The Founding Myths of Israel

Palestine Square | ميدان فلسـطيـن

Recently, a veteran of the 1973 October War admitted on Israel’s Channel 2 news that he had made up one of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) most hallowed tales of “heroism” in order to boost soldiers’ morale.

Yair Nafshi, a battalion commander during that war, fabricated a tale of a daring mission starring tank commander Lt. Zvika Greengold, whom Nafshi credited with single-handedly destroying 60 Syrian tanks, thus holding off the Syrian offensive in the occupied Golan Heights. Greengold later received the IDF’s highest military honor, the Medal of Valor. “What did you want?” an unapologetic Nafshi said in the news broadcast. “We needed some kind of story.”

Nafshi’s admission raises questions about other stories Israel has spun to salvage Zionism’s legitimacy.

A land without a people for a people without a land

Perhaps the earliest story buttressing Zionist myth-making originated with Christian Zionists advocating the “return” of European Jewry to Palestine in…

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