This article was originally sent to Daily Maverick in response to Oscar van Heerden’s article entitled “A two-state solution for Israel and Palestine will forever be a pipe dream”. Daily Maverick, however, chose not to publish the response.
There are essentially three main problems with Oscar van Heerden’s article regarding Israel and the Palestinians: the beginning, the middle, and the end.
For it is an article laced with so many false premises and untruths that no serious scholar of history and international conflicts can ever take it seriously.
He wants us to accept his assertion that the Russian/Ukrainian conflict and the Israeli/Palestinian has some kind of moral equivalence, citing an article by Gideon Levy, an Israeli author considered to be very left of the mainstream political spectrum.
The situations could not be more different.
Russia, the largest country on earth, is being condemned for invading a recognised sovereign country in the Ukraine, based on the premise that Ukraine represented an existential threat to them. It’s a hard argument to make, considering the brutal indiscriminate bombings and killings of civilians, and Ukrainians are indeed resisting the occupying Russian military force.
Meanwhile Israel, who has not invaded any sovereign country, deals with a terrorist entity in the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the various Palestinian offshoots. These are rejectionist groups who do not even pretend to seek a resolution to the conflict, but purposely enflame it at every opportunity. They are active participants in sponsoring and perpetrating terror attacks against Israel and its citizens in every part of the country and their Hamas leader has even threatened to attack Jews in synagogues around the world. They use money from international donors to provide cash and pensions to those who murder, maim, and destroy Jewish lives.
So, in other words, they pay people to murder, and Oscar van Heerden wants you to believe that those resisting an illegal military occupying force in Ukraine is the same as those who bomb, knife and shoot innocent men, women and children in the streets of Israel.
But this absurd comparison between the two conflicts is merely a sideshow to the real core argument he’s making, for he calls Israel a “project of occupation, colonisation, racism and Jewish supremacy.”
In doing so, his real motivations become clear, for he has aligned himself squarely with all those groups who are against the very existence of Israel – those who call for the destruction and dismantling of the Jewish state.
To call Israel a “project of occupation” is a blatant lie, for a country to be occupied, it would imply that it is a place which has been overtaken by some foreign people with no connection at all to the land, yet none of those arguments are true when it comes to Israel.
The historical evidence of the Jews in Israel is so overwhelming, backed up by such an abundance of physical evidence, that to argue against it is like arguing against the existence of history itself.
From the Dead Sea Scrolls to ancient coins, bearing the names of Jewish historical figures, to ancient poetry and religious ritual baths discovered on Masada – there are artefacts that are thousands of years old that continue to be discovered, each of them a journey into the ancient historical roots of Jews in the Land of Israel – and yet, Van Heerden wants us to suspend all history and suspend all belief, and take his word when he says that Jews being in the Land of Israel, as they have for thousands of years, is somehow an occupation?
Contrast this to the Palestinian narrative – they preach of having lived there for the last 5000 years and you will find that not a single artefact of Palestinian history has ever been found…
And this leads into his next point of colonisation, which is defined as, “the action or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area.” Again, how exactly can the accusation of colonisation be levelled against Jews, when thier entire history as a people is intertwined with the Land of Israel.
The 2600-year-old First Temple Seal discovered in 2019, was discovered in Jerusalem, not New York, and the inscription was in Hebrew, not English.
But once again, we have to delve into fantasy and fiction to believe that Jews are somehow the colonisers in their own land.
Van Heerden ends off with the same old tired accusations of Israel being a project of “racism and Jewish supremacy.”
It is another lie, for you only have to spend a short time in Israel to understand that it is a country that is made up of all people of all faiths and all religions. There are Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims and people who are of every shade of colour under the sun – a country where rights for all are guaranteed, and a country in which Jews and Arabs study together and serve together in all parts of Israeli society, including security forces, medical clinics, retail and everywhere else.
And if it is such a “racist” country, how exactly is it possible for an Arab judge, serving on the highest judicial authority in the country, to sentence a Jewish Israeli President to prison?
The answer is that it’s not possible, because just like every other accusation by Oscar van Heerden – it’s a lie. Oscar van Heerden complains that any criticism levelled against Israel is immediately labelled as antisemitism, yet when your aim is to delegitimise the only Jewish state on earth through blatant lies, falsehoods, libels and dishonesty, while simultaneously ignoring every human rights violating country and entity out there, then what exactly do you call that?