MYTH #1: THE ISSUE IS TOO COMPLEX
No it isn’t. What is complicated about being allocated 55% of someone else’s land (by the UN in 1947), expelling 700,000+ Palestinians from their homes in 1948 (turning them into stateless refugees with no right of return), using Zionist armed groups to expel more Palestinians, taking over 78%+ of the land in violation of a litany of UN resolutions, following the 6-day war in 1967, illegally occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem & Gaza, aggressively building extensive illegal settlements across Occupied Palestinian Territories since, taking over 97% of historical Palestine – all under the false guise of peace talks and roadmaps to nowhere. Which part is complex?
MYTH #2: THE ISSUE IS TOO HARD TO SOLVE
Yes, it has become difficult now because one party has continuously taken what was not theirs in the eyes of international law, populate the land with its people and new homes therefore, asking them to now move out is understandably difficult, albeit necessary. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
MYTH #3: WHY DOES THE ISSUE SEEM COMPLICATED?
This seems complicated because:
- Everyone has a different narrative (Israeli, Palestinians, powerful proxies, etc.,) and thus, the world hears a lot of contradictory information on the subject but in the end, the historical facts are inarguable;
- Powerful groups with vested interests (on both sides) often repeat: The conflict is complex as a way to shut down conversation.
MYTH #4: THEY HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR CENTURIES
False. The Israel-Palestine issue did not start until 1948, or at the earliest in the early 1900s. Is it long?, Yes, but far less than 2000 years that is often falsely projected in the media. Historical Fact: Muslims and Jews have largely lived amicably side-by-side for centuries prior to 1900s.
MYTH #5: THE CONFLICT IS ALL ABOUT RELIGION
Granted, religion is a sub-factor but the Israel-Palestine issue is not just about Al-Aqsa Masjid but also about stolen homes, stolen land, stolen farms, the restriction on right of movement, right to travel and right to work – that affect both, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians alike. Therefore No, this is not about religion alone.
This is a human rights issue, from every possible aspect.
MYTH #6: MOST ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS HATE EACH OTHER
Yes, there is hate on both sides but much more than hate is the desire to see someone just and fair, resolving the issue rather than for a dishonest broker (e.g., U.S.A) taking sides and dragging the issue out decade after decades, instead of actually resolving it.
MYTH #7: PALESTINIANS WANT TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP
Fun Fact: Israel was offered 55% of historical Palestine in 1948 by the UN. Today, Israel controls nearly 97%+ of historical Palestine, in continuing violations of multiple UN resolutions, Geneva Conventions & ICJ Rulings. Who is wiping who off the map?
MYTH #8: HAMAS DOES NOT RECOGNISE ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO EXIST
Should Nelson Mandela have recognised the right of the National Party to exist between 1948-1990? Should Che Guevara have recognised the Arbenz government in Cuba? Should Jews have recognised the right of Nazis to exist? Should the occupied ever recognise the right of the occupier to exist? One-state solution (that calls for co-existence) is therefore the only solution.
MYTH #9: WHY DON’T ARAB COUNTRIES WANT TO TAKE IN THE PALESTINIANS
Israel would of course be delighted if Arab countries would take them in but why should Palestinian be displaced from their land? Most importantly, post-Holocaust in 1945, when the Jews of Europe had nowhere to go, why did Europe, Canada and U.S reject them? Why didn’t they take in all the Jews? Why did they send them to British-occupied Palestine?
MYTH #10: PALESTINIANS CAN’T BE TRUSTED WITH A STATE BECAUSE THEY WILL ATTACK IF EVER GIVEN A CHANCE
False. While there have been attempts to fight the occupation and blockade, many Palestinians have used, and continue to use, nonviolence to end the Israeli occupation’s wholesale violence and blockade. Refer to Myth # 9
MYTH #11: PALESTINIANS WILL ATTACK ISRAEL, IF EVER SET FREE
Prior to slavery emancipation (1863), white Americans slave owners raised the same question after centuries of abusing black slaves but once they were freed, nothing happened. Instead, militias like KKK and others were formed (1865), whose goal was to kill blacks. Therefore a far more important question worth asking is after Palestine is set free, who will protect Palestinians from Israeli police, IDF soldiers, settlers and other Israeli militant groups?
MYTH #12: THERE CAN’T BE PEACE UNTIL ALL PALESTINIANS ADOPT NONVIOLENCE
- False. British India had violent independence movements as well as Gandhi’s nonviolence, so clearly violence does not cancel out nonviolence. The same applies to apartheid South Africa or Nazi Germany.
- Some would argue if Gaza had not chosen violence, Israel would not have withdrawn from Gaza in 2005. Meanwhile, Fatah/PLO leaders have largely opted for peaceful compromise, and in return have seen ever-expanding settlements and the perpetually entrenching occupation. Therefore, while violence is abhorred, resisting occupation is an important and effective human right.
- Apart from violent oppression against nonviolent Palestinian groups in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel has also continuously launched disproportional attacks on civilian population in West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in response to revenge attacks by armed Palestinian groups in Gaza and elsewhere. Therefore, this virtue signalling is rather disingenuous.
MYTH #13: ISRAEL IS NOT AN APARTHEID BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED IN SOUTH AFRICA DOES NOT HAPPEN IN PALESTINE TODAY
Israel is an apartheid because what it does to Palestinians daily – meets the exact definition of apartheid set by the Apartheid Convention and Rome Statute, not because of what happened in South Africa.
MYTH #14: UNLIKE GAZA, PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK & EAST JERUSALEM ARE FREE
Israeli settlers living within the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank and East Jerusalem) live in settlements, recognised worldwide as “illegal” under international law. They are Israeli citizens and can vote, travel, carry weapons freely, receive public funding and enjoy all other rights and benefits afforded to Israelis living within Israel.
Palestinian meanwhile living in their own land, are subject to Israeli military law and are not permitted to vote in Israeli elections or obtain Israeli citizenship. Israel also has total hegemonic control over tax collection. Palestinians have separate roads, travel restrictions and otherwise have to put up with up to 700+ checkpoints across the Occupied Palestinian Territories. While the Israeli settlers enjoy uninterrupted access to electricity, water and other utilities, Palestinians live in a parallel universe of poverty and injustice.
MYTH #15: ISRAEL WANTS TO BE LEFT ALONE IN PEACE
Yet how would you explain the near daily killings of Palestinians let alone political arrests, arbitrary detentions of young children, detention without trial, torture without redress, evictions, demolishment of homes, continued expansion of the illegal settlements, collective punishment of Palestinians, racial segregation, continuous threat of annexation, Jewish supremacy and daily racism, travel bans, etc., in all facets of life in Israel, West Bank and Jerusalem – otherwise known as Apartheid. Then, there is the suffocating siege in Gaza or the world’s largest open-air prison, arbitrary bombings of critical civilian infrastructure, denial of medical access, etc.,
MYTH #16: THIS A CONFLICT BETWEEN TWO SIDES
This isn’t a conflict between “two equal sides”. This is a 75-year old genocide by Israel with far superior access to technology, advanced weaponry, blank cheque massacre and highly organised PR machinery sanctioned by Western powers against the Palestinians with access to Molotov cocktails, stones, knives, cars and rockets.
MYTH #17: THE KEY IS TO PROMOTE MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
After nearly 75 years of continuous land appropriation, homes demolishment, settlement expansion, targeted arrests and military brutality against civilian protestors, military violence and systematic violation of Palestinian human rights, blacklisting, persecution and deportation of charity and human rights workers and organisations, the key is to immediately end the injustice not go on another peace roadmap to nowhere promoting mutual understanding.
MYTH #18: BOYCOTTING DOES NOT WORK
If it didn’t work, why is huge amount of money and resources being mobilised by Israel, US and Europe including legislation against people, organisations and citizens to prevent them from boycotting? If 2 billion consumers collectively act, we can reverse the tide.
MYTH #19: TO BDS ISRAEL IS TO BE DISPROPORTIONATE & EXTREME
How best to balance when there is no balance with 75-years of Israeli land appropriation, homes demolishment, settlement expansion, targeted arrests, military brutality, systematic violation of Palestinian human rights let alone the 17-year siege of Gaza?
MYTH #20: BDS SHOULD TARGET THE OCCUPATION, NOT ISRAEL
Israel is the battery that turbocharges the illegal occupation. Without Israel charging the battery, the illegal occupation will end. The occupation of West Bank and East Jerusalem cannot operate independently from the policies of the Israeli government.
MYTH #21: BDS IS JUST WRONG
While we discuss BDS, Israel continues it’s stranglehold of Gaza, its nightly raids across West Bank, it’s demolition and evictions in East Jerusalem along with it’s high speed settlement expansion and an entire range of oppressive policies against Palestinians.
If anything, BDS is but a softball response.
MYTH #22: CRITICISING ISRAEL IS ANTISEMITISM
Criticising Narendra Modi or India itself is not equal to attacking Hinduism. Condemning Myanmar is not the same as criticising Buddhism. Criticising Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with being critical of Islam. Criticising US/Europe for its litany of human rights violations is not related to Christianity. Then, why is criticising Israel equated to anti-Semitism? (clue: ploy to shut down legitimate criticism of Israel)