by Daniel Greenfield
Myth 1: "Israel was created because Europe felt guilty about the Holocaust."
This left wing myth has been widely repeated, most recently by Desmond Tutu. While blatantly false on a level that even the most serious anti-Israel historian can recognize, it persists because its function is to delegitimize as the product of post-war colonial guilt, rather than longstanding Israeli national aspirations.
The only thing that happened after the Holocaust was a UN vote in 1947 was for a partition plan that was never implemented because the Arab world instead chose to try and destroy Israel. Israel however would have declared independence and fought for its own survival, with the same exact outcome, regardless of UN Resolution 181.
This vote is often described as creating Israel, but it was more accurately an attempt to settle the borders of Israel that failed because of Arab genocidal hostility that expressed itself not only toward Israel, but toward the Jews living in Arab lands.
Nor did post-war European colonialism create Israel. Britain, which was the colonial power in the region, was against Israel's independence and abstained in the UN vote. The majority of votes for Resolution 181 came from non-European countries, primarily in Latin America and Eastern Europe, such as Bolivia, Brazil, Panama, Peru and Poland, Ukraine and the Soviet Union.
7 European countries voted Yes, most of them Northern European states such as Sweden and Denmark, which experienced only a limited impact of the Holocaust. 12 Latin American countries voted Yes. Twice the number. And all of them countries that had their own national aspirations and had fought against colonialism.
Post-Holocaust guilt was not the reason Resolution 181 passed. Less than a third of the 33 votes came from countries where the Holocaust had taken place. The reasons were varied and different.
Some Latin American countries identified with Israel's national aspirations and some sought economic ties. Truman was influenced by the desire for Jewish votes in an upcoming election.
The Soviet Union wanted to sabotage Britain's colonial program. The motives of different countries were varied and complex. Iran for example voted against the resolution and yet became the second country to recognize the new State of Israel.
Left wing activists may insist that Resolution 181 was a racist act, but in fact half the countries who voted for it were non-white, and most of the countries who voted for it were non-European.
Therefore the myth that Israel was created after the Holocaust by guilty Europeans, a myth that has been bandied about by everyone from Desmond Tutu to Wallace Shawn to Barack Obama is just that, a myth. Israel would have existed regardless of the Holocaust or UN Resolution 181, which was voted for primarily by non-European countries in any case. Those who repeat the myth are therefore demonstrating either extreme ignorance or extreme deceptiveness.
Myth 2: "European Nations Gave the Jews a Land Already Inhabited by a People."
This is one of the more common myths that seeks to strike at the legitimacy of the creation of the modern state of Israel, and treats the Jews as a foreign body within the land. This is a continuation of the anti-semitic stereotypes of the Jews as eternal wanderers and eternal foreigners.
The fact of the matter is that Jews had an ongoing presence in the land going back thousands of years, that was only interrupted by massacres and expulsions, after which the Jews population would once again attempt to reestablish itself.
Greek, Roman, Arab and Ottoman colonialism expelled Jewish populations and attempted to replace them with their own populations in order to gain a foothold in the land. Unlike them however the Jews remained the land's indigenous population.
Throughout history Jews struggled to achieve independence with armed revolts from Roman and Byzantine rule. The last such revolt took place somewhat more than a thousand years before the creation of the modern State of Israel, rather than two thousand as most people believe.
Jewish attempts to revive the State of Israel were repeatedly and brutally suppressed, in at least one case by outright genocide. Nor was that the only genocide that Jews in Israel experienced.