Providing anti-Israel misinformation to potentially millions of viewers, Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) aired a panel discussion, “One State or Two State Solution: What’s Best for the Palestinians?” The discussion (1.4 hours) constituted the first such event of the annual conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) held in Washington D.C (Marriott Wardman Park hotel) beginning on Sept. 22, 2017. C-SPAN aired the discussion later on that same day (at 10 p.m. Eastern) and repeated it again the next day. The network typically didn’t bother to issue a standard broadcast disclaimer such as “Points of view expressed in this program are not necessarily those of this network.”
using Tylenol to address the cancer… instead of chemo …the thing we need to do is remove the cancer… If we admit that the West Bank is occupied we have to admit that Tel Aviv and Haifa are occupied as well as Jerusalem.
ADC’s problematic history includes falsely characterizing Israel as an “apartheid state” and Zionism as racist, and praising terrorist entities Hamas and Hezbollah.
Moreover, Israel is the only Western-style democracy in the Middle East. It is an open society with equal rights for Christians and Muslims as well as Jews. Israel has women’s equality, an independent judiciary, free press and is the only country in the region where Americans could live as freely as they do at home and one that, if not for religious and ethnic prejudice in neighboring states, ought to be an example for the Middle East’s many countries now in intra-communal upheaval with Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims regularly killing each other.
ADC’s position as a persistently severe critic of Israel is in sharp contrast with that of various prominent Christian Arab Americans. Examples are Brigitte Gabriel, an American Arab of Lebanese Maronite Christian descent, founder, president and CEO of ACT for America (750,000 members), dedicated to preserving national security by exposing the dangers posed by radical Islam – and Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-American human rights activist, and founder of Arabs For Israel. Additionally, key support for Israel is provided by Christian Zionists, such as John Hagee, founder of the 3.5 million member organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
The panel states,
“There are upwards of 600,000 Israeli settlers moving illegally into Palestinian land. They represent the greatest obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state and realization of a two state solution.”
“They [Palestinians] are removed from their homes and displaced to create new settlements… We have to embark on a process of settler decolonization … Israel is a settler colony.”
First, it is untrue that the establishment of Jewish communities in the West Bank displaced Palestinians. These communities are located almost entirely, if not entirely, either on Jewish-owned land or land owned by the previous governing authority (Jordan, Britain, the Turkish Ottoman empire).
But the international community – with dozens of Muslim countries influencing other countries to act against Israel which are often also influenced by their own resident Muslims – is wrong. The right of Jews to live in the West Bank is strongly rooted both in international law and in post-biblical history. The legal right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their own state in their ancestral homeland was granted by the Allied Powers of World War I at the 1920 San Remo conference. And the Jewish presence in the territory was recognized as legitimate in the Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, which provided for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancient homeland.
Article 6 of the Mandate calls for “close Jewish settlement” on the land west of the Jordan River. Article 6 is incorporated by Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, sometimes referred to as “the Palestine article.” The United States endorsed the mandate, including Article 6, in the 1924 Anglo-American Convention. The West Bank is not sovereign territory of any country, but rather land disputed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, when Israel took control as a result of successful self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Moreover, any emphasis on “settlements” in terms of denying “justice” as the major obstacle to peace is misplaced. First, the settlements comprise no more than six percent of the entire West Bank (Judea and Samaria – referred to as such in the Christian New Testament as well as other historical sources – part of the ancient homeland of the Jewish people). Additionally, during the period 1948-1967 when Jewish communities were absent from the West Bank, a state of hostilities existed against the Jewish state based on the desire to destroy Israel. So, the settlements issue as the major obstacle to a peace agreement is a bogus one. This logic evidently escapes the United Nations Security Council.
The panel’s propaganda includes,
“We have to rest on the principle that all of Palestine is occupied. You don’t just say the West Bank is occupied and the Gaza Strip is occupied. All of Palestine, all of it is occupied.”
“However we decide to wield our resistance it has to make the occupation and make apartheid more politically and economically, diplomatically expensive for Israel rather than cheaper.”
“We are a major demographic problem for any racist apartheid state that will exist on our land. Israel never decided how to deal with this. Everything that Israel has them for the past 70 years is to get rid of us. They are very bad at it. They’re not good at it at all. The opposite effect is happening. That in 1948, when they kicked out Palestinians from what we now call Israel at the green line. How many people in this room might be descendents of refugees of 1948, I know I am, they kicked out Palestinians.”
“The Knesset [Israel’s national legislature] is okay with apartheid.”
The panel’s claim, “… in 1948, when they [Israel] kicked out Palestinians from what we now call Israel at the green line” is misleading. The vast majority of Arabs who fled Israel (many remained) did so as a result of pressure from Arab leaders during the Arab-initiated 1948 war. The descendants of these Arabs have suffered at the hands of their own leaders and those of the broader Muslim world.
The term “apartheid” originated in South Africa to describe the country’s system of enforced separation between blacks and whites. There has never been anything comparable to this in Israel as between any groups. The assertion that Israel is an apartheid state is a slander. Israeli Arabs enjoy greater political, social and economic rights, not to mention personal safety, than their brethren in virtually all Arab countries. While the critics of Israel routinely falsely accuse the Jewish state of “apartheid,” rarely, if ever, do they criticize those who genuinely practice or advocate apartheid. For example, they ignore Palestinian leaders’ advocacy of apartheid in insisting on “not a single Jew” in any new “Palestine.” Most Arab societies practice apartheid of women, apartheid of homosexuals, apartheid of Christians, of Jews, of democracy. In Saudi Arabia, they hang homosexuals; in Sudan, genocide has taken place; women all over the Arab world get murdered if they don’t wear the hijab or if they fall in love with the wrong man. But the accusers are disinterested in this, they have bigger fish to fry – “apartheid Israel.”
A factor that generates claims of apartheid is Israel’s security barrier, the main purpose of which is to prevent Palestinian terrorists from murdering Israelis. It includes less than eight percent of the West Bank. The barrier was constructed in response to the “al-Aqsa intifada,” the 2000 – 2004 Palestinian terror war in which more than 1,000 Israelis – Jewish and Arabs, more than three-fourths of them non-combatants – and foreign visitors were murdered, most by Palestinian terrorists crossing unimpeded from the West Bank. The ba
rrier’s completion has contributed significantly to the roughly 95 percent decrease in lethal attacks from the area.
Palestinians and other supporters of the Palestinian victimization narrative tend to trivialize the Jewish connection to Jerusalem which is strongly established Biblically, historically, and archeologically. Likewise, the panel states,
“Jerusalem is and has always been, since 1948, living under this Latin term … which means it has its own status… So the entirety of Jerusalem, west and east, belongs to nobody and is under no one’s sovereignty. This is why, just because Israel proclaims its capital is a Jerusalem, that nobody recognizes it, because the U.N. doesn’t recognize it. That’s why no countries locate their embassies there. That is why it is such a big deal in America whether we move our embassy to Jerusalem. There was the court case where, if a child was born in Jerusalem and they wanted his passport to say Israel and the State Department said no. The Supreme Court ended up saying that the Executive [President] gets to decide this. And if the State Department says that Jerusalem is not part of Israel, then it is not part of Israel… It can immediately become open to the world, open to everyone who lives there, and become the capital of this new state.”
“If you go, when everyone says Jerusalem is the center of the problem, go to the Old City. There are 33,000 people living there. Only 3000 are Jewish. All the rest are Arab… The place is still Arab. It has been for 1500 years. 50 years of settlers from Europe does not change anything.”
Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest city, is mentioned hundreds of times in the Hebrew Bible. It was the capital city of ancient Jewish kingdoms and home to Judaism’s holiest place, the Temple. Jews from all over the ancient world would make pilgrimages to the Temple three times a year to participate in worship and festivities, as commanded in the Bible. The Jewish wedding ceremony concludes with the chanting of the biblical phrase, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning,” and the breaking of a glass by the groom to commemorate the destruction of the Temples. And Yom Kippur services and the Passover Seder conclude each year with the phrase “Next Year in Jerusalem.”
The panel’s claims are misleading. First, the phrase “50 years of settlers from Europe …” falsely implies that Israelis in Jerusalem (and all of Israel by extension) consist entirely of relatively recent arrivals from Europe when in fact the majority of Israeli Jews are those who fled their native Arab countries (and their descendants) in the wake of persecution related to the 1948 War of Independence.
Furthermore, Jewish presence in the Holy Land predates Arab presence by thousands of years. Jewish presence in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem has been almost continuous for thousands of years and for most of that time it was concentrated in east Jerusalem (now claimed by the Palestinian Arabs). Since the mid-1800’s, Jews constituted the largest single group of residents in the city until the 1948 ethnic cleansing of all east Jerusalem Jews by Jordan when it gained control of east Jerusalem. This lasted until the 1967 war.
According to historical and cultural geographer Professor Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, “In the second half of the nineteenth century and at the end of that century, Jews comprised the majority of the population of the Old City [of Jerusalem]…” Historian Martin Gilbert reports that 6,000 Jews resided in Jerusalem in 1838, compared to 5,000 Muslims and 3,000 Christians. Encyclopedia Britannica of 1853 “assessed the Jewish population of Jerusalem in 1844 at 7,120, making them the biggest single religious group in the city.” And others estimated the number of Jewish residents of Jerusalem at the time as even higher.
The Jerusalem Post newspaper reports that
“In 1967, about 17,000 Muslims, 6,000 Christians, and no Jews were living within the Old City’s walls. The Jewish Quarter had been bombed out by Arabs and its holy places desecrated [during the Jordan occupation]. It was decided to renovate the Jewish Quarter immediately and to populate it with a Jewish community of 600-700 households (about 2,500 residents) plus another 1,500 (primarily yeshiva) students…”
There is controversy surrounding U.S. Presidents’ persistent refusals to relocate the U.S. embassy from the city of Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. In addition to trying to (needlessly) indulge Palestinian leadership, these refusals are at least partially due to pressure from Arab and other Islamic states driven by the Islamic supercessionist dynamic. Another factor is the influence of the traditionally anti-Israel Arabist U.S. State Department. So, the policy of the U.S. government has been to treat Israel’s capital city differently from other nation’s capital cities – that is not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. However Jerusalem is the seat of government, home to the Knesset (parliament), Supreme Court, prime minister’s office and residence and most other governmental agencies – and has been a capital city only of the Jewish people at any time in the past 3,000 years.
The ADC panelists have a problem with reality and truth.
During the discussion, there was not even a single mention of the terms “Islam” or “Muslim” or any variants thereof. This is indicative of views largely detached from reality as it ignores, for example, the pervasive impact of Islamism on the Palestinian dominant culture which continually inculcates hate of the Jewish neighbors in communications media, mosques, schools, and by political authorities.
ut the evidence shows that Palestinian incitement plays the major part in the phenomenon.
PA officials honor terrorists and praise their acts of violence. Likewise, the Palestinian culture denies – despite overwhelming DNA, archeological, and historical evidence to the contrary – that the current Jewish people of Israel have any connection to the Holy Land.
Blaming Israel, the panelists reject the two-state solution as not viable but it’s the Palestinians who make it not viable. The PA insists on various conditions unlikely to be accepted by any Israeli government before peace negotiations can take place, including: Israel must abide by Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Israel must accept a “right of return” (that does not exist in international law) for millions of Arabs (nearly all of whom have never lived in Israel) which would inevitably result in the Jewish state becoming unviable.
On C-SPAN, Jews are the only ethnic/religious group and Israel is the only nation allied with the United States, routinely defamed in broadcasts. The public service network, granted special privileges by the U.S. Congress, rarely challenges or even disassociates itself from the inflammatory mendacious rhetoric. Numerous C-SPAN broadcasts over a period of several years have aired material defaming Israel and Jews. This occurs in the daily three-hour morning call-in show Washington Journal monitored by CAMERA since 2008 as well as in numerous discussion and interview programs documented by CAMERA.