Thank you, Israel

By Yousef Munayyer

Walking through the halls of the Student Union you will see all kinds of flyers. Usually I dismiss many of these immediately because, honestly, there are just so many of them that my head begins to hurt if I try to look at them when I walk by. However, early in the week there aren’t many flyers up yet. That’s how some of them caught my eye.

I have to say that I would like to thank the student groups responsible for putting up the flyers that “promote Israel’s image.” I hadn’t laughed so hard in quite some time.

However, since the cosmic balance of propaganda versus truth has been once again tipped to the Israeli side, I will use the remainder of this column to highlight some facts about Israel that are more important to consider than the number of trees they plant or instant messaging programs they may be responsible for.

Only in Israel do we see the longest standing illegal occupation. The occupation has been ongoing since 1967. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel do they continually disregard international opinion and international law more than any other country in the Middle East and in the world. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel do the Israeli “defense” forces actively patrol and operate in land, which is internationally recognized as non-Israeli. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the name of that group. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel to they uproot countless olive groves. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel do bulldozers knock down the homes of Palestinians. Maybe this is to make room for some of the many trees they want to plant. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel did a bulldozer brutally kill a young American activist standing 25 feet in front of it dressed in bright orange. Only in Israel will they claim it was an accident. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel do they choose to build walls in and around Palestinian towns to cut the West Bank into Bantustans, chocking away their livelihood. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel is a 20 percent minority of Arabs treated as second-class citizens in a so-called democracy. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel will they call themselves democratic when they directly rule over the lives of 4 million non-citizens. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel will you find the largest nuclear weapons program in the Middle East. Only in Israel will they refuse to acknowledge these weapons. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel will you consistently see political leaders with much blood on their hands. Only in Israel are these candidates considered to be frontrunners. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel will they completely destroy towns like Jenin. Only in Israel will they then not permit press to see the crimes they have committed for weeks. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel will you hear talk of peace while they are busy building even more settlements on land that internationally recognized as non-Israeli. Thank you, Israel.

Only in Israel would the current prime minister be guilty of saying the following in an address to the right-wing Tsomet party, “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours.” And Kol Yisrael radio reported in 2001 that he also said, “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” Thank you, Israel.

Only outside of Israel would Israeli supporters find it necessary to “promote Israel’s image.”

The list goes on and on. Look, if you have read this far, chances are you have learned something about good ol’ Israel that you hadn’t known before. I would be wrong to suggest that there is no wrong on the Palestinian side and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will remind us of that.

The main point here is not to buy into the propaganda that is being spread. Sure, Israel may plant lots of trees, make some great medical breakthroughs and computer programs, but is that how we are to judge a nation? I’m not asking you to disregard all that wonderful stuff. I’m asking you to question why the Israeli groups felt it was necessary to launch a campaign to “promote Israel’s image.” It’s because the reality is that more and more people are finding out that Israel is not the innocent, helpless, ally of ours that it has been made out to be. It’s because Israel’s image needs to be promoted because it’s loosing more and more support here in the United States.

For now, the cosmic balance has been restored.

Yousef Munayyer is a Collegian columnist.