Friday, June 24, 2005

Eternal vigilance? You're not kidding!

According to Wendell Phillips, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Winston Churchill said, during the dark hours of WWII, "We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!"

Neither one of these gentlemen were kidding. The new battleground in our eternal battle to keep our freedom is our libraries. According to this article in Reform Judaism Magazine books are being written and distributed to our libraries either demeaning Israel or telling outright lies. These are books put out by reputable publishing houses, but filled with misinformation (or as we simple folk like to refer to it, lies)
# In The Six-Day War by Matthew Broyles (2004), one of The Rosen Publishing Group's new series of books on the Middle East wars, Broyles states that the 1917 Balfour Declaration proposed to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs and make Jerusalem an international city. Actually, these proposals were not in the Balfour Declaration, but in the UN partition resolution of twenty years later; the Balfour Declaration declared that the British government favors "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." Broyles goes on to say that the Jews "boldly" declared their state in May of 1948, then "war began." The author makes no mention of the UN partition resolution; instead, he writes, "the home of the Palestinians was now the home of the Jews," and so the homeless Palestinians fled. Here, as in many other books, the entire Arab-Israeli conflict is portrayed as one long frustrated Palestinian attempt to achieve statehood, rather than as Arab resistance to the State of Israel.
# In A Historical Atlas of Israel (Rosen Publishing Group, 2003), Amy Romano does mention the 1947 UN partition resolution but editorializes: "Although the Jews accepted the decree, they had no intention of honoring it."
# In Virginia Brackett's biography, Menachem Begin (Chelsea House, 2003), Brackett relates how the Arab-Israeli conflict came before the UN in 1947, but she omits the fact that the UN passed a partition resolution calling for a Jewish and an Arab state, which the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected. By her account, the sequence was as follows: In April of 1948, Jews killed Arabs at Deir Yassin, Arabs fled the land, David Ben Gurion declared the new State of Israel in May, and the British departed immediately. Thus was the State of Israel born.
# In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Abdo and Daughters, 2004), Cory Gunderson asserts that "the Israeli military killed hundreds of Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon." In fact, it was Lebanese Christian militiamen who committed the killings in the camps.
# In Tracey Boraas' generally accurate book Israel (Capstone Press, 2003), she asserts that the 2000 Camp David talks collapsed because "both Israel and the Palestinian Authority insisted on control of East Jerusalem." In fact, the Israelis agreed to cede control of Arab East Jerusalem to the Palestinian side. Since the Palestinian delegation walked out of Camp David without presenting a counterproposal, it is impossible to pin the collapse of the talks on any one issue.
As they do to Israel, they will do to the United States. It's a very worthwhile article. The author, Andrea Rapp, reminds us that the war against radical Islam is taking place off the battlefield too. This article is followed by one giving a list of truthful books about Israel, but it ends with this quote:
Bernard Lewis warns that we live in times when "great efforts are being made to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda." We can see this process at work in our children's library books and textbooks about Israel and the Middle East, and it's time we act to stop it.

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