilla named Fawzi al*Qawukji, the commander of the Arab Liberation Army. By November, when the British finally sent a new commission headed by Lord Peel to investigate, 89 Jews had been killed and more than 300 wounded.

The Peel Commission's report found that Arab complaints about Jewish land acquisition were baseless. It pointed out that "much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamp and uncultivated when it was purchased....there was at the time of the earlier sales little evidence that the owners possessed either the resources or training needed to develop the land." Moreover, the Commission found the shortage was "due less to the amount of land acquired by Jews than to the increase in the Arab population." The report concluded that the presence of Jews in Palestine, along with the work of the British Administration, had resulted in higher wages, an improved standard of living and ample employment opportunities.

In his memoirs, Transjordan's King Abdullah wrote:

It is made quite clear to all, both by the map drawn up by the Simpson Commission and by another compiled by the Peel Commission, that the Arabs are as prodigal in selling their land as they are in useless wailing and weeping (emphasis in the original).

Even at the height of the Arab revolt in 1938, the British High Commissioner to Palestine believed the Arab landowners were complaining about sales to Jews to drive up prices for lands they wished to sell. Many Arab landowners had been so terrorized by Arab rebels they decided to leave Palestine and sell their property to the Jews.

The Jews were paying exorbitant prices to wealthy landowners for small tracts of arid land. "In 1944, Jews paid between $1,000 and $1,100 per acre in Palestine, mostly for arid or semiarid land; in the same year, rich black soil in Iowa was selling for about $110 per acre."

By 1947, Jewish holdings in Palestine amounted to about 463,000 acres. Approximately 45,000 of these acres were acquired from the Mandatory Government; 30,000 were bought from various churches and 387,500 were purchased from Arabs. Analyses of land purchases from 1880 to 1948 show that 73 percent of Jewish plots were purchased from large landowners, not poor fellahin. Those who sold land included the mayors of Gaza, Jerusalem and Jaffa. As'ad el*Shuqeiri, a Muslim religious scholar and father of PLO chairman Ahmed Shuqeiri, took Jewish money for his land. Even King Abdullah leased land to the Jews. In fact, many leaders of the Arab nationalist movement, including members of the Muslim Supreme Council, sold land to Jews.
"For a Texan, a first visit to Israel is an eye-opener. At the narrowest point, it's only 8 miles from the Mediterranean to the old Armistice line: That's less than from the top to the bottom of Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. The whole of pre-1967 Israel is only about six times the size of the King Ranch near Corpus Christi."

President George W. Bush
Israeli attacks against Lebanon demonstrate Israel's aggression and determination to hold onto Lebanese territory? no

The United Nations verified that Israel fulfilled its obligation to withdraw from Lebanon; however, Hizballah, armed with a great assortment of weapons, and deployed along the international border, has repeatedly attacked Israeli targets, ambushed and kidnapped soldiers and harassed Jewish villagers in northern Israel with the aim of provoking an escalation in hostilities.

Israel has repeatedly requested, with the backing of the UN and United States, that Lebanon deploy its army in the south and disarm the guerrillas. Given that Syria effectively controls Lebanon, Israel holds both governments responsible for the failure to prevent Hizballah's provocations. Their failure to do so has forced Israel to take preemptive and retaliatory measures to protect its citizens and soldiers.
I have read Israel's low profile in the Gulf War proves it has no strategic value to the United States.

Israel was never expected to play a major role in hostilities in the Gulf. American officials knew the Arabs would not allow Israel to help defend them; they also knew U.S. troops would have to intervene because the Gulf states could not protect themselves.

Israel's posture reflected a deliberate political decision in response to American requests. Nevertheless, it did aid the United States' successful campaign to roll back Iraq's aggression. For example:

· The IDF was the sole military force in the region that could successfully challenge the Iraqi army. That fact, which Saddam Hussein understood, was a deterrent to further Iraqi aggression.

· By warning that it would take military measures if any Iraqi troops entered Jordan, Israel, in effect, guaranteed its neighbor's territorial integrity against Iraqi aggression.

· The United States benefited from the use of Israeli-made Have Nap air-launched missiles on its B*52 bombers. The Navy, meanwhile, used Israeli Pioneer pilotless drones for reconnaissance in the Gulf.

· Israel provided mine plows that were used to clear paths for allied forces through Iraqi minefields.

· Mobile bridges flown directly from Israel to Saudi Arabia were employed by the U.S. Marine Corps.

· Israeli recommendations, based upon system performance observations, led to several software changes that made the Patriot a more capable missile defense system.

· Israel Aircraft Industries developed conformal fuel tanks that enhanced the range of F*15 aircraft. These were used in the Gulf.

· General Dynamics, a U.S. military contractor, has implemented a variety of Israeli modifications to improve the worldwide F*16 aircraft fleet, including structural enhancements, software changes, increased capability landing gear, radio improvements and avionic modifications.

· An Israeli-produced targeting system was used to increase the Cobra helicopter's night-fighting capabilities.

· Israel manufactured the canister for the highly successful Tomahawk missile.

· Night-vision goggles used by U.S. forces were supplied by Israel.

· A low-altitude warning system produced and developed in Israel was utilized on Blackhawk helicopters.

· Israel provided other equipment to U.S. forces including flack vests, gas masks and sandbags.

· Israel offered the United States the use of military and hospital facilities. U.S. ships utilized Haifa port shipyard maintenance and support on their way to the Gulf.

· Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Consequently, U.S. troops did not face a nuclear-armed Iraq.

· Even in its low-profile mode, Israeli cooperation was extremely valuable: Israel's military intelligence had focused on Iraq much more carefully over the years than had the U.S. intelligence community. Thus, the Israelis were able to provide Washington with detailed tactical intelligence on Iraqi military activities. Defense Secretary Richard Cheney said, for example, that the U.S. utilized Israeli information about western Iraq in its search for Scud missile launchers.
Did Israel benefit from Gulf war while paying any price?

It is true that Israel benefitted from the destruction of Iraq's military capability by the United States-led coalition, but the cost was enormous. Even before hostilities broke out, Israel had to revise its defense budget to maintain its forces at a heightened state of alert. The Iraqi missile attacks justified Israel's prudence in keeping its air force flying round the clock. The war required the defense budget to be increased by more than $500 million. Another $100 million boost was needed for civil defense.

The damage caused by the 39 Iraqi Scud missiles that landed in Tel Aviv and Haifa was extensive. Approximately 3,300 apartments and other buildings were affected in the greater Tel Aviv area. Some 1,150 people who were evacuated had to be housed at a dozen hotels at a cost of $20,000 per night.

Beyond the direct costs of military preparedness and damage to property, the Israeli economy was also hurt by the inability of many Israelis to work under the emergency conditions. The economy functioned at no more than 75 percent of normal capacity during the war, resulting in a net loss to the country of $3.2 billion.

The biggest cost was in human lives. A total of 74 people died as a consequence of Scud attacks. Two died in direct hits, four from suffocation in gas masks and the rest from heart attacks.

A UN committee dealing with reparation claims against Iraq dating to the 1991 Gulf War approved more than $31 million to be paid to Israeli businesses and individuals. The 1999 decision stemmed from a 1992 Security Council decision calling on Iraq to compensate victims of the Gulf War. In 2001, the United Nations Compensation Commission awarded $74 million to Israel for the costs it incurred from Iraqi Scud missile attacks during the Gulf War. The Commission rejected most of the $1 billion that Israel had requested.
Did Israel protect Palestinians from scud attacks?

The Los Angeles Times recognized Israel's dilemma in allocating gas masks for its population:

Gas-mask distribution throughout Israel was calculated according to estimates — based in part on Saddam Hussein's own prewar threats — of where the threat to the population was greatest. First call was given to the Tel Aviv-Haifa coastal area, with its heavy and largely Jewish population density, as well as to Jerusalem, the second-largest city. Smaller urban areas were next given priority, followed by rural areas in Israel proper and finally the occupied territories. Experience has shown the soundness of this ranking. It is Israel's citizens who are most at threat from Iraq's outlawed weapons, not the Palestinians in the West Bank, who are Saddam's partisans.

The vast majority of Palestinians made no secret of their support for Iraq, and many were seen on their rooftops cheering as Scuds rained on Israeli population centers. Because of their support for Saddam Hussein, and the Iraqi dictator's professed concern for the Palestinians, Israel did not believe it was likely the territories would come under attack.

The Israeli courts subsequently ordered the military to distribute gas masks to all the residents of the territories. This was being done, though the war ended before all Palestinians had received them. No Palestinians were injured in any Scud attacks.
Was Saddam and Iraq a threat to Israel?

Since coming to power, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had been a leader of the rejectionist Arab states and one of the most belligerent foes of Israel. On April 2, 1990, Saddam's rhetoric became more threatening: "I swear to God we will let our fire eat half of Israel if it tries to wage anything against Iraq." Saddam said his nation's chemical weapons capability was matched only by that of the United States and the Soviet Union, and that he would annihilate anyone who threatened Iraq with an atomic bomb by the "double chemical."

Several days later, Saddam said that war with Israel would not end until all Israeli-held territory was restored to Arab hands. He added that Iraq could launch chemical weapons at Israel from several different sites. The Iraqi leader also made the alarming disclosure that his commanders had the freedom to launch attacks against Israel without consulting the high command if Israel attacked Iraq. The head of the Iraqi Air Force subsequently said he had orders to strike Israel if the Jewish State launched a raid against Iraq or any other Arab country.

On June 18, 1990, Saddam told an Islamic Conference meeting in Baghdad: "We will strike at [the Israelis] with all the arms in our possession if they attack Iraq or the Arabs." He declared "Palestine has been stolen," and exhorted the Arab world to "recover the usurped rights in Palestine and free Jerusalem from Zionist captivity."

Saddam's threat came in the wake of revelations that Britain and the United States foiled an attempt to smuggle American-made "krytron" nuclear triggers to Iraq. Britain's MI6 intelligence service prepared a secret assessment three years earlier that Hussein had ordered an all-out effort to develop nuclear weapons. After Saddam used chemical weapons against his own Kurdish population in Halabja in 1988, few people doubted his willingness to use nuclear weapons against Jews in Israel if he had the opportunity.

Israeli fears were further raised by reports in the Arabic press, beginning in January 1990, that Jordan and Iraq had formed "joint military battalions" drawn from the various ground, air and naval units. "These battalions will serve as emergency forces to confront any foreign challenge or threat to either of the two countries," one newspaper said. In addition, the two countries were said to have formed a joint air squadron. This was to be the first step toward a unified Arab corps, Jordanian columnist Mu'nis al-Razzaz disclosed. "If we do not hurry up and start forming a unified military Arab force, we will not be able to confront the Zionist ambitions supported by U.S. aid," he said. Given the history of Arab alliances forming as a prelude to planning an attack, Israel found these developments worrisome.

In April 1990, British customs officers found tubes about to be loaded onto an Iraqi-chartered ship that were believed to be part of a giant cannon that would enable Baghdad to lob nuclear or chemical missiles into Israel or Iran. Iraq denied it was building a "supergun," but, after the war, it was learned that Iraq had built such a weapon.

Iraq emerged from its war with Iran with one of the largest and best-equipped military forces in the world. In fact, Iraq had one million battle-tested troops, more than 700 combat aircraft, 6,000 tanks, ballistic missiles and chemical weapons. Although the U.S. and its allies won a quick victory, the magnitude of Hussein's arsenal only became clear after the war when UN investigators found evidence of a vast program to build chemical and nuclear weapons.

Iraq also served as a base for several terrorist groups that menaced Israel, including the PLO and Abu Nidal's Fatah Revolutionary Council.

After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein consistently threatened to strike Israel if his country was attacked. If the U.S. moves against Iraq, he said in December 1990, "then Tel Aviv will receive the next attack, whether or not Israel takes part." At a press conference, following his January 9, 1991, meeting with Secretary of State James Baker, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz was asked if the war starts, would Iraq attack Israel. He replied bluntly: "Yes. Absolutely, yes."

Ultimately, Saddam carried out his threat.
I have never fully understood the hatred for Israel even here in the US from certain groups. I've known of the base history such as 1948 and 1867 but little else. Thanks Hunter, very informative.
I have never fully understood the hatred for Israel even here in the US from certain groups. I've known of the base history such as 1948 and 1867 but little else. Thanks Hunter, very informative.

Thanks, I will post more and more perhaps why some people in the USA do dislike Israel.....perhaps b/c misinformation IMO.

Partly to explain why many people (I think) have harsh feelings towards Israel is misinformation, no information and massive media coverage far disproportional to Israel's size or importance on a global scale. Also the media unresponable reporting news events and often unfair or unbalanced reporting done in the middle east, particularly bad in Palestine (IMO). It's not like Israel is the only country important in the middle east to USA or USA economy.

The Middle East is important to the United States (and the Western world) primarily because of its oil resources. Events that might threaten the production and supply of oil affect vital U.S. interests. The United States also has an interest in supporting friendly regimes in the region. Attention is warranted because the Middle East is the scene of repeated conflagrations that directly or indirectly affect American interests. Events in countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Iran have required the intervention of U.S. troops, and nothing focuses the attention of the public like American lives being endangered abroad. The United States has been deeply involved in each of the Arab-Israeli wars, but has also had its own independent battles, most notably the Gulf War with Iraq in 1991 and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in 2003. The media is now very focused on Iraq because of the continuing U.S. troop deployment there.

On the other hand, Americans are not typically interested in the fratricidal wars of people in distant lands when the fighting does not appear to have any bearing on U.S. interests. This is true in Africa, Latin America and even the Balkans. Similarly, inter-Arab wars have not generated the kind of interest that Israel's problems have. However, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute — two people fighting over one land — is a particularly compelling story. It is made all the more so by the fact that it is centered in the Holy Land.

Another explanation for the disproportionate coverage Israel receives relative to Arab countries is that few correspondents have a background in Middle East history or speak the regional languages. Journalists are more familiar with the largely Western culture in Israel than the more alien Muslim societies.

Far less media coverage is done in Arab countries when compared to Israel.
The journalistic community regards the Arab/Islamic world as the "arc of silence." The media in those countries is strictly controlled by totalitarian governments. By contrast, Israel is a democracy with one of the most freewheeling press corps in the world.

The limited access is often used as an excuse for the media's failure to cover news in the region. This was the case, for example, during the Iran-Iraq war — one of the bloodiest conflicts in the last four decades. Still, given the resourcefulness of American journalists, it is shocking that so little coverage is given to even the most authoritarian of regimes.

You have to ask yourself why does Israel attract so much media attention?
It will come as no surprise to learn that journalists in the Middle East share an interest in sensationalism with their colleagues covering domestic issues. The most egregious examples come from television reporters whose emphasis on visuals over substance encourages facile treatment of the issues. For example, when NBC's correspondent in Israel was asked why reporters turned up at Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank they knew were being staged, he said, "We play along because we need the pictures." The networks can't get newsworthy pictures from closed societies such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran or Libya.

Israel often faces an impossible situation of trying to counter images with words. "When a tank goes into Ramallah, it does not look good on TV," explains Gideon Meir of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. "Sure we can explain why we are there, and that's what we do. But it's words. We have to fight pictures with words."

The magnitude of the problem Israel confronts is clear from Tami Allen-Frost, deputy chairman of the Foreign Press Association and a producer for Britain's ITN news, who says "the strongest picture that stays in the mind is of a tank in a city" and that "there are more incidents all together in the West Bank than there are suicide bombings. In the end, it's quantity that stays with you."

The West tend to have a double-standard about the Jews, expecting more from them than other peoples. This is in part due to the Jews' own high expectations and goal of being a "light unto the nations." Thus, when Israelis do something bad, it often attracts attention, whereas Arabs are usually held to a lower standard. For example, when Israel expelled four Palestinians, it generated banner headlines, but when Kuwait deported hundreds of thousands, it was a nonevent. Similarly, the death of one Palestinian in the West Bank received far more coverage than thousands of Arabs killed in Algeria. On a day when Israel got a banner headline for killing four terrorists, a story on page of the Washington Post buried in the 12th paragraph the news that more than 80 people were killed in violence during a summit between Pakistan and India. Rightly or wrongly, the attitude of the public and press is that Jews should behave differently.

One cause of misunderstanding about the Middle East and bias in media reporting is the ignorance of journalists about the region. Few reporters speak Hebrew or Arabic, so they have little or no access to primary resources. They frequently regurgitate stories they read in English language publications from the region rather than report independently. When they do attempt to place events in historical context, they often get the facts wrong and create an inaccurate or misleading impression. To cite one example, during a recitation of the history of the holy sites in Jerusalem, CNN's Garrick Utley reported that Jews could pray at the Western Wall during Jordan's rule from 1948 to 1967. In fact, Jews were prevented from visiting their holiest shrine. This is a critical historical point that helps explain Israel's position toward Jerusalem.

On the contrary, the media routinely accepts and repeats the platitudes of terrorists and their spokespersons with regard to their agendas. The press gullibly treats claims that attacks against innocent civilians are acts of "freedom fighters." In recent years some news organizations have developed a resistance to the term "terrorist" and replaced it with euphemisms like "militant" because they don't want to be seen as taking sides or making judgments about the perpetrators.

For example, after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew up a pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem on August 9, 2001, killing 15 people, the attacker was described as a "militant" (Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News) and "suicide bomber" (New York Times, USA Today). ABC News did not use the word "terrorist." By contrast, every media outlet called the September 11 attack on the United States a terrorist attack.

Clifford May of the Middle East Information Network pointed out the absurdity of the media coverage: "No newspaper would write, 'Militants struck the World Trade Center yesterday,' or say, 'They may think of themselves as freedom fighters, and who are we to judge, we're newspeople."

Rather than apologize for terrorists, the media sometimes portrays the victims of terror as equivalent to the terrorists themselves. For example, photos are sometimes shown of Israeli victims on the same page with photos of Israelis capturing terrorists, giving the sense, for example, that the Palestinian held in handcuffs and blindfolded by a soldier is as much a victim as the woman in shock being helped from the scene of a suicide bombing.

In one of the most egregious examples, after a suicide bombing in Petah Tikva on May 27, 2002, CNN interviewed the mother of the bomber, Jihad Titi. The parents of a 15-month-old girl killed in the attack, Chen and Lior Keinan, were also interviewed. The interviews with the Keinans were not shown on CNN international in Israel or elsewhere around the world until hours after the interview with Titi's mother had been broadcast several times.

This was even too much for CNN, which subsequently announced a policy change whereby it would no longer "report on statements made by suicide bombers or their families unless there seemingly is an extraordinarily compelling reason to do so.

See below for more on this subject.
Al-Jazeera is an Arabic-language television network based in Qatar that is widely viewed throughout the Arab world. The channel began in 1996 as a pet project of Qatar's emir, Sheik Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani and gained prominence during the U.S. war in Afghanistan because of its longstanding contacts with the Taliban rulers and Osama bin Laden. By airing a variety of viewpoints, including those of Bush Administration officials, the network sought to create the impression that it is an objective news source for the Arab world. In fact, Al-Jazeera has a long history as a propaganda outlet for extremist views in the Arab world. One Muslim scholar blamed the network for inciting the Arab masses against the West and for making bin Laden and his aides celebrities. "There is a difference between giving different opinoions an opportunity [to be heard] and leaving the screen open to armed murderers to spread their ideas," said Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, dean of Shar'ia and Law at Qatar University.

In an interview on 60 Minutes, one Al-Jazeera correspondent was asked about coverage of the Palestinian issue. He refers to Palestinians who are killed as martyrs. When Ed Bradley pointed out that the Israelis would call them terrorists, he replied,"This is a problem for the Israelis. It's a point of view." When asked what he calls Israelis who are killed by Palestinians, the reporter answered, "We call it that: the Israeli is killed by Palestinians." Bradley added that Al-Jazeera's coverage of the Intifada was "credited with igniting pro-Palestinian demonstrations all over the Middle East."

Palestinians have learned that they can disseminate almost any information to the media and it will be published or broadcast somewhere. Once it is picked up by one media outlet, it is inevitably repeated by others. Quickly, misinformation can take on the appearance of fact, and while Israel can present evidence to correct the inaccuracies being reported, the damage is usually already done. Once an image or impression is in someone's mind, it is often difficult, if not impossible to erase it.

It is said that there are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. One staple of Palestinian propaganda has been to distribute false statistics in an effort to make Israeli actions look monstrous. For example, if an incident involves some death or destruction, they can grossly exaggerate the figures and a gullible media will repeat the fabricated data until they become widely accepted as accurate. This occurred, for example, during the Lebanon War when Yasser Arafat's brother claimed that Israel's operations had left 600,000 Lebanese homeless. He made the number up, but it was repeated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and publicized in the media. By the time the ICRC repudiated the figure, it was too late to change the impression that Israel's military operation to defend itself from terrorist attacks on its northern border had created an unconscionable refugee problem.

This happened again after Israel's operation in Jenin in April 2002 when Palestinian spokesman Saeb Erekat told CNN on April 17 that at least 500 people were massacred and 1,600 people, including women and children, were missing. Erekat could produce no evidence for his claim and, in fact, the Palestinians' own review committee reported a death toll of 56, of whom 34 were combatants. No women or children were reported missing.

What is perhaps more outrageous than the repetition of Erekat's lie is that media outlets continue to treat him as a legitimate spokesperson, giving him access that allows him to regularly disseminate misinformation. If an American official was ever found to have lied to the press, they would lose all credibility and would have little or no chance of being given a forum to express their views.

Terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens are often treated by the media in an entirely different way than similar atrocities committed against other nationalities. Many press outlets are reluctant to call attacks against Jews terrorism and frequently attach more benign labels to the murderers such as "gunmen" or "militants." For example, when a Palestinian woman walked into a crowded beach restaurant in Haifa and detonated a bomb that killed 21 people, including four children on October 4, 2003, the Reuters account said she had waged an "attack" in retaliation for previous Israeli army actions and that the bombing showed that Palestinian officials had failed to "rein in the militants."

One of the best examples of how the press sometimes distinguishes terrorist attacks against other nations was a list of "recent terror attacks around the world" disseminated in November 2003 by the Associated Press, probably the most influential news service in the world. The list cited 15 terrorist incidents during the five-year period between August 1998 and August 2003. During that period, more than 800 Israelis were murdered in terrorist attacks, but not one of the incidents in Israel made the list.

Similarly, when AP released its Year in Photos 2003, six of the 130 photos chosen related to human suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All six were of Palestinians.
Good information - I wish I had the time to read it all. I'm a solid supporter of Israel. The funny thing is that before it was islamic land it was held by the Byzantines. Perhaps the Greeks or Italians could lay a claim to that area on that basis. It's absurd...
Hunter, thank you very much for such a big thread. This is what is needed. It should be taught inna schools.

The hatred towards Israel is caused by nothing but ignorance of the historical facts. Moreover, some anti-Israeli groups use lies and manipulation against Israel. And people who don't know the background and are brainwashed by the anti-Zionist propaganda naturally incline to be "fair"... They decide that "Israelis stole the land of Palestinians and they're being oppressed by bloodthirsty Zionists".

Anti-Zionism is nothing but pink-painted antisemitim.
Hunter, thank you very much for such a big thread. This is what is needed. It should be taught inna schools.

The hatred towards Israel is caused by nothing but ignorance of the historical facts. Moreover, some anti-Israeli groups use lies and manipulation against Israel. And people who don't know the background and are brainwashed by the anti-Zionist propaganda naturally incline to be "fair"... They decide that "Israelis stole the land of Palestinians and they're being oppressed by bloodthirsty Zionists".

Anti-Zionism is nothing but pink-painted antisemitim.

Thanks I plan on posting more when I get more time.
I'm in with Mkloby on this one. Wish I had more time to read this thread. Will make some over the weekend and comment. Probably a lot of stuff in here that is good info.
You can't claim a right to something because: 'God said so'
That is on par with: 'The voices in my head told me to kill'

I have nothing but respect for the Jews, but at the same time the State of Israel has done some bad things. I dislike fanatics from any quarter, and the Israeli Government is equally as bad as Fatah or Hamas imo...

The other thing that is deeply disturbing these days is that you can't even have a discussion about this sort of thing without people shouting 'anti-semite' 'commie' 'nazi' or other such nonsense.

Religion is no excuse for anything, and I point the finger at ALL here: Muslims, Jews, Christians, have a long history barbarism, intolerance, and genocide...

Just my 2c..
Agree with most of your position but I believe that the Jewish people should have a country. They've only become aggressive after being pushed into a corner by others. But I know what you mean. Immigration is a Latino issue, only whites can be racists, yada,yada,yada.... But as much as Palestine wants to show itself as innocent, Hamas and Fattah just proved the point lately of how insane it is over there.
You can't claim a right to something because: 'God said so'
That is on par with: 'The voices in my head told me to kill'

I have nothing but respect for the Jews, but at the same time the State of Israel has done some bad things. I dislike fanatics from any quarter, and the Israeli Government is equally as bad as Fatah or Hamas imo...

The other thing that is deeply disturbing these days is that you can't even have a discussion about this sort of thing without people shouting 'anti-semite' 'commie' 'nazi' or other such nonsense.

Religion is no excuse for anything, and I point the finger at ALL here: Muslims, Jews, Christians, have a long history barbarism, intolerance, and genocide...

Just my 2c..
I agree

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