The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster. A nation cannot cross a desert of organized forgetting.
Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter & Forgetting (1977)
Viable cultures understand that education of the young is critical to survival and carefully inculcate their youth with knowledge of and respect for their history and customs. Prophets, philosophers and politicians as varied as Moses, Plato, Robespierre, Dewey and Stalin provided elaborately and in some cases unscrupulously, for training the young. "Just give me the young," Hitler famously observed. "Their parents will be helpless against us." Eric Blair (George Orwell) described this tactic allegorically in Animal Farm (1946) where the head pig, Napoleon took a litter of pups and trained them into his homicidal secret police. In 1984, Orwell described more directly how re-education works in an age of mass communications and behavioral engineering. The Ministry of Newspeak controlled all information, revising or destroying historical records to suit the ever-changing demands of power politics. As a result, Orwell concluded, "the past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth." This deformation has long been at work in Israel, first seeding the ground and now smoothing the slippery slope for the suicidal peace process. A recent act of pedagogical revisionism sponsored by the new government is one of many shocks showing how dangerously unfit Ehud Barak is to lead Israel.
A new "history" book is blitzing through Israeli public schools and its tenor may be gauged by adulatory front-page headlines in the New York Times. "Israel's History Textbooks replace Myth with Fact." Transposing the words "fact" and "myth" would convey a truer sense of Professor Eyal Naveh's leftwing Agitprop, blandly titled, The 20th Century. The book re- writes Israel's 1948 war of independence with claims that the Jews enjoyed numerical, logistical and tactical superiority in that struggle.
Women in Green's Ruth Matar interviewed two veterans of that war who shredded the suicidal lies now being wholesaled as truths to Israeli children. Raul Shinar, a professor of chemical engineering explained how utterly hopeless the situation seemed for the Jewish fighters in '48. The British had armed the Arab states and prevented the Jews from arming themselves, even with rifles for defending their own homes. The U.S. had imposed a strict embargo on arms and "the whole world was ready to sit by and watch," Shinar recalled (as it had watched the ship St. Louis in 1942) "the Arab armies slaughter the Jews. "The Israeli 'Air Force' consisted of a few single engine piper cubs from which the co-pilot had to lean over the side and drop small bombs by hand. Often the Jews had no bombs or even hand grenades," Shinar recounted, "so they dropped cases of empty beer bottles with toy sirens attached."
What explains suicidal self-hatred like author Naveh's, Matar asked Shinar. "Young professors need to make a reputation with outrageous statements," he replied and suggested it is not mainly Naveh who is at fault but Barak's Education Minister, socialist Yossi Sarid, seeking "to eradicate the memory of 1948. Those who were there remember," Shinar said, "and Sarid can't change that, but he can poison children in the schools. That is a very old leftist idea." Where does the buck stop? "It is up to Barak. Barak knows Sarid and what he is doing and if Barak does not stop him he is not fit to be Prime Minister." Shinar compared Naveh's falsification of history to denial of the Holocaust and Col. Bill Lichtman, USAF (retired) who also fought in the war added: "This book is entirely untrue. The PLO was founded in 1964. What exactly were they trying to liberate? The only 'territories' were the original state of Israel." In short, the new "facts" trumpeted by the Times are the familiar farrago of "insecurity, self-hatred and guilt" and "unless students regurgitate these lies on their final exams," Matar noted, "they will receive failing grades." Those inventing a new history and new culture for Israel are, to apply Kundera's words, taking another step in liquidating the Jewish people.
Late August saw further evidence that P.M. Barak is a faithless shepherd. The U.S. Senate had mustered 84 votes to overturn President Clinton's "waiver" of the Congressional mandate that the American Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than May 1, 1999. Then Barak told Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) that this overdue move could harm the "peace process." Senators both Democrat and Republican were shocked at thus having their feet cut out from under them. Aside from belatedly conforming to international standards regarding placement of embassies in a nation's self-designated capital, the purpose of the move is to enhance a meaningful settlement by show-
(Continued on p.12)
Outpost - 8 - September 1999