Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

Tired old lies peddled again and again

Benjamin Netanyahu's last name is not quite as ancient as it appears

By Johan van den Kerkhof


A recent item in the Cyprus Mail (‘Cyprus and Israel tighten links with military agreement’), February 24, 2016) elicited numerous comments on its website, some of which were truly off the charts.

Other than feeling uneasy with Cyprus and Israel getting a bit too chummy lately, I have just got to address the disinformation – and I choose my words carefully – disseminated online regarding Israel.

I can’t tell how much of this information, which obviously is intended to shape opinion, is controlled or spontaneous, but it certainly does seem that whenever the word ‘Israel’ crops up, people or bots materialise with the speed of light pushing a narrative that has very little – and I’m being kind here – to do with the record. It’s well known that the propaganda bureaus of several governments – Israel being no exception – employ professional trolls to monitor the traffic on the Web and to counteract.

One commenter on the Mail claimed Jerusalem has been “the capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years”, going on to matter-of-factly add that “there has never been a Palestinian state or people.”

Another said Jerusalem is the “capital city of the Jewish people and the State of Israel for more than 3,000 years”.

Cute. That someone should in the year 2016 rehash claims that have long been comprehensively debunked is an intriguing behavioural phenomenon in itself. Talk about a broken vinyl record.

There’s also the trend of portraying Israel as the perennial victim. Again, nothing could be farther from the truth, as the record has shown.

Fact: the modern State of Israel was created in 1948. It logically follows that prior to that, Jerusalem could not have been the capital of the State of Israel, which did not exist until that time. How you get a capital without a state is beyond me.

Yet this is precisely what some folks keep peddling, even positing that we should go back 3,000 or whatever years, thus implying somehow that manifest destiny mandates that Jerusalem has always been and must be always be the capital of Israel. Obviously this nonsensical, non-rational narrative has to compensate by drawing on ideology and the arcane.

Research has uncovered that very few – if any – modern-day Israelis can trace their ancestry back to the Jewish people of antiquity. But suppose they could, the proposition that somehow this confers a ‘right’ on a certain geographical area in perpetuity is easily preposterous and facile, which any sane person can understand.

Fact: in September 2011 Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the United Nations General Assembly and proudly declared that in his office in Jerusalem he keeps an ancient seal inscribed with the name ‘Netanyahu’. “That’s my last name,” he added with a straight face, obviously wanting to make that much-sought connection to the Israel of old.

Except there was one little problem with that spiel. Netanyahu’s last name is not really Netanyahu. He is the son of Benzion Netanyahu, born Benzion Mileikowsky, a Polish Jew.

To say that Bibi was being disingenuous – and before the venerated UN no less – would be an understatement.

Then there’s that other assertion, which as one punter so eloquently put it: “There has never been a Palestinian people.”

As the saying goes, the bigger the lie the more it will be believed. Again, implicit in this fraudulent statement is that if a Palestinian people have never existed, then someone else must have been living in that space. Hint, hint, fill in the blank. It’s a double whammy of a lie.

In 1984, a book appeared about the demographics of the Arab population of Palestine and of the Jewish population of the Arab world before and after the formation of the State of Israel.

Its author, Joan Peters, argued that Palestinians are largely not indigenous to modern Israel and therefore do not have a claim to its territory.

Titled “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine”, the book was exposed as a fraud by the scholar Norman Finkelstein. Himself the son of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein did not dismiss the book a priori, but rather set out to investigate. After thorough research he discovered that the population figures cited by Peters were not merely wrong or misrepresented, they were outright fake, i.e. lies.

It’s therefore amusing how Israel’s cheerleaders cycle through these mendacities every few years.

The other myth is that Israel has from the outset been on the defensive, fighting for its very survival and prevailing against all odds.

Well, I’d urge readers to take a look at ‘The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine’ by Miko Peled. Or check out Peled’s speaking engagements on Youtube.

His own research uncovered that neither in 1973, nor 1967, nor even in 1948, were the Jews at any real risk of defeat or annihilation. To the contrary, in every case they had the upper hand and their higher-ups knew it all too well at the time and were itching for a fight.

It goes without saying that this isn’t what is taught in Israeli schools or to Jewish people around the world.

Fact: in terms of casualties, the single biggest act of terrorism in Israel/Palestine was perpetrated by Zionist terrorists. It was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in July 1946. It was ordered by Menachem Begin, commander of the Irgun terror gang who later became Israel’s sixth prime minister in the 1970s and 1980s.

Disguised as Arabs, on July 22, 1946 the Irgun planted a bomb in the basement of the main building of the hotel, whose southern wing housed the Mandate Secretariat and a few offices of the British military headquarters. Ninety-one people of various nationalities were killed and 46 were injured.

It’s also believed that in the same building, British authorities kept the files on Jewish terrorists. So the terror attack killed two birds with one stone. False flag operations, requiring as they do a great deal of effort and resources, must almost always have multiple objectives.

For anyone still on the fence about Israel being the aggressor, may I remind readers that the State of Israel possesses nuclear weapons, on top of having one of the most powerful and hi-tech conventional militaries in the world. Go ahead and Google ‘The Samson Option’.

You guys can also read up on Oded Yinon and the plan for a ‘Greater Israel’. The plan operates on two essential premises: to survive, Israel must become an imperial regional power, and  must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Curiously, Cyprus is included in some interpretations of this ‘Greater Israel’. The Oded Yinon plan is a policy paper, it’s serious business.

Countless more examples could be cited, but alas space is limited. No doubt some will pull the familiar ‘this is anti-Semitism’ rebuttal. Sorry, but as our American friends would say, that dog just ain’t gonna hunt. None should be immune from censure, whether their people suffered a Holocaust or not. And to pre-empt, yes a terrible genocide did take place against the Jewish people, and this statement is not made because it’s PC, but because it’s quite simply true. Would that everyone stuck to the facts.

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