Pro-Israeli Falsehoods on the Flotilla, Settlements, and Statehood

Hagit Borer, an Israeli American, explained in yesterdays Los Angeles Times that his reasons for participating in the aid flotilla headed for Gaza go beyond, as Glenn Greenwald described, “a theatrical, non-threatening form of peaceful protest against the blockade,” but is also a protest against broader Israeli actions of demolition and settlement building. The U.S. and Israel not only refuse to recognize these motivating factors, but they continue to pretend the flotilla is some sort of security threat.

Yet, in a truly amazing statement of falsity, Elliot Abrams writes “current construction in the settlements is not a critical issue, and the expansion of construction into additional lands has been minimal.” This is incorrect on both counts. Overwhelming majorities of Palestinians consider the issue of settlements a game-changer. And the Israeli expansion has not only been substantial, but it has been increasingly so.

This is happening with the backdrop of news today that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has officially announced its intention to seek statehood at the U.N. in September. Uri Avnery wrote today about how pro-Israelis are complaining that this move is unfair, except of course when Israel does it:

Any Israeli spokesman (not to mention spokeswoman) will tell you readily: because it is a “unilateral” move. How dare they proclaim a state unilaterally? How dare they do so without the consent of the other party to the conflict—us?

A stickler for detail might ask at this point: “But was the state of Israel not proclaimed unilaterally?” Our state, it may be remembered, was declared by David Ben-Gurion and his colleagues on May 14, 1948, without asking anyone.

[…]Furthermore, these dastardly Palestinians are going to the UN General Assembly, trying to circumvent the UN Security Council where the U.S. can block them with its veto. Dirty trick!

But just a moment! Was the state of Israel not proclaimed on the basis of a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly? To be precise: Resolution 181 of Nov. 29, 1947, on the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state?

As a matter of fact, this resolution is still in force. It served as the centerpiece of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and serves now as a basis for the Palestinian demand that the state of Palestine be accepted as a full-fledged member of the United Nations.

But again, how can one compare?

If you want to argue against the right of Palestinians to receive much needed aid, to be free from illegal expulsion, and to claim their own sovereignty as any other people does, you simply have to base you arguments on such falsehoods.