Why the Palestinians Lie So Much
The Palestinians’ persistent habit of lying is a combination of honor, dignity, fear, jealousy, and anger. When will they realize it's not serving them or the region?
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We all tell a few lies here and there.
In fact, humans lie an average of one-to-two times a day, most commonly “white lies” to preserve relationships, research suggests.1
Of course, some lies are bigger than others. Skirting the truth about not arriving on time is different than hiding an affair, or escaping even the slightest sliver of responsibility in the Israeli-Palestinian saga.
The Palestinians have used decades of lies to mobilize, fundraise, covet, suppress, deny, and vindicate themselves from any wrongdoings and miscalculations. These lies include:
Claiming the Jews only received land in British-era Palestine as part of the 1947 UN Partition Plan because of the Holocaust
Purporting that antisemitism only started after 1948, following the 1948 Israeli War of Independence
Attributing their indigenousness to Palestine through the Phoenicians, an ancient semitic civilization
Accusing Israel of being an apartheid state, carrying out genocide, and “ethnic cleansing”
Describing Gaza as an “open air prison” with the highest population density on Earth (It’s actually Manila in the Philippines, in case you were wondering.)
Part of the Palestinians’ persistent habit of lying lies in their so-called honor (“sharaf” in Islam) and dignity (“karama”), central ingredients in Arab society and particularly in Islamic ones. And yet the Palestinians continue to deny themselves a self-sovereign state because they will not surrender to their honor and dignity.
The other part of their perpetual lying has to do with the hatred that Palestinians feel toward Israel and Jews, shaped and driven by three basic sentiments — fear, jealousy, and anger — all of which simultaneously fly in several contradictory directions.
The Palestinians fear all that is Jewish steadfastness, Israeli optimism, democracy, and Israeli national symbols, including a language (Hebrew) which was restored after centuries of being dormant. In sum, fear generates hatred, and a people that is always afraid cannot be free.
The Palestinians are also angry, always angry at Israel for refusing to give up or give in, for not going away, far away. They have the world on their side, with the United Nations in their pocket, Europe behind it, and Arab regimes propping up its leaders. But the Palestinians still refuse to cede their exponentially expiring grievances with Israel.
As such, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) remains the world’s only refugee agency dedicated to a specific population. If the mission of any refugee agency is to resettle people and end their refugee status, the UNRWA has failed miserably. Over the years, there were changes and simplifications for the terms to receive refugee status and the eligibility of descendants to receive services from the agency.
At first, only those who had lost their home and livelihood as a result of the 1948 war were considered refugees (with the definition later broadened to include their children). They refused to be absorbed into the new countries, because they understood that this would mean they had lost the war against Israel, and they haven’t been willing to accept the defeat to this day.
Beginning in 1982, the right to be defined as a refugee was expanded to include every generation of descendants. In other words, even the great-grandchild of a refugee is also considered a refugee.
As a result, in its 74-year existence, the number of UNRWA beneficiaries has grown from 700,000 refugees, to almost six million by 2022. This includes 1.6 million people in Gaza, a fourth generation of refugees who are largely perpetuated by the UNRWA eligibility requirements.
With the increase in the number of refugees, UNRWA has become a vast organization with an annual turnover of more than $1 billion (a sum that is constantly increasing given the rise in the number of refugees) and a huge part of the Palestinian education, health, and welfare systems. About 60 percent of its budget is allocated to Palestinian schools, which play a pronounced role in the Palestinians’ desire for a “right of return” and rejection of a Jewish state.
The Palestinians are also envious of Israeli power and pride, marked by their strong beliefs and readiness to sacrifice, which presumably reminds today’s Palestinians of early Zionists who seized the opportunity to restore a Jewish country in our indigenous homeland.
Our attachment to the land is an attachment that Palestinians have had to manufacture, long resorting to theology and mythology to justify their lofty demands here, whereas the Jews need no such justification. We belong so effortlessly, so conveniently, so naturally — and they hate Jews for being so integral to the history, geography, and nature of the landscape that the Palestinians try to claim as their own.
“Pure hatred often involves projection: You hate in others what you hate in yourself, you imagine your enemies would do to you what you would do to them if you had a chance,” wrote Gil Troy, an American historian. “These false cries that Israelis are targeting Palestinians for genocide reflect the sweeping, categorical and thus genocidal tendencies in the Hamas charter, in the October 7th sadism, and in too many twisted corners of the Palestinian national soul.”2
The Palestinians hate Israel for being the living proof of the world’s greatest decolonization project, even in the harshest and barest of regions, against an unwelcoming, violent group of Palestinians dating back to the 1800s.
For decades, Palestinians have been crying “genocide,” claiming Israel seeks to wipe them out. Yet the Palestinian population has at least quintupled since 1967, from just over one million to nearly five-and-a-half million people.
“Zionists are even worse at genocide than they are at apartheid,” said Troy, sarcastically of course.
The reality is that Mahmoud Abbas, who runs the Palestinian Authority — he’s now in the 18th year of a four-year term — has positioned his family’s consortium to dominate the West Bank’s commerce and labor markets, including owning shopping centers, media, and insurance companies, while distributing food, cigarettes, cosmetics, and other consumer items.
The Palestinian Authority refuses to use its considerable international aid to relocate more than 100,000 Palestinians from Palestinian-controlled refugee camps to residential locations in the territories, preferring to leave them confined under extremely unpleasant conditions to make Israel look bad.
“The refusal of the international community to hold Abbas and the Palestinian Authority accountable for nepotism and corruption drove Gazan Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas, the terrorist group which promised them reform,” according to Ziva Dahl, a Senior Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center.3
But Hamas turned out to be even more corrupt than the Palestinian Authority; their leaders have taken this sort of civilian bribery to new heights, making Abbas and the Palestinian Authority look like mere peasants. The terror group’s top three leaders alone are worth a total of $11 billion and enjoy lives of opulence in Qatar and Turkey.
Hence why the “two-state solution,” which many Israelis would have loved to see, is all but dead — and October 7th has put at least a few nails in its coffin. Across Israel, the phrase is no longer appealing because it reeks of lies — the lies that Palestinians tell us, the lies the world buys, and the lies we’ve even been duped into believing.
“Clearly, the Palestinians and their propagandists have developed a whole lexicon, a series of talking points and slogans that distort words, negate history, and obscure Palestinian intentions,” wrote Troy. “Israel went along with these lies for too long, often bullied into guilelessness by a gullible international community. October 7th was a nightmarish wake-up call.”
The game of buying into Palestinian lies and international posturing should have ended on October 7th, because the Palestinians have been lying in all directions for far too long. A gullible liberal public might buy into their lies for awhile more, but not forever. The UAE is no longer swallowing Palestinian lies, even going as far as to stop paying both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which prompted anger and bad-mouthing from the Palestinians.
"Abbas is what we call in Arabic ‘Tager Shanta,’ which is a simple merchant walking around with his bag,” said Dherar Belhoul Al Falasi, a member of the UAE Federal Council. “I think now the UAE has had enough and Saudi Arabia has had enough.”4
It would be wrong to glorify any of this, and the Palestinians could still turn all their hatred into tolerance, envy into appreciation, and anger into empathy, if only they have the courage to do so. In the meantime, the Palestinians’ hatred will not drive the Israelis out, but it may very well drive the Palestinians out and away.
“Every time, they miss their chance by refusing to negotiate,” said Al Falasi, “and they lose more, and they lose more, and they lose more.”
“Lie prevalence, lie characteristics and strategies of self-reported good liars.” National Library of Medicine.
“The nine Big Lies against Israel and what they really mean.” Jewish News Syndicate.
“Palestinian kleptocracy: West accepts corruption, people suffer the consequences.” The Hill. https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/306179-palestinian-kleptocracy-west-accepts-corruption-people.
“UAE lawmaker: ‘Hamas and the PA are both corrupt and murderers.’” The Jerusalem Post.