It used to be that the English-language newspapers of Israel were patriotic, even as they purported—like all journalists—to make truth and facts their priority. For example, the peerless David Bar-Ilan was the one-time editor for the Jerusalem Post. He later served as an advisor to Benjamin Netanyahu (Bar-Ilan is one of the two-best opinion writers I’ve ever read; his “Eye on the Media” column is legendary).
As with other countries in the West, a new crop of writers has emerged. This is not necessarily a good thing in the current Woke Age.
This week, a column in the Times of Israel, written by Haviva Ner-David, is reflective of the aggressiveness of the Left in undermining Israel. She writes about attending an event that was sort of a “listening” tour, intended to reflect on what the Palestinians call the “Nakba.” This occurs in conjunction with Israel’s Independence Day.
The “catastrophe” is supposed to be highlighted as a contrast with Zionism. In other words, Israel was born in original sin, and is not legitimate today. You can see how this is music to the Left’s ears. Their influence with Millennials is particularly disturbing. Notice the narrative tone of Ner-David’s piece:
“This year, the day began at the seashore of Nachsholim/Tantura, where Kibbutz Nachsholim was built on the ruins of the Palestinian Arab village of Tantura. The village was captured in 1948, and, according to witness testimonies (soldiers and villagers), after the village had already surrendered, Haganah soldiers massacred around 200 villagers. Survivors were then forced to dig a mass grave for the villagers who were killed. A group of Jews then moved into empty village buildings and farmed village agricultural land, thus establishing Kibbutz Nachsholim.”
What a horrible story. Murdering 200 villagers? No doubt children were involved. And a mass grave? Sounds like something the Nazis would do.
And therein lies the point. Leftists have always wanted to encourage people to believe the Jews are no better than the Nazis (and in fact might be worse). This even extends to the view that the PTSD Jews have unleashed their fury over the Holocaust onto the helpless, hapless Arabs of “Palestine.”
Before you wonder too much about Tantura, consider the following:
“Today, post-Zionism has largely been discredited and some of its leading proponents, such as Shlaim and Pappé left Israel to teach abroad. Still, their ideas have gained followers, especially among Israel’s detractors outside the country. Within Israel, they have seeped into many of Israel’s intellectual, cultural, and social institutions.
“While post-Zionists have sometimes discovered facts, such as Morris’s research on Palestinian refugees, they also invent their own interpretations for those already known. In some cases, these are misinterpretations and in others, outright lies. One example was a thesis written by a graduate student named Teddi Katz, which claimed the Israel Defense Forces committed a massacre in the Arab village of Tantura in 1948. When his claims came under scrutiny, his mentor Pappé defended them. Ultimately, Katz was found to have falsified some of the testimony in his paper and that no massacre had occurred.”
You’ve probably already figured out that Palestinian charges of genocide, land theft, and erasure of Arab identity can be met with contrary narratives. In other words, a classic tactic of the Left is gaslighting. This is used in this case as well; one creates a grotesque example of Jewish crimes and rolls it out like a hand grenade.
The explosion of course blows up Jews.
I’ve heard stories like this before and have always found that they were largely lies. These “post-Zionists” are really anti-Zionists. Another word is anti-Semites. Their leftwing ideology coats everything they do. The result is that Israel is demonized.
I will tell you also that no, I do not believe Jews—many of them only months from Auschwitz—in turn took out their rage on helpless Arab families.
Also, pre-dating these alleged events were real events in which the local Arab populations in Palestine did what they accuse Israel of doing to them. Arab pogroms against Jews in Palestine took place between the world wars, and they are documented.
This goes back to the gaslighting effect. Accuse your opponent of what you are doing.
I don’t know Ner-David. I don’t know if she believes this stuff about alleged Israeli war crimes. I would also ask an obvious question: where is the mass grave? Where is forensic evidence?
All this reminds me of what I’ve written about many times: the gullibility(?) of American Millennial Christians like Donald Miller, Cameron Strang, and Ann Voskamp. They swallow these stories hook, line, and sinker.
I will also tell you that I believe strongly that many people accept these stories in large part because they want to. They really want to believe them. Their view of Jews/Israel is, shall we say, less than stellar. It then becomes easy for liars in the Media to create these accounts out of thin air. Israel suffers for it.
The Lord of History is watching, though. He tells us so in His Word. If we are in the endgame—and you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to convince me—then all truth will come to light very soon.
Until that happens, we must continue to defend Israel and the Jews whenever we can.