Myths & Facts Online: Preface
By Mitchell G. Bard (2006)
The 2012 Updated Edition is Now Available!
CLICK HERE to Read the Updated Edition.
“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and repeated.”
— President John F. Kennedy1
I am often asked to name the most prevalent myth about the Middle East. The answer is the suggestion, in one form or another, that Israelis do not want peace.
No one craves peace more desperately than Israelis, who have lived through seven wars and an ongoing campaign of terror for nearly six decades. This is why, as this book discusses, Israel has repeatedly sought compromises, often at great risk, that would bring an end to the conflict.
Each time a new peace initiative is launched, our hopes are raised that we will not need to publish another edition of Myths and Facts, which was first printed more than 40 years ago.We remain optimistic that Israel’s neighbors will accept a Jewish state in their midst. In the meantime, old myths, including ancient blood libels, continue to be recycled, and new calumnies invented. These must not be allowed to go unanswered.
Myths and Facts pulls no punches when it comes to addressing Israel’s responsibility for events and policies that tarnish its image. Friends of Israel do not try to whitewash the truth, but they do try to put events in proper context. That is also our goal. When friends criticize Israel, it is because they want the country to be better. Israel’s detractors do not have that goal; they are only interested in delegitimizing the country, placing a wedge between Israel and its allies and working toward its destruction.
This new edition covers the basics of the history of the conflict and offers documented facts to respond to the most common myths. To learn more, visit our Jewish Virtual Library, where we continually update the online edition of Myths, archive material we could not fit in the book, and present key original documents. AICE is also pleased to offer Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, French, Swedish and Hebrew translations online. In addition, we have a listserv for weekly myths/facts and other periodic updates. To sign up, fill in your email address in the box below.
I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the distinguished group of past editors: Sheila Segal, Wolf Blitzer, Alan Tigay, Moshe Decter, M.J. Rosenberg, Jeff Rubin, Eric Rozenman, Lenny Davis and Joel Himelfarb. I would also like to thank Rafi Danziger, Rebecca Weiner, Isaac Wolf, David Shyovitz, Alden Oreck, Elihai Braun, Sarah Szymkowicz, Avi Hein, Joanna Sloame, Stephanie Persin, Ariel Scheib and David Krusch for their invaluable assistance in the AICE editions.
AICE is especially grateful to the sponsors of this edition: The Herbert Bearman Foundation, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland and Evelyn and Dr. Shmuel Katz from Bal-Harbour Florida, who contributed in loving memory of the AUSCH and KATZ family members O.B.M. H.Y.D. who perished during the Holocaust in Europe. May their greatness be an inspiration to all people of good will.
“Facts are stubborn things,” observed John Adams, “and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” The following pages lay out the stubborn facts about the Arab-Israeli conflict. They are the best weapons we have to insure that truth triumphs over myth.
Mitchell G. Bard