A military database released to the left-wing anti-settlement organization Peace Now under court pressure shows that very little private land was seized from Palestinians to build Israel’s largest West Bank settlement, the watchdog group reported on Wednesday.
The new numbers are vastly smaller than numbers Peace Now issued in a November report based on leaked information.
In November, Peace Now claimed that 86 percent of Ma’aleh Adumim was built on private Palestinian land. After successfully petitioning the court to see the database, the group reported Wednesday that data show that only 0.5% of the settlement was built on private land…
Dror Etkes, Peace Now’s settlement expert, said that if the original information it published was inaccurate, then the IDF was to blame for refusing to release the database until the court ordered it to do so after the November report. — Jerusalem Post (my emphasis)
I doubt very strongly that the IDF leaked the original data, waited for Peace Now to file suit, and then sprang the truth on them in order to discredit them (although I’m sure this will be a popular explanation).
And I don’t even think that Peace Now just made it all up. The actual explanation is worse, really.
Peace Now and many other progressive Jewish groups and individuals have internalized the point of view of those who — like most Europeans, unfortunately — believe that Israel is by nature evil and corrupt. As a result, they are always prepared to believe the worst possible interpretation, for Israel, of any fact or data.
So if, for example, the Palestinians or Hezbollah announce that Israel has perpetrated a massacre, Israel will be assumed guilty and publicly excoriated. Later, maybe it’s discovered that it didn’t happen, but damage is done — especially when the voices of Jews have lent authority to the accusations in the public outcry that follows.
Who knows what the psychological explanation is for this? But it isn’t important. There is only one Jewish state, imperfect as it may be. Jews, in particular, should respect it enough to get their facts straight before jumping to criticize it.