Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Obama book riddled with 'falsehoods, lies and omissions' - Zionist group demands rewrite

On Feb. 23, the Zionist Organization of America sent a letter to Penguin Random House to complain about the anti-Israel bias in former President Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land.” The organization has yet to hear back, says ZOA National President Morton Klein.

“Having received complaints from our supporters and conducting our own review, we are deeply concerned about the factual inaccuracies, material omissions and outright falsehoods” contained in Obama’s book, the letter states, which was co-signed by Klein, ZOA Chairman Mark S. Levenson and Susan B. Tuchman, director of the Center for Law & Justice.

The letter says that given the book would have “enormous reach and influence,” it should have been subjected to “the most scrupulous fact-checking possible.” In the case of Obama’s discussions of Israel, it says, this was not the case and goes on to list 15 “Obama falsehoods.”

The letter calls on the publisher to fix the errors and omissions.

“We hope that the book publisher respects the truth and integrity and we want him to have the portion of Israel rewritten to only have accurate facts and to release any new editions with a changed accurate chapter about Israel,” Klein tells World Israel News.

“We would like the publisher to ask Obama to rewrite those portions about Israel that are filled with lies,” he said.

Klein notes the chances the publisher will agree are “very small.”

“They would do it if other Jewish groups spoke out but not a single Jewish group that I’m aware of has complained about this book. It’s not only deeply troubling but it enables the publisher not to have to worry about the anti-Israel lies in the book,” he said.

The ZOA lists the distortions it wants corrected, citing chapter and verse from Obama’s book and then providing a detailed refutation. For instance, in “Obama Falsehood #7,” the ZOA says the former president writes that “The Palestine Liberation Organization arose after the Six-Day War, as a ‘result’ of ‘Palestinians living within the occupied territories …’”

The ZOA points out, “The PLO arose three years before the war, in 1964 …”

In  “Obama Falsehood #9,” the ZOA says Obama makes it appear that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sparked the Second Intifada by visiting the Temple Mount in September 2000, calling it “deliberately provocative” and a “stunt” that “enraged Arabs near and far.”

Obama Falsehood #15 states: “… just about every country in the world considered Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories to be a violation of international law …”

The fact is, there is no consensus that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal. Numerous legal authorities affirm the legal right of Israeli communities to be there.

It is inaccurate to refer to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as “Palestinian territories.” In fact, Israel has the right to these areas under international law, including the San Remo Resolution, the British Mandate, the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924, and UN Charter Article 80. Jews have lived in these territories since ancient times, except from 1948 to 1967 when Jordan illegally occupied them and expelled the Jews. These territories never belonged to Jordan or to the Palestinian Arabs who never had sovereignty or sovereign rights there, or in any part of what was known as Palestine.

The ZOA says, as has been admitted by the Palestinian leadership since, that the Second Intifada was planned by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat well in advance of Sharon’s visit.

Klein says the book violates the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.

“He’s saying things that are untrue about Israel. When you have one lie after another about Israel, that’s anti-Semitism. Does he have any complaints about Abbas and the Palestinian Authority? The PLO? No,” Klein said.

“He has one line of distortion after another that hurts Israel. He has no lies and distortions that make Israel look better than they deserve,” he said.


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