Just as a unicorn is a legendary creature existing only in fairy stories, so are many ‘Palestinian’ villages. But this reality doesn’t stop malign agenda-driven groups from using fantasy as a stick with which to beat Israel, and in the process pulling the wool over the eyes of many well-intentioned, but naïve and uninformed, people.
Prime examples of two such groups are Australian Friends of Palestine and GetUp. So it comes as no surprise that the former used the vehicle of GetUp to petition Foreign Minister Carr – himself no great supporter of Israel – to help save a village they falsely claim belonged to Palestinians from time immemorial.
The Petition claims:
“The Israeli Civil Administration in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine has distributed maps of locations /areas in Susiya, near Hebron in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Fifty one (51) structures are included indicating that demolition is likely to occur in the very near future, the exact date to depend on the result of an appeal to the courts. If demolition takes place, not only it will more than 100 people be displaced and made homeless, but community buildings funded through international aid programmes, may be demolished. These include a clinic funded by Action Aid Australia, as well as solar panels, shop, a community center, a structure used to store sheep’s milk prior to sale, granaries and shelters for sheep and chickens.”
The source for their information is B’tselem, which, under the guise of human rights, uses foreign government funding to advance their political agenda, thereby undermining the democratic process. For example, in 2011, 72% of donations to B’Tselem came from foreign government entities.
Naftali Balanson, of NGO Monitor reports:
”These political NGOs are also active in promoting false allegations of “war crimes” and “racial discrimination,” which are uncritically repeated by the international media, European diplomats, and UN officials, as part of demonization campaigns…Israeli NGOs also benefit from the misleading label of “civil society” groups in order to advance the Durban Strategy based on delegitimisation campaigns targeting Israel. As with the Goldstone report, the Israeli NGO network was central in the UN’s politicized report on settlements.”
As for GetUp, despite their claim to be an independent grass-roots community advocacy organisation unaligned with any major party or political movement, they have been exposed as strong supporters of the Greens. Back in 2010, Senator Abetz said that “GetUp’s activities would be perfectly legitimate if they just came out and admitted to being a left-wing activist group, but it trades on being “independent” and “non-partisan” when it is anything but.”
The founders of GetUp are also involved with the US group, MoveOn.org, which is funded by George Soros. As for its claim to being non-partisan, its original board members included AWU Secretary, Bill Shorten, Australian Fabian Society secretary Evan Thornley, Greens activist Cate Faehrmann, and left-wing trade union researcher and “community organiser” Amanda Tattersall.
The largest donor to GetUp in 2010 with a donation of $1.1 million was the CFMEU. The Australian reported that GetUp failed to immediately report this donation – used during the federal election campaign to fund an advert attacking Tony Abbott – nor did it acknowledge the source of the funding in the advert.
Now in this article, I’m going to deviate from the PC mantra that everyone’s narrative is equally valid and that there are many different truths. This might well apply if we’re talking about religious beliefs, which by their nature are susceptible to many different narratives, but when we’re searching for truth, it’s best to concentrate on historical facts, not emotionally charged anecdotes.
GetUp followers would probably never have heard of Susiya, nor would they have done any research before signing the petition. Brainwashed by the endlessly repeated narrative of poor Palestinians displaced from their ancestral lands by evil Israeli occupiers, they are influenced by the narrative, not the facts.
Journalist Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu writes
“The latest chapter in the Palestinian Authority’s re-invention of history is taking place in Susiya … less than half an hour from Be’er Sheva, the capital of the Negev.
The Arab strategy: An Arab family erects a tent, illegally, near the archaeological site of the ancient town of Susiya. As time passes, the tent becomes a makeshift structure, which expands into several structures. With the support of extreme left-wing activists, the ‘ancient’ town of ‘Palestinian Susiya’ is invented. This makes for a great human interest story, but for one setback – the ‘ancient Palestinian Susiya’ never existed. It shows up on no
Until 1983, when Jews returned to the area after a 1,500 year exile, none of the land in the area was registered as owned by anyone. Nor, when the Jews established Susiya, did Arabs live there or in the ruins of the old Jewish city of Susiya, uninhabited since the 6th century. It was only when the Civil Lands Authority issued stop-work orders against projects funded by the EU intended to support Palestinian Authority claims to land where they never lived, that the left-wing movements and the Palestinian Authority reinvented history, claiming-
“The Palestinian village of Khirbet [ruins of] Susiya has existed in the South Hebron Hills at least since the 1830.”
The International Solidarity Movement claims,
“The residents of Susiya include more than 30 families, who were all evacuated from their homes in the old Susiya village and forced to relocate 200 meters to the southeast, in 1986,”
It is a lie. They never lived there, not in 1830 and not in 1986 and not in 1996.
The gradual erosion of Israel control over what is supposed to be Israeli-controlled “Area C” has endangered the entire area. Thousands of Arabs have moved in, set up tents and built homes with the funding of hundreds of millions of dollars by the EU.
Lacking any history of the area, most media swallow up the Arab story, hook, line and sinker.
Under Australian law people cannot just build anywhere they choose, but have to apply for permission. If buildings are put up without the requisite permits, Councils can order them to be demolished. Similar rules apply under Israeli law. For some inexplicable reason, certain groups are outraged when Arabs building illegally are ordered to demolish their buildings, yet are perfectly happy if Jews are ordered to demolish their homes.
One organisation fighting against this illegal land grab is Regavim, an independent professional research institute, which is exposing the UN, Israeli and US NGOs, and their backers. Their mission is to raise awareness of the existential threat to the State of Israel from this silent conquest, and to ensure all government bodies act responsibly in accordance with Israeli law. They report:
“The construction of illegal Arab structures has gathered pace all over Area C as the Palestinian Authority pursues this policy of encouraging illegal land grabs, illegal outposts and building on state lands.
Such activity is very evident…in the area near the ancient Jewish town of Susiya. Arab shepherds from the nearby town of Yata, a Palestinian Arab city of 80,000 in Area A, have created a new village there called Khirbet Susiya. They claim that their families have lived on such land for decades if not centuries. There struggle has become the cause célèbre of the cadre of foreigners and locals wishing to harm Israel and its standing worldwide through mistruths, misrepresentations and outright lies. “Regavim
There is abundant evidence that Susiya was an Ancient Jewish Town and zero evidence that it ever belonged to the Arabs. For a history, with photos, see the two links below. I am including brief extracts:
”Susiya was an impressive Jewish town on the south of Mount Hebron. The synagogue was impressive with its architecture, beautiful mosaics, the marble screen or railing around the ark of the Torah…and its several Hebrew and Hebrew-Aramaic inscriptions. Susiya was founded, it seems, in the First Century CE, while the Second Temple was still standing. Yet its major growth started in the 3rd century, with the more liberal policy of the Severan emperors towards the Jews. And this growth reached a peak in the 6th century. Susiya lasted into the period after the Arab Conquest, sometimes called the Early Muslim Period. Towards the end of the 8th century, decay overcame Susiya and other Jewish towns and villages on Mount Hebron. Susiya was then abandoned for unknown reasons.”
“Magnificent synagogue marks the highest point of the ruins of Talmud Period Susiya. Beautiful mosaics and massive stonework give evidence to glorious past. A fascinating trip back in time to when Jews lived in all parts of Israel and established towns in the barren desert. Apart from the synagogue, Susiya is especially interesting because of the massive underground living complexes where residents spent the summers and 25 mikves (ritual baths) which are mysterious in how these desert Jews were able to fill them and why so many were needed.”
It is clear that the ‘peace’ and ‘human rights’ activists, massively funded by bodies with an animus against Israel and the Jews, have an aversion to historical fact. What is much less clear is how we deal with this historical revisionism and demonisation.
Sadly, there are no easy answers, but one thing is certain, appeasement has never worked. Those of us who believe facts should trump false emotive narratives have to be prepared to patiently keep repeating the truth.
In the words of Winston Churchill
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”