As if riding the Washington, D.C. Metro during rush hour weren’t unpleasant enough, as of last month, we now have to be subjected to this: “Jewish and Proud, and AIPAC doesn’t speak for me…Most Jews are pro-peace.”
These self-righteous posters, distributed by the grassroots organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, reinforce Rick Richman’s argument in his April 4 Commentaryarticle, “Everyone Still Doesn’t Know What Everyone Supposedly Knows.” The article illustrates how easily false information “goes viral”—especially when it comes to the Israeli “oppression” of Palestinians.
Richman gives the example of a poll, quoted in the Jerusalem Post, that seeks to measure the support of Palestinians for the two-state solution. Here’s the headline of the article as it appeared in the Jerusalem Post: “Poll Finds 55% in Favor of 2-State Solution.” Wow, you think, the Palestinians are beginning to come around! Just over half of them are actually willing to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
Not so fast, says Richman. The pollsters’ definition of the two-state solution is fundamentally different from ours.
The PCPSR gave two versions of a two-state solution—one specific (modeled on the Clinton parameters, including five specific criteria) and one abstract. Not surprisingly, the specific version was less popular (43% in favor) than the abstract version (55%). This is because the Palestinian concept of a two-state solution entails a Palestinian State without the recognition of a Jewish one. Even more Palestinians (71%) polled were in favor of a one state solution; not because they wanted Israel to have its own state, but because they wanted an Islamist state where Jews would eventually become an oppressed minority.
Americans assume that a two-state solution means just that—an Israeli and a Palestinian state, coexisting peacefully. Netanyahu also believes that a two-state solution should recognize both states, and has admitted that the real problem in resolving the conflict isn’t territorial (as JVP would have you believe) but the Palestinian refusal to recognize the state of Israel.
In 2007, former president of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, gave a talk at the Heritage Foundation on his second book— The Deadliest Lies: the Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control. JVP’s website is riddled with “the deadliest lies about the Israel Lobby.” Here are some highlights from their Israel/Palestine 101 page:
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is, in essence, a conflict over territory. Although religion plays a role in defining the identities of the parties to the conflict, and for some Jews, in justifying their claims to the land, the conflict is not, fundamentally, a religious conflict.
And here are some other random factoids: “Palestinians in the regions of the West Bank under Israeli military control have no guarantee of civil rights.” And: “In defiance of international law, Israel has settled hundreds of thousands of its own citizens in Gaza.” Perhaps most egregious of all—the U.S. should be able to use the term “apartheid” to talk about Israel.
Israel isn’t exactly the most popular country, historically or right now. And while no country is above reproach, groups like JVP using D.C.’s metro stations to inundate ordinary people on their daily commute with blatant falsehoods about one of today’s most contentious issues is not only distasteful; it’s dangerous.
Nicole Leibow is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. Image of Israeli military rescue team outside apartment building hit by Palestinian rocket courtesy of Big Stock Photo.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | James Velasquez
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond