Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1313, (29 september - 5 October 2016)
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1313, (29 september - 5 October 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Impudence without limits

Israel’s propaganda against the Palestinians has reached a war-like level and must be systematically countered, writes Mustafa Barghouti

Al-Ahram Weekly

Every time I accuse the Israeli prime minister of impudence, he becomes yet more impudent.

He reached a new level of impudence when he called demands for the removal of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, considered illegal in international law, attempts at “ethnic cleansing”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main technique is to lie and then to repeat lies in order to try to be believed. This is not a new strategy, as many dictators have used it before, but they could not stop the truth from rising up to take the place of their lies.

It is widely known that the major ethnic cleansing that took place in the region was carried out by Zionist gangs that forced over 70 per cent of the Palestinians to leave their homeland in 1948. Netanyahu cannot hide recent additions to this cleansing in areas around Jerusalem and Hebron, notably in the village of Susya.

He also cannot deny that the Israeli army has moved against the Al-Araqeeb village in Naqab over a hundred times. Palestinians have been expelled from villages like Bab al-Shams, Ahfad Younis, Al-Manateer and Win Hijleh, though these villages are built on Palestinian land.

Netanyahu’s government cannot deny its banning of people from Iqrit and Maad Bir’im from returning to their homes even though they are Israeli nationals. There is no justification in banning people from Lifta, Emmaus, Yalu, and Beirut Nuba from the hope of returning to their destroyed villages either.

Some 400 Palestinian villages have been destroyed by the Israelis, who now want to destroy still more. This is the most shocking ethnic cleansing of the 20th century, and it has resulted in over six million Palestinian refugees around the world being prevented from returning to their homeland.

Netanyahu and the Israeli government can continue to describe Israel as the “only true democracy” in the Middle East region and say that the country respects human rights. However, this does nothing to disguise the fact that Israel is responsible for the longest occupation in recent history, as well as the most racist apartheid regime of the present age.

The historical experience of what happened in Palestine shows that a lax attitude with regard to falsifying history or overlooking it altogether could turn the Palestinians from being the victims to being the aggressors in the minds of those unaware of the facts.

The Israeli media, under tight control, helps to falsify history, as it turns any lie told by Netanyahu or his minsters into propaganda and spreads it all over the world.

Two days ago, I had a look at a book being given to every Israeli passenger at airports in the country. It includes an aggressive attack on the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel and accuses it of anti-Semitism. It also accuses the Palestinians of corruption and terrorism and says that they have failed in every attempt to make peace.

The book invites every Israeli passenger to be a spokesman for the spread of such propaganda in order to blacken the reputation of the Palestinians, no matter to which party they belong. The shameful thing is that the author of the book is Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, the Israeli opposition party, who claims to be a moderate.

Today, we are facing a propaganda war against every Palestinian, and we have no choice but to try to stop it by spreading the Palestinian version of this war, which relies on true facts and genuine information.

The writer is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative.

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