Nicholas Blincoe is an author, critic, screenwriter and former advisor to Nick Clegg who now devotes much of his time to various forms of anti-Israel activism. Indeed, Blincoe is an enthusiastic supporter of BDS, and has written a book sympathetic to the terrorist-abetting International Solidarity Movement.
He also has a troubled relationship with the truth, having once opined that the mission of Israeli archeology is “to erase the traces of non-Jewish civilizations” and, as we revealed in a recent post, falsely claimed in a Guardian op-ed that Binyamin Netanyahu argued (in his book A Place Among the Nations) that Israel shouldn’t have to abide by international legal norms.
So, we obviously weren’t expecting much – by way of adherence to journalistic and professional norms – when we came across his recent Guardian review of a new film by “Palestinian” film-maker Annemarie Jacir (Annemarie Jacir: an auteur in exile, June 5).
Sure enough, the second paragraph of his review included this ‘historical’ howler.
When I Saw You is the tale of a 12-year-old boy and his mother – though comparisons to About a Boy stop there. Set in the aftermath of the 1967 Israeli invasion of the West Bank, the film follows Tarek, a refugee living in a UN camp within sight of the land he and his mother have lost
As anyone even vaguely familiar with the war would surely know, to characterize the Six Day War in June 1967 as an “invasion of the West Bank” is supremely dishonest. First, there is no historical debate about the fact that Israeli leaders, in the weeks leading up to the outbreak of hostilities on June 5, tried desperately to avoid a military confrontation with Arab nations which, in addition to blocking the Straits of Tiran, amassed massive quantities of troops and heavy weaponry along its borders while issuing bellicose statements predicting Israel’s imminent destruction.
More relevant to the passage at hand, even when the war began, Israeli officials – trying desperately to avoid having to fight on another front – appealed to Jordan’s King Hussein to not enter the war. It was only when – buoyed by erroneous reports of Egyptian success on the first day of the war – Jordan initiated offensive actions against Israel from east Jerusalem and the West Bank (Jordanian artillery began shelling Israeli targets from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv) that Israeli forces counter-attacked.
Of course, Nicholas Blincoe knew exactly what he was doing in obfuscating the real sequence of events in the Six Day War. Indeed, the Palestinian narrative – especially regarding the fate of the “refugees” – requires that such activists mislead readers into believing that the occupation was the result of an Israeli war of aggression, rather than a desperate Jewish fight for survival against multiple Arab nations openly calling for Israel’s “eradication”.
The ‘occupation’ of the West Bank and east Jerusalem was the direct result Israel’s defensive war fought during six days in June, and based on the sober determination that, absent a real peace treaty with its Arab neighbors, the state would never again allow itself to be at such a strategic disadvantage as was the case with its indefensible pre-June boundaries.
Characterizing the Six Day War as the “Israeli invasion of the West Bank” is ahistorical and dishonest, and represents the style of pro-Palestinian propaganda we’ve come to expect in almost any Guardian report, op-ed or literary criticism which so much as touches upon the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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