I have often written about the manipulation of technology to fabricate an ahistorical and counter-factual narrative; for example the replacement geography in Google Earth, and the relocation of East Jerusalem to Palestine in Yahoo Weather. History is a critical part of the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel. Getting it right is important. The current discourse over “67 borders” in the media, blogosphere and social media, presents a narrative so removed from fact that its propagandistic nature can be exposed even by someone with only Google Maps and Wikipedia to guide them. The propaganda has been triggered by discussion over the Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood. More and more people are speaking about Israel’s borders, and in particular the idea of “returning to the 67 borders.” Those with a knowledge of history would know there is no such thing. For a start, they mean pre-1967, not 1967, and to be fully accurate, they mean boundaries or lines not borders. The loss of the “pre” prefix is the most blatant attempt to wipe clear the historical narrative, see for example the recent Washington Post op-ed by Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s Former Ambassador.
Even in Israel there has been a move away from the “green line” to “67 borders,” articles in both Haaretz and Jerusalem Post have used this terminology. This is unsurprising given the use of this terminology by Israeli leaders, the British Prime Minister, and many other. The White House, whatever one thinks of their policy, at least have the terminology right, despite media headlines and reporting to the contrary, at AIPAC, President Obama’s actual words referred to “pre-1967 lines,” a formulation that the White House press office has also used consistently.
The 1949 Armistice Agreement Line shown on Google MapsOn Google Maps the line is clearly and correctly labelled the “1949 Armistice Agreement Line.” In Wikipedia, the article on the Green Line, refers to the boundary as “the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.” The narrative of ’67 borders is a Palestinian one. It obfuscates the fact that a return to these borders would be a return to the unstable position after the war of independence.
The Wikipedia article itself notes this was never an “international or permanent border,” it also notes the position in international law, expressed by the deputy legal advisor to the US Department of State in the American Journal of International Law (1970). He said “…modifications of the 1949 armistice lines among those States within former Palestinian territory are lawful… whether those modifications are…’insubstantial alterations required for mutual security’ or more substantial alterations – such as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem.” The Palestinian narrative seeks to lock in the minimalist idea of insubstantial changes and make even that look like a serious sacrifice that is almost too much to ask of them.
History is important. Last week was the anniversary of the Six Day war, and the relevance to today was well outlined by David Harris last week. Language and rhetoric are also important. Let’s stop the downwards slide into a Palestinian narrative. Let us begin to speak of the 1949 ceasefire lines, the psychological trauma of insecurity they imposed, the real danger they created in the face of a conventional warfare threat, and why Abba Eban referred to these indefensible borders as Auschwitz borders, meaning they put Jews, at the time many of them Holocaust survivors, again at the mercy of being slaughtered on mass by those who wished them harm. Israel’s recent experience with Hamas in Gaza justifies a continual concern about such dangerous borders. Not only are there the rockets on Sderot, let’s also remember Gilad Shalit kidnapped by terrorists who made the short journey from Gaza almost 5 years ago.
A two state solution is possible, and large parts of the future border may indeed be along the green line, but the negotiation and public discussion must have a basis in history and fact. It cannot be built on the ahistorical changing sands of Palestinian propaganda. In the mean time, all of us, from international leaders and the media to Facebook users, should watch our language and ensure we don’t strengthen a narrative that will lead not to peace but potentially to renewed bloodshed. If, despite all their flaws, Google Maps and Wikipedia can get this right, so can the rest of us.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades
is part of Fatah
which is run by
In other words
it was an official act
of the Palestinian Authority.
The Obama administration’s criticism of Israel is based on its acceptance of the Palestinian Authority demand that Israel surrender all of the land restored to the Jewish state in the Six Day War in 1967. The political lines before the war were later referred to as the “Auschwitz borders” by then-Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Abba Eban.
The Israeli response of “they murder and we build” was tempered with a statement that “measured construction” will be limited to the major Jewish population centers of Maaleh Adumin, Ariel, Kiryat Sefer and Gush Etzion.
Nevertheless, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the Obama administration was “deeply concerned” over the new construction for Jews. He repeated U.S. President Barack Obama’s declaration that the Jewish communities in the area are “illegitimate” and added that the new building plans “run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations” between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.
The PA also denounced the new building plan.
Prime Minister Netanyahu imposed an unprecedented 10-month freeze on building new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria in September 2009 to satisfy PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s condition for resuming negotiations for the establishment of the PA as an independent country. However, Abbas then rejected the freeze as not being extensive enough. After the freeze ended, the government allowed the continuation of previously approved homes.
A de-facto freeze continues on new homes in most of Judea and Samaria that have not yet been approved, due to Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s refusal to sign necessary documents. He said he would agree to the 500 new units that a government ministerial committee approved Saturday night, 24 hours after the Itamar massacre.
When the current violent confrontation broke out (September 2000), Fatah operatives in the PA-administered territories who supported the PA, and most of whom worked for the Palestinian Security Services, began taking an active part in terrorist activities against Israel. Initially they confined themselves to shooting attacks and planting side charges to blow up soldiers and Israeli civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They claimed responsibility for the attacks using the name Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, which has become the became the generic name for all Fatah field operatives. Today, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades consists of an unknown number of small cells of Fatah-affiliated terrorists that aims to drive the Israeli military and settlers from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem and to establish a Palestinian state. Al-Aqsa has carried out shootings and suicide operations against Israeli civilians and military personnel and has killed Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. At least five U.S. citizens — four of them dual U.S.-Israeli citizens — were killed in al-Aqsa’s attacks. In January 2002, al-Aqsa claimed responsibility for the first suicide bombing carried out by a female. via jewishvirtuallibrary.org
Photos of the murder of the Fogel family in the town of Itamar, north of Jerusalem, on March 11, 2011 by Arab terrorists.
WARNING: THESE PHOTOS ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC AND NOT INTENDED FOR CHILDREN.
These photos were released by the family. They have given full permission for their use in order to report on the horrific reality of murdering children and babies in their sleep, “simply because they are Jewish.”
Eleven-year-old Jewish son, Yoav
Three-year-old Jewish boy
Father and 3-month-old infant, Hadas
|Three year old, Elad|
Carl in Jerusalem’s Israel Matzav has been a first-stop blog on news and opinion from Israel and the Middle East generally. Today, following the truly horrific terrorist murder of the five members of the Fogel family in the Samarian town of Itamar (including the unimaginably savage stabbing of a three-month old baby), Carl posted this video. It’s hard to watch, but it’s a must. As human beings, we have a responsibility to stare into pure evil– if only to steel ourselves to fight it with all the energy we have. Don’t watch the video with children or the weak of heart.
According to Israel Matzav, Israeli radio reported that this video has been taken down and ‘flagged’ by pro-Palestinian internet activists, apparently to hide the absolute savagery of their brothers-in-arms. Meanwhile, in Gaza, Hamas has heralded the attack and– like after 9/11– they’re passing out candy. Please make sure as many people as possible see this; as the video makes clear in the end, these are the “peace partners” Israel is to make concessions to.
From Israel National News:
Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency told Iranians that the attackers “managed to kill all the five Zionists who were in the house…. The Palestinian combatant has returned home safely after conducting his mission successfully.”
“The operation was a natural response to the crimes of the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people.”