A lot of propaganda is circulating the globe concerning Israel. Let’s look at what some of the common myths are, as well as the potential negative effects they could have.
“Israel is a Terrorist State”
Rumors are flying that the Israeli government is committing acts of terror and, therefore, has become a terrorist state. This is an exemplary example of the anti-semitic ideology that has led to mass fatalities of the Jewish people. In order to debunk these misconstrued thoughts that appear to be held by a shocking number of people across the globe, we need to explore two things: what exactly qualifies as terrorism and, more specifically, who, in this war, is committing terrorist acts against whom?
Merriam-Webster defines terrorism as:
“The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion” with one of the definitions of coercion being this: “to achieve by force or threat.”
The FBI’s definition of international terrorism is:
“Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored).”
The U.S. Code considers a group a terrorist organization based off of these general guidelines:
“(1) In general the Secretary is authorized to designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization in accordance with this subsection if the Secretary finds that:
– the organization is a foreign organization;
– the organization engages in terrorist activity (as defined in section
1182(a)(3)(B) of this title or terrorism (as defined in section 2656f(d)(2) of title
22), or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism); and
– the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organization threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.”
Is Hamas considered a terrorist group? The opinion of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence is as follows: “The US State Department designated HAMAS as a foreign terrorist organization in October, 1997.” This means that only ten years after Hamas’s formation, they were already considered a terrorist organization and have maintained their malevolent intentions under this title for the last 26 years. According to the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization’s web page, the U.S. has not wavered concerning their initial claim. While some former terrorist groups have been de-listed, Hamas is on the list of designated foreign terrorists to this day.
Is Israel considered a terrorist group? The simple answer is no. In fact, the United States and Israel are partners in counterterrorism activity.
So what do all these governmental terms, phrases, and codes mean? In short, Hamas is a known terrorist organization whose goal is to eradicate Israel. Israel on the other hand, is a known ally in combating terrorism. This means that Hamas is the one committing terrorist acts against Israel while Israel has every right to defend itself. This seems to be a fairly simple conclusion despite how highly controversial it is.
You may ask though, does it really matter that people understand this? So what if there are varying opinions; it’s normal for different people to believe different things. Yes, it matters! The propaganda that is currently circulating the globe is the same type of propaganda that brought on the deaths of 6 millions Jews in the Holocaust. This villainization of the Jewish people is no new thing – we are not the first generation to senselessly and unquestioningly believe the propaganda that’s being put out into the world. However, we must ensure that we thoroughly understand the validity of and the intention of what is being broadcast to the world.
While we would all like to believe that information is always put out with pure intentions, history shows otherwise. Information, or more specifically, misinformation is often used with vicious intentions. A quote that provides an exceptional example of this misuse is this:
“The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, insofar as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”
This is a quote that comes directly from Adolf HItler’s autobiography titled “Mein Kampf.” While it may be argued that we are not seeing this type of propaganda today, the sad reality is quite the opposite.
Many sayings are being used without second thought concerning the crisis in Israel. The phrase, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free,” invokes multiple misconstrued ideas concerning Israel and the people who reside within it. “Palestine must be free,” expresses that Palestinians are currently experiencing the opposite; that they are oppressed and held captive by the Jews. This is entirely untrue. In many of the areas that claim to be oppressed, the Jewish people and Israeli government actually hold no governing power over Palestinian-Arabs. In the Gaza Strip, for example, the elected government is Hamas. This means that Hamas is oppressing its citizens, not the Jewish people. “From the river to the sea,” has serious implications as this quote from the popular saying is claiming that “Palestine” stretches through the entire territory between the Jordan River, Israel’s eastern border, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, Israel’s western border. This small phrase that is currently being shouted by thousands of people implies that the entire state of Israel should be abolished, and if it were by the hands of Hamas, this would directly result in the deaths of millions of Jews.
Currently, an approximate 7,181,000 Jews live in Israel. As we begin to see horrifying repetitions of anti-Jew propaganda resurface pegging the Jews as terrorists and oppressors, we must decide if we truly meant it when we all said, “Never again.” The current war has become the worst tragedy the Jewish people have experienced since the Holocaust with over 1,400 people murdered in one day. This is the time where the nations of the world must act on the words previously spoken and ensure the lives of the remaining 7,179,600 Jews in Israel are protected. Today is the day that we fight for the sake of “Never again.”