Usually, the Arabs have sought at this point to shift this uncomfortable conversation by saying “there will never be peace if we argue over history.” But that is a tactic designed to move the debate from the realm of facts and reason to the charade of myth and fantasy, and to obscure the basic function of “Palestinian nationalism” – an Islamic/Arab marketing device to undercut and destabilize Israel’s existence by embracing Western nomenclature of human rights, self-determination, victim refugees, etc.
Others effectively concede that there really is no historical “Palestinian people” but the political reality is that they “exist” in the media, in the diplomatic chambers, in the UN, and in the land of Israel – so they exist today even if they never existed before, and therefore must be dealt with as if they are a real people.
This would be a compelling argument, but only if the starting point is that “peace” is somehow possible to attain with an invented nation that denies one’s own existence. That bubble has been burst for many thinking people (excluding, among others, New York Times “experts” on foreign policy) and now resembles more a pagan fantasy than serious statecraft. But nothing valuable or meaningful can be built on a foundation of lies, and the state of Israel, nonetheless, remains guilty of propagating the Palestinian national fantasies while pandering to their blatant lies.
Mark Twain famously said that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” With a complicit media and the Internet, lies these days can travel around the world several times before truth is even aware of the lie’s existence. For too long, Israel and its supporters have been guilty of accepting the Palestinian lies – history, narrative, policies, accusations and reportage without serious and sustained challenge. That time should be long past.
Newt Gingrich may or may not become president, but he has served a valuable function – defying convention, stupefying his adversaries, and shocking the American-Jewish establishment – by telling an unvarnished truth. Call it “political Newt-ity,” for he has laid bare the hollowness of the claims of Israel’s enemies and exposed their lies, and our inexplicable acquiescence to them.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun of Teaneck, New Jersey, and the author most recently of “Judges for Our Time: Contemporary Lessons from the Book of Shoftim” (Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem, 2009). His writings and lectures can be found at www.Rabbipruzansky.com.