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July 5, 2012 7:11 pm

Gaza Mythbusting: It’s Easier Than You Think

avatar by Alexander Kogan

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The five star al-Mashtal hotel in Gaza. Photo: Trip Advisor.

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic”. I don’t know exactly what John F. Kennedy had in mind when he said this, but I reckon these words perfectly suit the awkward situation that we in Israel find ourselves in right now. We are living in a world where sticks and stones actually can’t break our bones that much, even if the stones are replaced by “Qassam” and “Grad” missiles. We’ve got our answer for that – thank God and the IDF. But words, lies and modern mythology have turned into much more effective weapons against the state of Israel, which no Iron Dome type defense system can withstand.

These weapons are being used on a daily basis by our foes of different orientations – from madcap leftists to Islamofascists, and have actually turned into their common trademark. It is hard to fight a myth, even if it is totally unrealistic, as Kennedy pointed out. People nowadays are too lazy to listen to or read even a short explanation, which is, naturally, much longer than any myth or lie itself.

And it takes much more time to uncover and verbalize the truth, which may have the ability dissolve the stuff people are being fed by the media. For example, there is the story of a German poet and anti-Israel activist Irena Wachendorff, who fabricated her “service in the IDF” during the First Lebanon war. She claimed that her father is Jewish and fled to England in 1936 and her mother survived Auschwitz. The Jerusalem Post and Jennifer Pyka, an investigative journalist from Munich, managed to discover that this prolific Israel-hater is not Jewish and her father was actually an officer in the Wehrmacht, which perhaps can also explain her heartfelt support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

But it took two years to dig up this information, while Wachendorff has worked to smear Israel for decades, “shielding” herself by a completely falsified heritage – “IDF military service” and “Jewish parents”. And it is going to take some time until her true identity becomes known to enough people around the globe, that her words will be treated as deceitful and poisonous.

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But not everything in this struggle against anti-Israeli mythology is that difficult. There are some battles which can be won easily, if they are fought, of course. Several days ago I stumbled upon an Arab website advertising fashionable recreational tours to the Gaza Strip. Yeah, I am not on any medication and I am talking about the very same Gaza which is referred to by the Palestinians as “the greatest concentration camp on the face of the Earth” (с). “The Ghetto of Palestinian suffering” (c) and “The Aushwitz of our Times” (c).

The article, written in Arabic and published on June 18th, has pictures! Lots of illustrations of the infrastructures desperately needed for a fully operational death camp – you know, the usual stuff: 5-star hotels, slap-up malls and shopping centers, swanky restaurants and well-groomed beaches with racing boats. Yeah – you can check it out right here.

They say a picture is worth 1000 words? Well, you got yourself a book, guys!

How can it be used for myth busting? Oh, that is easy and kinda cheap, compared to other less effective options. Every sponsored link on Google, Yahoo or other search engines, asked to find something on “Palestinians”, “Gaza”, “Israeli apartheid”, “Zionist crimes”, “occupied territories” etc., should lead to that page. This would not be too expensive to achieve and in this way it would soon become one of the most visited Gaza related pages, telling the “awful story of Palestinian tragic suffering”.

We can help the cause by creating a translated English copy of the page. It might boost tourism in Gaza and who knows, maybe they will suddenly decide that making money off tourism is far more fun and safer than shooting missiles. Well, here I am probably dreaming, but at least one thing is certain – the myth of “Palestinian Ghetto” can be busted.

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  • JohnWV

    Besieged Palestinian Gaza is an experiment in provocation. Stuff one and a half million people into a tiny space, stifle their access to water, electricity, food and medical treatment, destroy their livelihoods, and humiliate them regularly…and, surprise, surprise – they turn hostile. Now why would you want to make that experiment? Because the hostility you provoke is the whole point. Now under attack you can cast yourself as the victim, and call out the helicopter gunships and the F16 attack fighters and the heavy tanks and the guided missiles, and destroy yet more of the pathetic remains of infrastructure that the Palestinian state still has left. And then you can point to it as a hopeless case, unfit to govern itself, a terrorist state, a state with which you couldn’t possibly reach an accommodation. And then you can carry on with business as usual, quietly stealing their homeland.

  • james

    Please grow up, please. It’s just so, so tiresome. Maybe just maybe things aren’t black and white. Maybe, just maybe, blockading Gaza and bombing it to bits while stopping building supplies entering did have a detrimental effect on things for vast swathes of Palestinians. I could show you a photo of nice hotel in Washinghton DC, does that mean homelessness does not exist?

  • Hans

    Where do I sign up to donate some money for the Google project?

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