Inaccuracies of ad regarding Israel-Palestine conflict

The ad titled “The entire Palestinian case against Israel is based on a lie,” which ran in The Daily Texan on Wednesday, began with the stereotypical Zionist premise that there are no Palestinians to speak of. This rejection of a Palestinian nationality is the thesis of the entire ad, and it tries to relegate the traditional term to being nothing more than a construction which the Greeks — not the Romans, as these ill-informed writers would have you believe — created. Tradition is not always a good thing, and blindly following it without reason or factual basis is backwards. 

These representatives argue that at the time of Israel’s creation, there had been no Palestine since the Roman occupation of the Levant. If they had studied history more cautiously, they would have known that the British Empire created mandates, including that of Palestine, after World War I. Therefore, Palestinians had a land to call their own that was recognized by the British Empire well before the establishment of the U.N.

The existence of the mandate also debunks the authors’ statement that no Arabs called themselves Palestinians until 1964; in fact, from 1911 until the beginning of the British mandate, various community leaders had been establishing an emerging national identity. The Palestinians had therefore adopted a national and collective identity prior to 1948.

One key feature, which the authors neglected to reference, was the exodus in 1948. Between 600,000 and 750,000 people either fled or were exiled from their homes in what would become Israel after the 1948 war between the newly announced (though geographically undefined) Israel and neighboring Arab countries (excluding Palestinians). Palestinians argue that their lands are currently occupied because they were purged from their homes during
this period.

Other mistakes in the ad that were made by representatives of the David Horowitz Freedom Center include that Arab peoples freely “elected oppressive regimes.” If the authors had been watching the news for the first six months of this year, they would have seen the Arab Spring as a counterargument to their statement.   

Additionally, the ad continues by stating, without citing any evidence, that Arabs are responsible for rejecting peace for the past 60 years. Unfortunately for the less-knowledgeable, they would be unaware of the fact that this “rejection” and aggression was started by the French and, more importantly to Israelis and Palestinians, the British, who dissected what we now call the “Middle East” from the remains of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

The last significant error this ad features is an appeal to the irrational fear of failing to prevent a “second Holocaust.” Iran’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) would in no way be comparable to the utter destruction which Israel could deal to any threat in the region with the WMDs it possesses, according to an August 2000 BBC News article.  

Having read this ad several times, I have tried to balance the terribly biased and poor argument of the ad. I hope that my peers feel slightly more informed about this issue. Like a majority of Americans who would like to see a bipartisan effort between Republicans and Democrats to solve the problems of this country, I greatly desire to see this conflict come to a mutually beneficial resolution. But with no end in sight, and with both parties dedicated to constructed ideologies, we are forced to play with the hand we’re dealt.

— Samuel A. Huckleberry
History junior