Photo Credit: Larousse free image
Palestine Flag with Jewish Star as it appears in the Larousse French Dictionary

Could you imagine someone trying to prove that the U.S. was an independent Native-American (Indian) country before 1930 by showing you a buffalo-head nickel or an Indian-head penny? Ridiculous, right? No serious person could make that mistake, right?

Well if the issue is Israel – then wrong, people make that “mistake,” either intentionally out of malice to the Jewish state (then it’s not a mistake, it’s called lying), or out of sheer ignorance. I’ve met some well intentioned but awfully ignorant people on the internet who were fed a propaganda line that they lack the most basic knowledge to check for veracity and accurateness. And you know where such good intentions pave the way to…


Here’s an extract of an exchange I recently had with somebody named Melody:

Me: When was there ever an independent Arabic-speaking state of Palestine? What coinage was there?

Melody posts four English maps of the region that the Europeans called Palestine.

Me: I just told you that the name Palestine isn’t indigenous but rather the European name – and you brought proof from the Europeans that they call the geographical area: Palestine?! In addition, ironically, two of those maps that you cited portrayed the division of the land amongst the Twelve Tribes of Israel!

Melody then posts three photos of coins from the 1920s with the name “Palestine” minted on them in English, Hebrew and Arabic. “That proves that today’s Palestinians had a free and independent nation in 1927!”

Me: (This was at first actually embarrassing, since it was so patently and stupidly false. From Israel-haters I expect those stupid lies, but it saddened me to see someone unknown – and therefore I hope not prejudiced against Israel – cite this). Those are: coins minted by Great Britain serving as the executor of the League of Nations mandate over the Holy Land, the mandate with the stated intent of re-establishing a Jewish Homeland in the ancient Jewish land.

Melody cites that Toscanini came to conduct a concert by the Palestine Orchestra as proof of an independent Palestine before 1948.

Me: The orchestra was a Jewish-Zionist established orchestra, set up by the Polish-born Jewish violinist and musician, Bronislaw Huberman, who had invited 75 Jewish musicians from major European orchestras to move to the land of Israel (then called Palestine by the British mandatory power) for the purpose of “materialization of the Zionist culture in the fatherland” in the sand dunes of Tel Aviv. Arthur Toscanini indeed conducted the opening concert held at the Levant Fair Hall in Tel Aviv on December 26, 1936. Citing this as “proof” of an independent Palestine (as opposed to a Jewish-Zionist endeavor) is the cheapest, dumbest type of falsehood, and – as leftists say – a clear case of cultural “appropriation”!

Melody cites the Palestine soccer team as proof of an independent Palestine.

Me: Once again the truth is that this was a Jewish-Zionist soccer team from the days of the British Mandate. Notice that the players’ names are all Jewish!

Melody repeats an oft-heard leftist/Arabic anti-Israel canard that in “free, independent Palestine” all people – Muslims, Christians and Sephardic Jews – all lived in peace before the European-Jewish-Zionist invasion. So the soccer team of Palestine had Sephardic-Jewish players.

Me: (Again I was embarrassed by the lack of knowledge exhibited by such posts.) I point out that the names of the players were all Ashkenazy, European, and not Sephardic. At any rate – we are all one people, Sephardic and Ashkenazy, Yemenite and Ethiopian and whatever. We’re all one Jewish nation.

So – I have learned from Melody that she was fed a propaganda line: Until 1948 there was an independent state of Palestine – where certain Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in harmony (as in Iraq? Syria? Lebanon?).

I hope I said enough things to cause her to realize that this is an immense lie, a fantastical fabrication worthy of 1001 Arabian nights. I’m afraid it’s hard to convince innocents brainwashed by relentless propaganda that they were fed lies. Still I believe there is merit is stating the facts – and in the end the truth will triumph.


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Dovid Ben-Meir made aliyah after high school in Chicago. He received smicha, from the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Shapira and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. He served as the rabbi of a "garin torani" - a group of families that moved to Eilat and were active in Jewish education in the city. A teacher and Rav in several yeshivot, he guides occasionally both in the Western Wall Tunnels and at the site of Ancient Shiloh. Together he and his wife Chana have children and fifteen grandchildren, all of whom live in Israel.