The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Cutting Through the Myths & Misinformation


There is a tremendous amount of misinformation and disinformation spread about the Arab-Israeli conflict, even by prominent people such as former President Jimmy Carter.

There are at least two websites dedicated to debunking widespread myths: We will discuss some of the more prominent myths, such as those listed here along with others participants are encouraged to raise.

Myths may be objective or subjective.

We may describe objective myths as commonly held understandings which are contrary to fact, while subjective myths may be described as commonly held opinions which are fundamentally unreasonable. Of course, the classification of a subjective myth is itself subjective.

The statement "The 1949 armistice demarcation lines became the borders of the new nation of Israel and were accepted by Israel and the United States, and recognized officially by the United Nations," made by Jimmy Carter in "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," is an example of the former, easily disproven by an examination of the relevant documents, while the need to make progress on an Arab-Israeli peace in order to get Arab backing for efforts to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, or the belief of some Israelis that they can obtain peace without making further territorial concessions, are examples of the latter.

There are also commonly held beliefs that, when examined closely, are far from clear, such as the belief that territories captured by Israel in 1967 qualify as being "occupied" under international law, itself a highly nebulous term.

We will concentrate on objective myths, with a lesser degree of concentration on subjective myths, although it's likely some of the latter will get introduced during discussions. We include just a handful below.

Objective Myths

Subjective Myths