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February 08, 2002
What do you really know about Israel?



Dear NileMedia Reader: A lovely intelligent young American, now studying in Cairo, recently sent us a list of 'DID YOU KNOW' questions. We thought that it would be worth your while to examine her list of questions. What do you really know about Israel and the Palestinians?

  1. Did you know that non-Jewish Israelis cannot buy or lease land in Israel?
  2. Did you know that Palestinian license plates in Israel are colour coded to distinguish Jews from non-Jews?
  3. Did you know that Jerusalem, both East and West,is considered by the entire world community, including the United States, to be occupied territory and NOT part of Israel?
  4. Did you know that Israel allots 85% of the water resources for Jews and the remaining 15% is divided among all Palestinians in the territories? For example in Hebron, 85% of the water is given to about 400 settlers, while 15% must be divided among Hebron's 120,000 Palestinians?
  5. Did you know the United States awards Israel $5 billion in aid each year?
  6. Did you know that yearly US aid to Israel exceeds the aid the US grants to the whole African continent?
  7. Did you know that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?
  8. Did you know that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections from its sites?
  9. Did you know that Israel currently occupies territories of two sovereign nations (Lebanon and Syria) in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
  10. Did you know that Israel has for decades routinely sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies?
  11. Did you know that high-ranking military officers in the Israeli Defense Forces have admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed by the IDF?
  12. Did you know that Israel refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
  13. Did you know that Israel routinely confiscates bank accounts, businesses, and land and refuses to pay compensation to those who suffer the confiscation?
  14. Did you know that Israel blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship in international waters, killing 33 and wounding 177 American sailors?
  15. Did you know that the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders, is the Israeli AIPAC?
  16. Did you know that Israel stands in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council Resolutions?
  17. Did you know that today's Israel sits on the former sites of more than 400 now-vanished Palestinian villages, and that the Israeli's re-named almost every physical site in the country to cover up the traces?
  18. Did you know that it was not until 1988 that Israelis were barred from running "Jews Only" job ads?
  19. Did you know that four prime ministers of Israel (Begin, Shamir, Rabin, and Sharon) have taken part in either bomb attacks on civilians, massacres of civilians, or forced expulsions of civilians from their villages?
  20. Did you know that the Israeli Foreign Ministry pays two American public relations firms to promote Israel to Americans?
  21. Did you know that Sharon's coalition government includes a party- Molodet which advocates expelling all Palestinians from the occupied territories?
  22. Did you know that Israel's settlement-building increased in the eight years since Oslo?
  23. Did you know that settlement building under Barak doubled compared to settlement building under Netanyahu?
  24. Did you know that Israel once dedicated a postage stamp to a man who attacked a civilian bus and killed several people?
  25. Did you know that recently-declassified documents indicate that David Ben-Gurion in at least some instances approved of the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948?
  26. We often hear of Ehud Barak's generosity about an alleged return of 95% of the Palestinian Occupied Territories. When Palestinians refused, they were blamed for "missing an opportunity." Did you know that the Palestinians have already accepted Israel's existence on 78% of what was Palestine?
  27. For those who use the argument of the Bible: God said to Abraham, "Unto thy seed, I will give thy land." Abraham had two sons. Ismael-the Arab son, and Isaac-the Jewish son. So even if one wants to go to the Bible, the land would belong to both. Did you know that Palestinian Christians are considered the "living stones" of Christianity because they are the direct descendants of the disciples of Jesus Christ?
  28. Did you know that despite a ban on torture by Israel's High Court of Justice, torture has continued by Shin Bet interrogators on Palestinian prisoners?
  29. Did you know that Palestinian refugees make up the largest portion of the refugee population in the world, after Afghanistan?
  30. Did you ever wander who is preventing you from getting a clear picture of who the Palestinians are and what the Israelis have done to them?