Christian Century contributing editor James M. Wall, writing in the Palestinian propaganda outlet Electronic Intifada, lets his inner anti-Semite hang out:
Why does this wanton destruction of private Palestinian homes continue unabated? The answer is simple: Israel controls the narrative that justifies its conduct by reporting the demolition of a Palestinian home as a “necessary step” for the “security” and well-being of Israel. The Israeli narrative keeps the Western world locked into a permanent state of ignorance, following the pattern of previous Western colonial invaders and occupiers.
Despite being long retired, Wall sounds like he just stepped out of an undergraduate Middle East Studies course. Terminology aside, there more than a suggestion of the paranoid anti-Semite’s belief that Jews control the world, the media, the U.S., whatever. I’m not sure how one can say that “Israel controls the narrative” when it is the regular object of condemnation by the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, and various other international organizations for a multitude of actions that are SOP for dozens of nations that never hear a peep out of said organizations (or Wall and his religious left buddies), but that’s paranoia for you.
The Israeli narrative, carefully honed by Israel well before Israel’s 1947-48 war of conquest, has skillfully made the case that Israel is a state whose inhabitants deserve their own state as victims of oppression and genocide. They chose the ancient biblical lands of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) on the grounds that the land was “given to them” by Yahweh (the Hebrew word for God).
So let me get this straight: Israel has been “honing the narrative” since “well before” Israel came into existence? The superpowers of the Jooooos that people like Wall delusionally concoct never cease to amaze me.
Wall is apparently unaware of the Balfour Declaration (1917), in which the British government declared its support for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine, long before the Holocaust. And why did they “[choose] the ancient biblical lands of Judea and Samaria”? It couldn’t have anything to do with that being the ancestral home of the Jewish people could it? Or perhaps the fact that Jews had lived in that land for over 3000 years regardless of who the ruler was? Nah, they must have chosen it so they could kick around Arabs.
One other thing. Wall calls Israel’s War for Independence a “war of conquest.” This is revisionist history that only a Holocaust denier could love. Israel was established by UN action, which was ignored by five Arab nations that invaded Israel on the day it proclaimed its independence with the aim of destroying the new-born state and exterminating the Jews living in Palestine. Did Israel capture and annex territory that was not part of the original UN partition plan? Yes, not surprising given that the UN plan would have created a state that was totally indefensible (and despite that, Jewish leadership accepted said plan, while the Arab leadership unequivocally rejected it). The lands that people like Wall now refer to as the “Palestinian territories” (the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem) were not “conquered” by Israel, of course, but were taken over by Egypt and Jordan. If the Arabs had wanted to set up a Palestinian state, they could have at any time between 1948 and 1967. Wall must have been doing his Rip Van Winkle routine during those twenty years.
That narrative — mixing ancient biblical beliefs with modern political strategy — has so totally dominated the perspective of the Western world outside the Middle East, that it has emerged as the only view of reality known to the West. It is in this narrative that Israel is the “victim” and the Palestinian people are an enemy that seeks to drive Israelis “into the sea.”
Yeah, it’s a pity we never hear another perspective out of the mainstream media in the United States or anywhere else in the West (the UK’s Guardian newspaper, for instance, journalistic home of Robert Fisk, is actually a Mossad front operation, as is the New York Times, the Washington Post, heck, even the Christian Century, are nothing but shills for Likud). And I have no idea where anyone ever came up with the notion that any Palestinians want to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible.
It has been Israel’s goal since it gained UN recognition as a state in 1949 to control this narrative and prevent any contrary narrative from obtaining a hearing. The occupation of the Palestinian people is sold to the West as a necessity. Palestinians in this narrative are perceived as a threat to the well being and security of all Israelis.
This is another one of those inexplicable things. I can’t imagine where anyone ever got the idea that the Palestinians were a “threat to the well being and security” of Israelis.
The large majority of Americans have accepted this narrative as the only available reality. They permit their government to function as a financial backer of Israel, and to politically support Israel in world forums. American politicians function within a bipartisan political operation which accepts and promotes the “Israel is a permanent victim” narrative. This narrative obscures the political reality that Israel serves as an important part of the American empire, which seeks to control the people of the Middle East through military power and political deceit.
The Palestinian narrative traces its history through Arab history, from which Palestinians emerged as an important part of the Ottoman Empire. Following Arab support for the Western allies in their war in 1917-18 against Germany and Turkey, Palestinians were assured they would retain their homeland in their corner of the Ottoman Empire. The Palestinian narrative in the modern era emphasizes the Nakba(catastrophe), the ethnic cleansing that led to Israel’s establishment. That narrative has been denied a part in American discussions of the Middle East.
There’s a reason why the “Palestinian narrative traces its history through Arab history.” It’s because the Palestinians are Arabs. Under the Ottoman Empire, they were simply the Arabs who lived in Palestine. As for the “ethnic cleansing” that is now so much a part of the Nakba mythology, I suggest you take a look here for some information from contemporaneous sources about how the Palestinian refugee problem came about. Oh, and of course I’d also point out that if the Jews intended to engage in “ethnic cleansing,” they should fire their maid, since they left most of the cleansees within the borders of the new state. One also wonders why neither Wall nor any other Palestinian apologist ever–I mean, ever–mentions that there were over 17,000 Jewish refugees who were expelled from Jordanian controlled areas of the West Bank. They didn’t remain refugees long, of course, because Israel took them in, unlike the Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority, which to this day use the Palestinian refugees as political pawns in their fight against Israel.
It is the Israeli narrative that enables Israel to be an important American ally in the Middle East. That narrative saturates American society through the media, the economy, political structures, nongovernmental institutions involved in education and religious groups.
Wall goes to talk about the Kairos Document, but I think I’m through with him for this outing.