If YOU Got This Anti-Israel Text Too...Here's The Facts

Susie Dym,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Susie Dym
Susie Dym serves as spokesperson for Mattot Arim, with over 20 years of expertise on "peace-for-peace" issues.
I recently received the following:

Subject: I would be obliged if you could comment on this article

Susie, this anti-Israel test  http://jfjfp.com/?p=88057http://jfjfp.com/?p=88057

was sent to me via a friend  from a professor from Cambridge University [who] would like an opinion on it to know the other side's version.


Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for your email. We have reviewed the article forwarded to you by a British academic, referenced here: http://jfjfp.com/?p=88057.

The late Moshe Sneh, cited in the article (“Moshe Sneh pointed out, the (1956) war’s ... near-total destruction of ... tentative readiness on the part of Arab countries to reach a peace agreement with Israel...), was a member of Israel’s Communist party. During his time even socialists in Israel, and a fortiori actual communists like Sneh, had a worshipful attitude to to the Soviet Union and particularly to Stalin, large portraits of whom  adorned walls of socialist premises.

The use, in the article, of "imperalism" terminology (“the ’56 war aligned Israel with the former colonial powers...Israel began to be identified as ...a superpower seeking territorial expansion for its own sake....the Sinai War sent a clear message to ...the region about which side of the global battle Israel had chosen”)  and the article’s reliance on  a member of Israel’s Communist party,  suggests that this article  comes from a school of thought associated with the Soviet propaganda tradition. This tradition was described most famously by  Major-­‐General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking defector from the former Eastern Bloc.   At the time of his 1978 defection, pursuant to US President Jimmy Carter's approval of his request for political asylum, Pacepa  had served as an advisor to Communist Romania's President Nicolae Ceauşescu, and  was a senior in  the Securitate (secret police of Communist Romania). The CIA recognized his contribution as  "important and unique". See e.g.:

Pacepa wrote that “the Kremlin decided to turn the whole Islamic world against Israel and the U.S. As KGB chairman Yury Andropov told me, ...[w]e needed to instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world....According to Andropov, the Islamic world was a waiting petri dish.... Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep....The codename of this operation was “SIG” (Sionistskiye Gosudarstva, or “Zionist Governments”), and was within my Romanian service’s “sphere of influence”.... SIG was a large party/state operation.... All had the task of portraying the United States as an arrogant and haughty Jewish fiefdom... whose aim was to subordinate the entire Islamic world. In the mid 1970s, the KGB ordered my service, the DIE — along with other East European sister services — to scour the country for ...activists belonging to various Islamic ethnic groups (and) train them in disinformationhttp://www.nationalreview.com/article/218533/russian-footprints-ion-mihai-pacepa

In other words, the Soviets and those under their tutelage were or became master diseminators of disinformation and it appears as though this article is a product of that disinformation. For example:

A. The article does not mention who it was who initiated the “1948 war” (it was these very Arab countries who had been the aggressors against Israel from Day 1 – not the other way around). The article goes on to  refer to the 1956 war as “the first war since the founding of the state...setting the stage for decades of hostility and war... after an Israeli attack on Gaza in February 1955 that claimed the lives of 38 Egyptian soldiers, the Egyptian president announced...that his hopes for a peace deal with Israel had been dashed .... ”  – these are invidious ways of presenting relatively minor hostilities occurring less than a decade after  the  catastrophic (for nascent Israel) war launched by its Arab neighbors immediately upon Israel’s inception in 1948, hostilities which had only partially subsided.

B. Re: “The fedayeen did indeed murder Israeli civilians, just as the army murdered Arab civilians over the border” -- smearing by association is a common propaganda tactic. Israeli killing of civilians was not murder but rather self-defense. The Arab population in question  made life impossible for Israel; what did they expect Israel to do? In contrast, fedayeen wanton slayings of Israeli civilians was murder.  Israelis from that period well remember what hell it was in this period of infiltrators who were killing whole families in particular in socially weakened developmental towns like Kiryat Malachi and Ofakim.  To give one example,  a bus was ambushed  in Maale Akrabim  by fedayeen who massacred the bus’s passengers including many children. This massacre is glorified by the Palestinian Authority to this day; see materials accumulated by Palestinian Media Watch and easily available on their website.

C. Re “there was a partial naval blockade (although less severe than the one Israel has imposed on Gaza in recent years)” – again, smearing by association is a common propaganda tactic. The Arab blockade of the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tiran is absurdly compared to the Israeli naval blockade against Gaza. The former, though unprovoked hence unjustified, prevented transit of  all goods carried in Israeli ships – with no exceptions for humanitarian supplies. The Israeli naval blockade, despite the legitimate reasons Israelis had to blockade the Gaza Strip (the blockade didn’t commence until Gaza had commenced firing at Israel), nonetheless permitted ships to come to a specified port where they could proceed after having been inspected for war contraband.  Particularly galling is that no mention is made of the fact that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is even more than a pure act of defence – after all, the terror from Gaza against Israel occurred after Israel gave up land there, unilaterally. How then can the authors of this article even begin to compare the two blockades?

D. The history of Israel is not covered accurately.  Jews are the original indigenous people of Palestine aka Eretz Yisrael.  In l920 the Jewish People were recognized by the international community as the most rightful owners of the collective rights to political self-determination in tiny Palestine/Eretz Yisrael. A minority everywhere in the world, the Jewish people was to become a majority capable of the exercise of sovereignty by practicing immigration and settlement in Eretz Yisrael.  The Arab people too received the right of self-determination -- in the entire Middle East other than tiny Palestine/Eretz Yisrael. Due to the Holocaust, Israel has thus far managed to become a majority in some areas but not all, however progress continues to be made due to the high Jewish birth rate in Israel.  

E. The Jews did not expel Arabs from Palestine/Eretz Yisrael.  The Arabs in Palestine/Eretz Yisrael fled and were urged to leave by the Arab Higher Committee itself. Israel’s subsequent refusal to let these emigrees return was appropriate because these emigrees were not likely to live in peace with their neighbors – an Arab-Israeli  war was ongoing and still is. Re “expulsion of hundreds of thousands of refugees who were prevented from returning” – this would have been accurate had it referred to the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries, which is well-documented but not in the authors’ interest to point out.

F. “The (1956) war also proved to be the last nail in the coffin for relations between Egypt and its ancient Jewish community” – this offensive statement openly blames Israel rather than Egypt, for Egypt’s mistreatment of its Jewish citizens.

G. The article refers to  “tentative readiness on the part of Arab countries to reach a peace agreement with Israel” – the article does not provide any supporting facts: The article speaks of “a friendship struck up during the 1948 war, between Nasser ... and Yeruham Cohen, an aide to Yigal Allon.... following the Egyptian Revolution in 1952,... Nasser tried several times to invite Cohen to a meeting... then-editor of HaOlam HaZeh (“This World”) magazine, Uri Avneri urged Cohen to meet the Egyptian president....However, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs forbade (this)..... an Egyptian-born Israeli, Joe Golan, who worked on the Jewish Agency’s Arab desk...  as a one-man peace factory during the 1950s and ‘60s, but was blocked ... by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. But Israel, like any other country, is run by its elected government, which was readily accessible to Nasser had he reached out to the proper agencies rather than to two “one-man peace factories” who had never been duly elected and hence were not the right address for peace overtures.  Re  “Nasser tried to get his ambassador in Paris to contact the Israeli ambassador in the same city“ – this of course is an example of a proper avenue, however if the Egyptian ambassador failed to carry out Nasser’s instructions, this is nothing to blame Israel about, and so forth. The main point however, is that the instigator of violence has no need to “reach a peace agreement” with the victim of the violence he instigated; the aggressor need only lay down his arms, and there will be peace – this is still true of the Arab countries today.

H. Re “Radio Cairo continued to broadcast calls for peace” – since Cairo was, itself, the instigator of the war, it would be laughable for Cairo to call for peace to be maintained. However, it is possible that this assertion is a myth rather than merely an absurdity; those living in Israel in the 1950’s still remember  the broadcasts from Cairo -- which were easily received at least in southern Israel --  as being threatening and laden with propaganda against Israel, in Hebrew and Arabic. No “calls for peace” are recalled by these veteran Israelis.

I am grateful for the assistance of  Mr. Wallace Brand, JD and others who prefer not to be mentioned by name, for their kind assistance in writing up this response.  We are sorry we are unable to spend more time on this spin-laden article but hope we have been of at least some assistance. I will try to help with questions if any; please feel free to contact me direct at sddym followed by bezeqint.net  – or, for nonurgent inquiries, mattot.arim followed by the usual gmail suffix.

Susie Dym, spokesperson
Mattot Arim, an Israeli NGO
working toward peace-for-peace since 1992