Interactive Editorials Al-Jazeerah.info
Propaganda and truth, in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
By Hassan El-Najjar and Michael Bokareli
I'm am constantly shocked by the amount of propaganda used by your website. I applaud you for showing the Muslim point of view through out the world. I am a strong supporter of Israel and I am Jewish as well, but I read your site everyday, looking at the articles, pictures, cartoons and mostly the reader letters and your responses to them.
I would firstly like to say that the usage of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic cartoons does not further peace, it only promotes hatred towards ALL Jews, not simply Israelis. Showing Jewish people as old men with black hats, beards and large noses, with evil looking faces is EXACTLY what the Nazi's did to decencitize the average German, causing them to hate Jews and therefore sit back while Hitler exterminated 6 Million of us.
I especially enjoy the letters to the editor. I enjoy learning about other people's opinions and beliefs, but I am disappointed when many of their arguments are based on incorrect information, or Arab propaganda.
I have said this many many times, and I will say it once again. A Palestinian state CANNOT depend on Israel returning to its "original" borders, mostly because the people in power (such as Arafat) consider Palestinian borders to be all of Israel. This is interesting because never in the Palestinian people's history as it owned any land, at all. The original partition plan (which was decided by the UN) called for Jerusalem to be an international city, and the Palestinians to have much more land than just the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Yet instead of sharing the land, like so many Palestinians now say they want, they ATTACKED Israel, and four other Arab nations attacked as well. Therefore to secure Israel's borders, they took more land than was originally given. Now many people call this Imperialism, but it is not. Israel accepted the plan, they were ready to live side by side with their Arab neighbours. But the Arabs attacked them right away.
I apologize for the history lesson, I am sure that you are already well aware of the History of the land. Looking back at our past will solve nothing, and will not resolve this conflict. I only hope that if you choose to look into the past, that you use the correct information about the past rather than spewing propaganda. Thank you very much,
Propaganda is the selective release of positive information about oneself or about one's group. This is what you did Michael. Israel is an occupying power that has been oppressing the Palestinian people for 36 years. Israelis are living in the homes of the Palestinians without compensating them or without allowing them to go back to their homes. Israel has denied Palestinians citizenship. These are the basics of the conflict that you have chosen to ignore, like all supporters of Israel. A just solution should include correcting these wrongs. Temporarily, it will be OK to have two states, but on the long run, there should be one state for Palestinians and Israelis. Democracy and economic prosperity will make coexistence possible.
The news photos are supposed to awaken human feelings inside people, including supporters of Israel. Sharon and his settlers are aggressive. Nobody should support their aggression, whether you're Jewish or not, you're human first. Israeli atrocities in the Palestinian territories should not be defended. Showing these atrocities in photos is not propaganda, it's the truth, simple and clear.
Cartoons represent the feelings of Arab cartoonist toward their oppressors, the aggressive Israelis. This is the truth, even if you don't want to admit it. Israel has launched wars against Arabs in 1948, 1949, 1956, 1967, 1978, 1982, and a continuous war since 2000. These wars were all fought on Arab lands. In particular the 1948/1949 war which ended in annexing Galilee, Auja, and most of the West Bank and Gaza to Israel (Look at the Partition Map, in the documents section). Contrary to what Israelis say, and you repeated, the 1948 war was an Israeli war of aggression against the Palestinian people. It is documented and known as Plan Dalet, according to which the Haganah (Israeli armed forces) attacked Palestinian villages and evicted Palestinians from their homes.
Criticizing Israel, particularly greedy settlers and their Sharon government is not anti-Semitic. You should refrain from that particularly when you deal with victims of Israel, Arabs generally and Palestinians in particular. More important is that Arabs are Semites and they are proud of their heritage. They cannot be anti-Semitic. Arabs and Muslims also cannot be anti-Jewish because they believe in the Bible and they claim all messengers of God as their own, namely Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesus Christ, and the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammed, Peace of God be to all of them.
Arabs, Muslims, and peace loving people all over the world criticize aggressive Zionist Israeli policies that have kept the conflict going on for 55 years, UNNECESSARILY. Nobody has monopoly on history. Truth has several aspects and can be seen from several angles and perspectives.
Finally, regarding your redlined statement that Palestinians never owned any lands, Palestinians are the only owners of Palestine. They have always been there since time immemorial, long before Abraham came to Canaan and Philistia. They believed in his message and followed him. They believed in the Old Testament, then they believed in the New Testament, when Jesus came. Then, when the message of Islam spread, they became Muslims. It is impossible for you or anyone in the world to deny that the Palestinian people (Muslims, Christians, and non-European Jews) represent this wonderful heritage, as they intermarried for thousands of years. They are the owners of the land. They have always been there. And they will be there forever, simply because God promised the Holy Land for them. He promised it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants, not to followers of any religion. Sharon and the Israeli settlers are just fighting God. They can't win against Him (Read my Promised Land editorial for more information). Peace to you.
Reactions from readers:
As a Jew (living in Ausralia) I get depressed reading letters like Michael Bokarell's with the usual Israeli propaganda line. I have vowed never to set foot in Israel whilst Palestinians are not given justice.
Until that day happens it is a duty for all fair minded Jews who hate Zionism and what it has done to their race, to fight for the freedom of Palestinians to live peaceful lives in their own land.
Until that is acheived, Israelis and all Jews are diminished as a race.
John Harmann, Australia
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