In Industry of Lies—first published in Hebrew in 2014, and now available in English—the Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini investigates the vast tangle of widely accepted distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehoods regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Peter Berkowitz writes in his review:
The lies, [according to Yemini], take several forms. “The insidious lie” is constructed out of half-truths and suppressed information. . . .“Lies of proportion” attach terms denoting thoroughgoing evil—say, “apartheid”—to common forms of discrimination that can and should be corrected within [Israel’s political and legal] system. . . . “Lies based on true stories” present an inflammatory statement or violent action as if it were representative of [Israeli] society as a whole. . . .
Then there is the “the Big Lie,” which distorts reality so grotesquely that ordinary people assume that nobody would have the effrontery to promulgate it if it weren’t true. “The contemporary version of the Big Lie turns Israel, a country that harms innocent bystanders less than any other party to a conflict of similar proportions, into a state that carries out genocide,” writes Yemini. “Meanwhile, terrorists and Hamas members, who publicly announce their intentions to exterminate the Jews, become ‘freedom fighters.’”
In a particularly revelatory chapter, Yemini explores the social and economic well-being of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. “Israel’s control,” Yemini writes, “has not gotten in the way of Palestinian prosperity.” To the contrary, citing an array of charts and graphs covering life expectancy, infant mortality, and education, he shows that “by all objective measures,” Israel’s administration in Gaza, which ended in 2005, and the West Bank, which continues, “only accelerated the rate of development in these areas—despite, not because of, the best efforts of the Palestinian national movement,” placing Palestinians well ahead of the vast majority of Middle Eastern Arabs.
Imagine how much nearer Palestinians might be today to ruling themselves if our progressive media and academy got in the habit of telling the truth about Israel.