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Shattering Zionist Myths: 100 Distortions Identified

By Firoz Osman

Published by Porcupine Press and Media Review Network 2022

Sample Chapters



Author – Firoz Osman

Executive Member, Media Review Network, South Africa

It began as a struggle over control of the land of Palestine between the indigenous Palestinian Arab population and invading Zionists. The Zionist Movement was established as a European political movement driven by a racist political ideology to establish an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine. The realisation of this Zionist dream necessitated the displacement and dispossession of indigenous Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians who had lived in Palestine for a millennium and owned 93% of the land. The Zionist goals, aided and abetted by the USA, Britain, France, Germany and Russia, were accomplished in 1948 and expanded even further in 1967.

Religion has never been the key issue in the conflict. Early Zionists were largely areligious or even atheists. Surveys suggest that many Israelis today are very secular in outlook and lifestyle. A walk through Tel Aviv or any part of Israel on the Sabbath will confirm this. Presently, resistance organisations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad lend the conflict a more religious hue than in the past. Israel successfully portrays its settler colonial occupation as a struggle between Jews and Arabs, enabling it to weaponise and politicise anti-Semitism when justifying its human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity. There is nothing anti- Semitic, however, about condemning Israel’s massacres, theft of Palestinian land and property from 1948 to the present day.

The former Uthmaniyya (Ottoman) Khilafa (Caliphate) was split up after World War 1 into nation-states that served the interests of British and French colonialism. Entities such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and others are all colonial creations kowtowing to Western and Zionist interests. Israeli Hasbara (propaganda as explained in Hebrew), is well-resourced to ensure that the slanted Zionist narrative prevails. Their ability to fabricate and repeat myths and halftruths in the media for decades is astonishing. Open and honest discussion about the nature of Zionism that underpins the Israeli entity are suppressed, so that the reality of Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing remains biased, unreported, under-reported and marginalised in mainstream media and politics. Anyone who tries to unmask the injustices faced by Palestinians or reveal the crimes of the Israeli occupation, face accusations of anti-Semitism, witch-hunts and demonisation.

The Zionists have cleverly concealed the aims of their project, blaming their victims, the Palestinians, for Israel’s military occupation. Islam is fraudulently described in the mainstream media as the driving force behind Palestinian “Muslim terror groups”, but the role of Zionism in Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and serial contempt for international laws and conventions is hardly ever mentioned, let alone discussed in detail. Zionists have distorted history, cast aspersions, unleashed legal attack dogs, blackmailed, bribed, intimidated, coerced and corrupted politicians, journalists and academics to propagate their narrative. The Palestinian struggle against apartheid Israel epitomises the struggle of the oppressed in the Global South against a persistent and rapacious colonialism imposed by the West.

This compilation of endeavours to unravel Zionist myths has been drawn from the writings and websites from various sources listed at the end of the chapters and tabulated under recommended reading. The task of identifying and compiling various themes listed either as Myths or FAQ’s has been a long journey of endurance, yet minuscule in comparison to the arduous struggle for freedom and justice from the clutches of Zionist Israel endured by successive generations of Palestinians for more than a century. In all humility may I add that by no means is the list finite. Among the areas of contention which remain to be addressed are questions related to Israel’s desperate efforts to waylay solidarity by injecting controversial narratives. It is an ingrained part of Hasbara to divert attention from Occupation and the ills of racist supremacy underpinning Israeli Apartheid to fallacious slander. These range from spurious allegations of anti-Semitism to Holocaust-denialism. Their armoury to denigrate human rights individuals and organizations include categorizing them as “terrorists”. The recent branding of six Palestinian civil rights and humanitarian organizations as terrorists bears testimony.

The Media Review Network (MRN) commissioned and published a comprehensively referenced book, Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid – a South African Perspective, in 2013. In compiling Shattering Zionists Myths, I have tapped into the innumerable sources used in Why Israel?, as well as into MRN’s debates with the Zionist Lobby groups in the media over several decades. It is our fervent hope that this new volume will equip Palestinian solidarity activists the world over with the required knowledge to counter and overcome the immense power of the Zionist Hasbara machinery.

Myths and Frequently Asked Questions

The demise of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 ushered in a period where many racist institutions, including some within the media, which previously were privileged by apartheid, were straight-jacketed to conform to a Western world view on resistance movements as they struggled for freedom from oppression. The establishment of MEDIA REVIEW NETWORK around this period, emerged as an advocacy group and research institute with specific focus on rampant Islamophobia and gross distortions evident across media platforms. It soon challenged news rooms and media agencies to transform and embrace progressive views that lead to intense debates, eventually focusing on Islamophobia and occupied Palestine. This book selects the most common 100 myths and fabrications concocted by Zionist lobbies that were and are usually brought up by apologists for apartheid Israel. Much of their defence of Zionism relies on invoking Islamophobia.

The Chapters tabulated here are from A to Z – Al Aqsa to Zionist Project – for ease of reference.

Chapter 4 – Apartheid myth: “All Palestinians are equal citizens in Israel”

Chapter 5 – Apartheid myth: “There are no discriminatory laws in Israel”

Chapter 6 – Apartheid question: “Does presence of Palestinians in the Knesset, the right to vote, have political parties and judges, not dispel notions of apartheid?”

Chapter 7 – Apartheid myth: “There is no racial dominance in Israel as in South Africa”

Chapter 8 – Arab armies attacked Israel myth: “Arab armies attacked Israel. Israel had to defend itself”

Chapter 9 – Why Arabs don’t welcome Palestinians myth: “The Arabs are to blame for the miserable Palestinian plight”

Chapter 10 – Palestinians left homes and land under Arab instructions myth: “Arab leaders instructed Palestinians to leave. Palestinians were not expelled by Israel”

Chapter 11 – Arabs betrayed the Palestinians question: “Did the Arab regimes betray the Palestinians?”

Chapter 12 – Archaeology: seeking Israeli presence in Palestine question: “Is there archaeological evidence of Jewish/Israeli presence in Palestine?”

Chapter 13 – Balfour, gave Israel to the Jews question: “Did Balfour have the moral right to give Palestine to the Jews?”

Chapter 14 – BDS Immoral to destroy Israel myth: “The BDS is immoral and seeks to destroy Israel”

Chapter 15 – BDS Impact on Israel and reaction question: “What is the Impact of BDS?”

Chapter 16 – Bible gave Israel to the Jews myth: “The Bible gave Israel to the Jews”

Chapter 17 – Britain and France gave Israel to the Jews myth: “Britain and France not responsible for turmoil in Palestine. The Sykes-Picot agreement”

Chapter 18 – Ceasefire (hudna) myth: “Israel wants a ceasefire but Hamas doesn’t”

Chapter 19 – Christian Zionism question: “What Is Christian Zionism? Why is there greater support for Israel from Christians?”

Chapter 20 – Citizenship and Nationalism myth: “All Israeli’s Jews and Palestinians are equal citizens”

Chapter 21 – Civilian deaths, Hamas deliberately targets civilians myth: “Israel, unlike Hamas, avoids civilian casualties but Hamas aims to kill civilians”

Chapter 22 – Collective punishment myth:
“Israel does not violate International Law”

Chapter 23 – Colonialism and Zionism/ National Liberation myth: “Israel is not a colonial project but a national liberation movement”

Chapter 24 – Complex and complicated issue myth: “The Israeli-Palestinian issue is complicated”

Chapter 25 – Democracy in Israel myth: “Israel is a democracy, whilst Arabs states are not and have no human rights”

Chapter 26 – Democracy by Ilan Pappe myth:
“Israel is not the only democracy in the Middle East. In fact, it’s not a democracy at all”

Chapter 27 – Demographic problem myth: “Is demography a time bomb?”

Chapter 28 – Desert bloom myth: “Palestine was a destitute, uninhabited land before the Jews arrived and made the desert bloom”

Chapter 29 – Gaza: the Israeli Occupation myth. “Israel claims that it is not occupying the Gaza Strip”

Chapter 30 – Gaza under siege question: “Israel supplies Gaza with water, electricity, medicines and fuel. How can you say that Gaza is under siege?”

Chapter 31 – Gaza-Israeli withdrawal question:
“Is Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza the end of the siege?”

Chapter 32 – Genocide question:
“Is Israel perpetrating incremental genocide?”

Chapter 33 – Global impact of Israel question: “Is Israel a light to the nations?”

Chapter 34 – Global South and Israel question: “Where does Israel position itself in the Global South?”

Chapter 35 – Hamas hides weapons in homes myth: “Hamas hides its weapons in homes, mosques and schools”

Chapter 36 – Hamas Charter question: “What is the context of Hamas Charter?”

Chapter 37 – Hasbara (propaganda) question:
“What is the role of Hasbara?”

Chapter 38 – Hatred preached in School textbooks myth: “Palestinian school curriculum incites hatred for Jews, whilst Israel’s preach harmony”

Chapter 39 – Historical right question: “Jews have a historical and biblical right to the land of Palestine; why then do we oppose the state of Israel?”

Chapter 40 – Holocaust question: “Is the holocaust exploited to justify Israeli crimes?”

Chapter 41 – Human shields myth: “Hamas used human shields during the Gaza massacre and it was due to this that the civilian death toll was so high”

Chapter 42 – Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) question: “Is the IAW an exercise to fuel anti-Semitism?”

Chapter 43 – International Criminal Court (ICC) question: “Is the ICC relevant for Palestine?”

Chapter 44 – Israel Defense Force (IDF) /Israel Occupation Army (IOF) myth: “Israel is strongest in the Middle East and Arabs will never defeat it!”

Chapter 45 – IDF/Israel Occupation Army (IOF) myth: “Israel is the most moral army in the world”

Chapter 46 – Intifada question: “What was the intifada?”

Chapter 47 – Iran a threat question: “Why does Israel seek to cripple Iran?”

Chapter 48 – Islamophobia question: “Is Islamophobia a tool to delegitimise Resistance?”

Chapter 49 – Jerusalem: al Quds question: “Do Palestinians have a right over Jerusalem?”

Chapter 50 – Jerusalem is Israel’s capital myth:
“Jerusalem always was and is the historical capital city of the Jewish people only”

Chapter 51 – Jews, who are they? question: “Are Jews the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine?”

Chapter 52 – Jewish Eretz Israel/Homeland myth: “A Jewish homeland from the river to the sea”

Chapter 53 – Jewish National Fund (JNF) question: “What is the role of the JNF in the Zionist Movement?”

Chapter 54 – JNF and role of Palestinian dispossession myth: “The JNF is a charitable organisation”

Chapter 55 – Jewish State question: “Is Israel a Jewish state like other nation states?”

Chapter 56 – Judaism and Zionism myth: “Zionism equals Judaism”

Chapter 57 – Land without a people myth: “There were no Palestinians in Palestine before Zionism arrived”

Chapter 58 – Lawfare internationally question: “What is Lawfare?”

Chapter 59 – Lawfare South Africa question: “Is Lawfare a strategy for resistance?”

Chapter 60 – Israel a Legitimate state question: “Is Israel a legitimate state? Does the current State of Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state?”

Chapter 61 – Lexicon question: “Is language distortion a tool of Hasbara?”

Chapter 62 – National Liberation Movement myth: “Israel is a liberation movement for the Jews”

Chapter 63 – Likud myth: “The Likud Party wants a two-state solution”

Chapter 64 – Lobby question: “How deeply entrenched is the Israeli Lobby in the West?”

Chapter 65 – Media myth: “Western media are balanced and neutral”

Chapter 66 – Mossad myth: “Mossad’s role is solely to defend Israel”

Chapter 67 – Mossad in SA question: “What is Mossad’s role in SA?”

Chapter 68 – Nakba myth: “The Arabs left their land voluntarily”

Chapter 69 – Non-violent Resistance question: “Why don’t the Palestinians follow the non-violent example
of the ANC in SA?”

Chapter 70 – Normalisation myth: “Normalisation of relations with many Arab and Muslim countries means acceptance of Israel in the region”

Chapter 71 – Nuclear myth: “Israel will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East”

Chapter 72 – Occupation myth: “Israel disputes that it is occupying Palestinian land”

Chapter 73 – Palestinian Authority (PA) question: “Does the PA represent the will of the Palestinian people?”

Chapter 74 – Palestinians myth: “There is no such thing that a Palestinian people ever existed”

Chapter 75 – Palestinian dehumanization question: “Is dehumanization a step towards genocide?”

Chapter 76 – “Israel always wants peace myth: “Israel always wants peace”

Chapter 77 – Peace process: Arabs no partners myth: “Arabs don’t want peace – there is no partner for peace”

Chapter 78 – Prisoners myth: “There are no political prisoners in Israel”

Chapter 79 – Refugees Palestinians question: “What is the status of the Palestinian refugees?”

Chapter 80 – Refugees question: “Do Palestinians have the Right of Return? Is there a Jewish right of return?”

Chapter 81 – Resistance question: “Do Palestinians have the right to resist?”

Chapter 82 – Right to exist and defence for Israel myth: “Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket fire”

Chapter 83 – Security-Israel myth: “Israel has the right to secure borders”

Chapter 84 – Settlements/Colonies question: “What constitutes Settlements?”

Chapter 85 – Solution myth: “Israel wants a two-state solution”

Chapter 86 – South Africa and Israel question: “What were the similarities between Israel and apartheid South Africa?”

Chapter 87 – Terror Israel myth: “Zionist militias were freedom fighters”

Chapter 88 – Terror organization, Hamas myth: “Hamas is a terror organisation”

Chapter 89 – Terror is and is not question: “Has Israel abused the use of the term terrorism?”

Chapter 90 – Torture myth: “Israel does not torture”

Chapter 91 – United Nations question: “Did the UN sanction the creation of Israel?”

Chapter 92 – UN Partition question: “What was the UN Partition about?”

Chapter 93 – UN Israel violations myth: “Israel conforms to UN resolutions”

Chapter 94 – Wall apartheid myth: “The Apartheid Wall is not illegal”

Chapter 95 – Wars invasions myth: “Israeli wars were defensive”

Chapter 96 – War crimes myth: “Israel not guilty of war crimes”

Chapter 97 – Western nations and Israel myth: “Israel is self-sufficient”

Chapter 98 – Western and Israeli values question: “Does Israel conflict with Western values?”

Chapter 99 – Zionism question: “What is Zionism?”

Chapter 100 – Zionist Project question: “Is the Zionist Project doomed to fail?”