Debunking 6 common Israeli myths

This site attempts to debunk 6 “myths” reported widely in the press and by the Israeli government. I think it makes for interesting reading and includes cites for additional information. Do you think the “myths” have been debunked by the information provided?

I just checked out the site, and looked at #3 first. Color me unimpressed. They produced a total of two quotes from Arafat condemning suicide bombings in Arabic, both from the last half-year, both while under heavy pressure from both the U.S. and Israel to do so. Sorry, but suicide bombings have been going on for years. Two measly quotes, unenforced by any sort of power, and frequently contradicted by other statements praising the Palestinian “martyrs” is not enough. What could Arafat do? Hear are some suggestions:

  1. Go on TV and condemn terrorism every day. Unequivocably. Without mentioning the Israeli occupation that causes such violence, like the Palestinian spokespeople always seem to do, even in English.
  2. Tear down posters, paint over murals, and ban parades that honor suicide bombers.
  3. Enlist whatever Islamic clerics you can find to condemn the bombers, and explain that they are writhing in the pits of hell, not enjoying paradise. Admittedly, clerics who feel this way are few and far between, but Arafat could probably russle up a couple if he really felt like it.
  4. Give money to family members who turn in would-be bombers, not to the widows and spouses of murderers.
    4b) Tell the rest of the Arab world that he will gladly accept money to help crack down on suicide bombers, but that he will return any donations intended for their families after the act.
  5. Arrest and indefinitely imprison anyone shown to have beforehand knowledge of any upcoming suicide attack, or any illegal terrorist organization (which, I realize, would end up with 80% of Palestinians behind jail if fully enforced, but he could at least make an effort.)
  6. Take children away from any parents who speak about how they’d like their children to grow up to be martyrs, or who have them march with fake dynamite strapped to their bodies.
  7. Get rid of pro-terrorism propaganda, like the Palestinian version of Sesame Street where children sing songs praising suicide bombers and expressing a desire to do so themselves.
  8. Make his wife get on TV and say that she spoke incorrectly, and opposes suicide bombings as well.
  9. Try to get other Arab nations to send military and police forces to continue the crackdown on suicide bombers.

Yeah, some are pretty extreme. But the fact is that Arafat has done none of them. He’s done squat. The handful of times that he’s meekly opposed suicide bombings have all been wink-wink, nudge-nudge, Israel’s-making-me-do-this-but-you-know-what-I-really-mean, type condemnations.

And in return for doing this, Israel is going to do what, Opus1?

Find that they can successfully oppress the Palestinians without effective complaint, and take that as a green light to ignore their concerns, I expect.

Exactly what they’ve said they’d do should the Palestinians stop their terrorizing. Just because Arafat wants more than he should get, the Israeli’s are suddenly the bad guys?

Can you explain the “more” that Arafat wants and that, that he “should” get?

Spoofe, what’s to stop the Israelis from saying “well, just in case they start terrorizing again, we had best take precautionary measures”. Or, worse yet, “we’ll get back to you guys about that independent state thing sometime later.”

Will the current occupation really stop even if the bombs did?

Hell if I know, but Arafat’s been offered some sweet peace offers in the past, and he rejected them. So either, A: he’s insane, or B: he wants more than what he’s been offered.

The threat of more suicide bombings if they act up. Or do you think the Israeli’s like having corpses littered around?

I believe it will. However, by now, you’re going to have a helluva hard time convincing Israel that the bombs have really stopped. That whole “Fool me once…” thing.

Bolding mine.Not really the same thing is it.

Arafat has agreed with the new Saudi Plan. If Israel rejects this will they be looking for more than they should get of will they be just acting in their own interests?

Yes Israel has every right to protect thier people but this does not give them carte blanche. There are still terrorist attack happening but what has happened in Jenin seems to be a disgrace. Israel is loosing a lot of international simpathy by its actions.

And this will achieve what, exactly? the perfect excuse for the extremists to run amok and step up their campaign. And they mention the Israeli Terror because, hey, guess what? Israel are committing attrocities aswell.

yes, thats right. Supress freedom of speech. That’ll help.

How do you know they are few and far between? Have you been over there? All we are seeing is the extremist side of the argument (on both sides). Its akin to showing Jerry Falwell as the example of all American Christians.

I’d rather see the money Palestine recieves used for infrastructure and building and education.

OK, we’re getting into orwellian territory here. Where are you getting your figure of 80%? Try not to tar every Palistinian with that brush of yours.

Only if you take the children away from every Israeli parent who wants to see their child go into the Military, and buy them toy guns and little army clothes.


I somehow doubt Israel would take kindly to military presence from other arab countries so close to their borders, regardless of their motives.
I’ll just ask you, what guarentee does he have that Israel would actually do anything in return? That is why Arafat walked away from Camp David, because Barak was making promises that he would not be able to keep, perhaps because of the impending deadline, and because Barak had an impending election in Israel and really wanted to come away with something. He didn’t and The even more extremist Sharon was elected.

Arafat should never have walked away from Camp David, but you should really look at both sides of the arguement.

TwistofFate, your reply should be directed to Opus1 who made those comments.

Shees you pro palestinians kill me. You act like this has been going on for thousands of years.

YoJimbo Quote: Arafat has agreed with the new Saudi Plan. If Israel rejects this will they be looking for more than they should get of will they be just acting in their own interests?

YO YoJimbo you realize that the “new” Saudi plan is the exact same “plan” that the Arabs wanted in 1967? Shees like always you repeat something long enough people start believing it.

Look for the historically challenged here, Pre 1967 Arafat and his boys were launching attacks inside Israel. Durring the 6 day war Arafat and his boys fought on the LOSING side. Post 1967 the “palestinian” people have been disowned by their Arab brothers. Shees it is that simple. Personally I believe the “palestinian” people have finally proven themselves unworthy of self rule.

EasyPhil, My apologies.

nswguru1, Just because someone is critical of Israel does not make them Pro Palestinian.

Shees! why didnt we think of that before! Its that simple!! WOW!! Lets march over there, take their land and RULE FOR THEM, because they’re incapable of ruling them selves. Shees! Its that simple!!

My point wasn’t about the actual plan it was about how SPOOFE said that “Arafat wants more than he should get” and then changed it to “he wants more than what he’s been offered”. That is all nothing else.

Really I must have dreamed all the press over the last years about Arab countries arguing for the Palestinian people. As for your belief that the Palestinian people have proved themselves unworthy of self rule. Who do you think should “rule” them, Israel? you’ve got to be kidding me right? You sound like Ian Paisley in the 60’s / 70’s.

Listen on this board and IRL I’ve always condemned terrorism, I’m quite familiar with it and it’s results but I will also condemn actions by governments when they IMO go too far. In Jenin they have. Read some of the links in this post by istara for some of the reasons I feel this way.

Show some humanity for your fellow man for Christ sake. Just because there are some people who are willing to set theirs aside and indiscriminately kill innocent people doesn’t mean you have to disregard other innocents’ lives and rights.

EasyPhil, I have been reading that web site for a while, looking for the Palestinian view. There is a lot wording there that indicates it is very much a propaganda site. I do not say that all the factual info is off, but it is a bit difficult to believe all of their editorializing.

I have also looked at some sites from Israelis, and some that try to be neutral - the story is very difficult to follow. But you will have to note that terrorist operations have been going on inside the Palestinians controlled areas (this is not disputed much) and that the PA have not been able to stop them. (Some argue about their unwillingness to stop them, but regardless). If you find many other myths debunked, you are still left with the fact that Israel must somehow deal with the source of the attacks on their citizens, and since these attacks are carried out from Palestinian controlled areas, we are where we are today.

I agree with Twist, however, that they do not have the right to blatant abuse of the Palestinian people with out due cause. There is no reason to behave the way some of these reports say they have, and I would like to see some action on Israel’s part to control this, and hold people accountable in courts, etc.

Don’t Arabs leap at the chance to kick Palestinians out of their own territories whenever the opportunity presents itself, e.g., Kuwait after the Gulf War? It’s convenient for Arab leaders to argue against Israel to distract their own people from miserable, despotic conditions at home, and it’s convenient to use the Palestinian cause as a stick to beat Israel with to those ends, but that hardly amounts to any kind of sincere feelings of brotherhood.

In his remark about “disowning” the Palestinian people, isn’t nswgru1 referring to this, and to Jordan’s disavowal of any claims over the West Bank?

And as for the heavy-breathing sarcasm about “why don’t we go over and rule for them”, well, is that really so utterly outside the realm of consideration? Have the Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza seen their lives improve any since Arafat was elected their “leader”? If under self-rule a people can only look forward to thugs and warlords neglecting the basic amenities of life while brainwashing their children to blow themselves up–does it start to look like colonialism is getting a bad rap under the circumstances?


an interesting piece appeared in NRO today.

Wow, the lack of knowledge in this thread abounds. The other Arab states NEVER gave a fuck about the Palestinians. When Israel was formed none of them had viable militaries besides Transjordan and Transjordan was on an expansion kick. Transjordan had a deal with the Israelis, a non-aggression pact, so as not to attack one another, and they pretty much stuck by it for the most part, they annexed the West Bank and didn’t move into Israel proper too much. The Palestinians tried to overthrow Jordan at one point.

Another common misconception is that the “countries” around Israel couldn’t accept the Palestinian refugees. These weren’t even really countries at that point. Some of them still barely have a solid national identity and national strength. The Palestinians are a bullwhip, with which to beat Israel. The other Arab states don’t really care about them. Israel fighting with Palestine is within their best interests, so sending a military force to help police Palestine would hurt their position, not help it. They like having Israel in a position that makes them look like the bad guy.

Most Israelis want to get on with their lives and are sick to death of all of this, and if they really thought that the Palestinians were done bombing them, you’d be surprised at what they’d start giving away.

This is not to say that Israel has never done wrong in the recent or more remote past. It is also not to say that the Palestinians have not done something right in the recent or remote past. Just that these misconceptions weren’t cleared up, they were just covered by new ones.


I am more than willing to admit that both sides have plenty of blame in this tragedy. My points were directed toward a single claim: that Arafat has condemned suicide bombings against civilians. No, he hasn’t. I pointed out a number of things that he could do but hasn’t done. Some are probably unfeasible, others are very simple. By far the simplest and most effective would be a constant condemnation of suicide bombers. Hammer into the Palestinian people the message that Arafat does not support suicide attacks against Israeli civilians in any way, shape, or form. Do it every day. Keep saying it until the Palestinians believe that you believe it. As the situation stands now, Arafat has supported the concept of Palestinian “martyrs” both verbally and financially so many times that everyone knows that any condemnation he makes is solely because of U.S or Israeli pressure. Actually keeping terrorists in jails instead of releasing them every time the pressure eases would help too.

The question of what Israel would give in return is absurd. If suicide bombings against civilians are wrong, then they should be stopped regardless of the circumstances. But it’s fairly clear to me that if Israel had a guarantee that Arafat would actually make a full-fledged effort to stop violence against Israeli civilians that it would withdraw its troops and work on a peace program. Most Israelis only want peace; some want revenge and some want more land, but most would be only too happy to have a Palestinian state if they knew that doing so wouldn’t result in a continued state of violence.

As to my claims that 80% of Palestinians support suicide bombings, here are some polls, which put the numbers at 64%, 74%, and76%, respectively. So I apologize for being off by 4-16%. But my point stands. Most Palestinians support suicide bombings against civilians, a belief strongly linked to the person of Yasser Arafat.

Finally, free speech does not exist in Palestine right now. Anyone who thinks that the Palestinians have a free and democratic press is simply ignorant. As long as this situation exists, Arafat should use censorship and the state media apparatus to oppose, rather than support suicide bombings. He could at least offer protection to the numerous Palestinians threatened and killed for opposing suicide bombings on the grounds of “collaborationism.”

YoJimbo Quote:

Show some humanity for your fellow man for Christ sake. Just because there are some people who are willing to set theirs aside and indiscriminately kill innocent people doesn’t mean you have to disregard other innocents’ lives and rights.

No I will not show some humanity for a group of people who lack such themselves. I read the articles that you linked from another thread and although the stories are colorful it doesn’t mean anything. First of all you have absolutly no concept of urban warfare. That is painfully clear. Secondly you have no experience with warfare period. The next time you get shot at and then five minutes later you see a cameraman from a hundred yards away holding a camera to his head (that by the way looks A WHOLE LOT LIKE A FU****G RPG) you let me know. The reports comming out of Jenin right now are conflicting but you sir have already tried and convicted the IDF. Remind me to never let you be a juror at any trial of mine.

And another thing if all the palestinian people are so darn innocent please explain to me why Arafat’s (who is Egyptian for crying out loud) popularity goes up exponentialy with every suicide bombing carried out. Wake up.

Yes Doghouse I was refering to the fact that after the 1967 war Jordan and Egypt started making statements to the tune of “the only legitimate representative of the palestinian people”. They repeated it so much that it would have been amusing if people like YoJimbo and TwistofFate didn’t start believing it. Like I said you repeat something long enough people start believing it.

Aren’t you offensive. In your reasoning just because Arafat was born in Cario means he can’t (or isn’t intitled) be a Palestinian leader. That is strange their have been many great leaders in the world who weren’t born in their country, wasn’t Yisak Rabin (sp?) the first Israeli leader who was born in Israel!

Which propaganda do we believe?

I agree that Israel must deal with the source of the attacks, but is the source just suicide bombers, or is it Israeli policy and treatment of the Palestinians? Once the military operation has ended and bombings continue, will it be time to try some other way of resolving the conflict?

The end of the occupation and trading land for peace is the only way out of this one, IMO.