During the Nakba, Zionist forces bombed my village of Tarshiha in Operation Hiram, which sought to cleanse the upper Galilee of its Palestinian inhabitants. One fell on my grandfather’s home, killing over a dozen members of my family and injuring many others. My then 18-year-old great aunt Fatmeh was rescued from the rubble, but she was paralysed from the waist down.
Several decades later, when Fatmeh tried to sue the newly-established Israeli government for massacring nearly her entire family and maiming her for life, she was told it wasn’t the newly-established Israeli army that bombed her home, despite the fact that only Zionist forces were using aeroplanes in the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Even when in an effort to clear his own conscience the Israeli pilot – who later became an outspoken peacenik – publicly admitted to having bombed my village, the state continued to deny it. This lie was part of a much bigger one, one foundational to the Zionist state: that when the Zionists first began arriving in the late 19th century, the land of Palestine was more or less an empty desert bar a few uncivilised Arabs.
Since the lies of its foundation, the Israeli regime has poured massive resources into covering up its atrocious and inhumane violence towards the Palestinian people, whilst simultaneously boasting of promoting itself as having “the most “moral army in the world”. Indeed, as with all of its military operations, the Israeli regime’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza has been bolstered by an intense information war. How else to justify killing over 15,000 Palestinians, including more than 6,000 children, and destroying much of Gaza’s infrastructure?