A Recent Film Spreads a Debunked Tale of Israeli Atrocities, and Earns Praise https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2023/05/a-recent-film-spreads-a-debunked-tale-of-israeli-atrocities-and-earns-praise/

May 31, 2023 | Meyrav Wurmser
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Last year, the Israeli documentary Tantura made its U.S. debut at the Sundance film festival, where it won much acclaim for its telling of the story of a 1948 battle for the eponymous Arab village and the subsequent efforts to cover up what happened there. But the story of a massacre that stands at the movie’s core is, in the words of the historian Martin Kramer, “discredited” and “bogus.” Worse even than the filmmakers’ embrace of this myth, writes Meyrav Wurmser, are the efforts of journalists and historians to propagate it knowing full well that it is based on nonexistent evidence. Wurmser blames “a revisionist attempt to define Israel’s resurrection not as the return of an ancient nation, but as a deliberate European colonial effort to disempower Arabs in order to establish a European bridgehead in the Middle East.”

The events of 1948 [by this logic] define a narrative of Israel’s illegitimacy. Revisionists provide an alternative recollection of events of 1948-9—replete with such [an abundance] of mass expulsions and massacres that they rise incontrovertibly to the level of a deliberate ethnic-cleansing campaign launched one-sidedly by European invaders (Jews).

These events, they argue, are in fact the more genuine expression of the character of the Zionist enterprise. The essence of Zionism is not liberation, but rather a genocidal and illegitimate effort focused on oppressing a native population. The original sins of Israel’s creation thus are not an aberration, but an inherent necessity in order to establish the primacy and victory of the colonial presence.

Over time, the story of Tantura, which was once a matter of academic debate, has acquired a life of its own. As it turned into an inseparable part of the Palestinian national story, its murky—or even clearly fabricated—origins have been overlooked and turned into ironclad facts. A massacre that until recently the Palestinians were unaware of is now a core element of their national narrative. Israel has to face the “evidence” that challenges the morality of its cause.

Read more on Institute for a Secure America: https://www.theinstituteforasecureamerica.com/2023/05/how-lies-became-facts-the-tantura-massacre-is-back-in-the-spotlight/