Parroting the Israel “history” fantasy that Netanyahu has been peddling, extremist Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich told an audience, “Palestinian people are an invention…This is the biblical truth.”
by Kathryn Shihadah
On Sunday, Israel’s finance minister and ultranationalist party leader Bezalel Smotrich went all in on the mythology that has been passing for historical fact about the Jewish people and the “recent invention” of Palestinians.
“As reported in the Times of Israel, Smotrich declared,
Is there a Palestinian history or culture? No.
The Palestinian people are an invention of less than 100 years ago.
There were Arabs in the Middle East who arrived in the Land of Israel at the same time as the Jewish immigration and the beginning of Zionism. After 2,000 years of exile, the people of Israel were returning home, and there were Arabs around [us] who do not like it.
So what do they do? They invent a fictitious people in the Land of Israel and claim fictitious rights in the Land of Israel just to fight the Zionist movement.
Of course, Smotrich’s repetition of the falsehoods does not make them true, but as the saying goes, “If you tell a lie big enough and often enough, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Smotrich’s speech was even more insidious than Netanyahu’s in two ways: he both sanctified and amplified it.
Bezalel Smotrich followed up his dishonest statements with the startling commentary, “This is the historical truth. This is the biblical truth.”
This is a staggering assertion – especially coming from a man who recently (and rather successfully) called for ethnic cleansing. If his disciples, the most extreme religious/ideological Israeli settlers, have already wreaked havoc on a Palestinian town, how much more damage will they do now that he has sanctified the destruction of the Palestinian people?
Israeli settlers are not Smotrich’s only audience.
Christian Zionists in the West who proclaim undying support for Israel may take his “biblical truth” claim at face value, and double down on their endorsement of the oppression of Palestinians as the fulfillment of endtime “prophecy.” After years of indoctrination, these Christians are willing to believe what a Jewish Zionist says about the Bible – and they put their money where their mouth is.
According to the Israeli documentary Till Kingdom Come, evangelical Christians donate $129 million a year to Israel – much of that money going to Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land. Such support for these illegal colonies makes life for nearby Palestinians even more precarious than it already was. (This may be starting to change, as a growing number of evangelicals are learning the facts from a variety of sources, including Porter Speakman’s powerful documentary.)
Bezalel Smotrich had more religiously charged language for his audience:
The State of Israel is a miracle, Israel’s economy is a miracle.
There is no country like this in the world. [Arab countries should] stop fighting the State of Israel and the people of Israel. You will lose and we will win because the Holy One, blessed be He, is with us.
Again, references to the sacred are bound to embolden ideologically motivated Israeli settlers and Christian Zionists in their pursuit of Israeli supremacy.
These supporters will not be deterred by facts that contradict Smotrich’s statement – for example, the massive stockpiling of worldly weapons, and the disarming of Palestinians prior to Israel’s allegedly miraculous “war of independence“; and the billions of dollars of aid pumped into Israel’s miraculous economy each year.
Congressional Research Service reports: “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II.” To date, the US has provided $260 billion in inflation-adjusted aid to Israel.
Bezalel Smotrich leaned into his message even further. Regarding his alleged “historical” and “biblical truth,” he added,
The Arabs in the Land of Israel need to hear this truth…
This truth should also be heard by the Jewish people in the State of Israel who are a little confused [referring to those Jewish Israelis who are calling for Palestinian rights].
This truth needs to be heard in the White House in Washington.
The whole world needs to hear this truth because it is the truth — and the truth will win.
It can not be overstated: Smotrich’s “truth” is patently false – but he wants it to be proclaimed as truth throughout the world, and adds the endorsement of the Almighty for good measure.
The actual truth, that Muslim and Christian Palestinians are indigenous to the land and deserve equality and self-determination, must be made known now – before Israel’s ethnic cleansing is complete.
Kathryn Shihadah is an editor and staff writer for If Americans Knew. She also blogs at Palestine Home.
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MORE ON BEZALEL SMOTRICH:
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