About 10 to 20 slanders (at least) are issued against Israel each day. They are frequently complete fabrications, and come from academia, media, politics, or elsewhere. The lying is either simply reported irresponsibly, or reported to intentionally participate in the “big lie.” Institutions and personal careers are benefitted by such moves.
Last month, a former Canadian ambassador — who seems to have been earning a living completely on the misrepresentation of Israel — announced that an Israeli Jewish civil rights lawyer had been attacked by settlers in the West Bank. But the lawyer has said that this isn’t true; he in fact had rocks thrown at him by Palestinians.
After a terrorist in Israel murdered a soldier by knifing him while he was sleeping on a bus, the New York Times photograph only showed the terrorist’s family. The newspaper apparently expected that the sympathy should be given to the terrorist, who might have to do prison time.
But so what? It does not matter if each specific lie is exposed. Nobody is going to change. This certainly doesn’t mean that Israelis never lie and Palestinians never tell the truth, but if we’re talking about what the Israeli state would never do and what the Palestinian state would do, that’s different. Just as in the Cold War, we could easily tell the difference between England and Bulgaria.
But the media does not make a point of spending significant time and money exposing the truth. After all, there have been such lies told about Jews for over 2,000 years. There has been a dense history of hating Jews and not having sympathy for them. This is no surprise; nor is it a surprise that credible people are inclined to believe these things. For example, a senior Saudi cleric announced that soccer was a Jewish plot; another complained that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — which many Arabs believe to be true — dictated all of modern Egyptian history. Are ideological extremists (of the left or the right) showing a strong inclination to resist this? Did the New York Times cover the Holocaust in depth when it was happening? What exists here is a situation in which:
- Some are sympathetic to the truth;
- Some will swallow lies;
- And some will spread lies for political advantage.
For example, it is probable that millions of people read blogs denying Israeli claims that some specific lie is not true. Again, I don’t think there is a point in denying every lie. If one wants to do something, one should assess the truth. Once again, the problem with the Arab-Israeli conflict is not accidental; it is the natural result of two things:
- The Arab-Islamic general refusal to recognize Israel ever.
- The Arab-Islamic inability to destroy Israel.