When I was asked about the ?Jenin Massacre? by a Muslim student during an event at Old Dominion last week, it became clear we were coming from two very different perspectives: reality vs. mythology.
There was no ?Jenin Massacre.? Period. The only ?massacre? that took place at Jenin was that of the truth.
Palestinians, long masters of media manipulation, went by the hundreds to foreign media?whom Israel kept outside of the armed conflict?to claim that over 500 innocents had been slaughtered. The man at the front of the prevarication parade was longtime Arafat sidekick Saeb Erekat, giving breathless accounts in interviews with CNN and other outlets.
The international media was in a tizzy, and most of the world fell for the lie. Only after the smoke had cleared and outsiders allowed in did the truth come out.
56 Palestinians had died, but 47 of them were armed. The civilian casualties were at a minimum because Israeli soldiers went door-to-door and put their own lives at risk. Their caution cost 23 young Israelis their lives.
Even the United Nations?which had initially condemned the ?massacre??eventually determined that there had been no massacre. Yet to this day, Jenin is a rallying cry for Muslims around the world, particularly on college campuses in the United States. And Old Dominion is no different.
When I explained that there had been no massacre, some of the Muslim students expressed palpable disbelief, others snickered. Belief in the mythology of Jenin was not limited to that one student.
The student who asked the question did engage me in conversation afterward, and it was readily apparent that he is bright, even hyper-articulate. He could run circles around two-thirds of the successful people inside the beltway. Headed for law school in the fall, he seems destined to be a leader. But that is what?s most troubling.
How could someone so obviously intelligent swallow whole such a widely-discredited fabrication? Has he intellectually cocooned himself and refused to read anything counter to his worldview? Maybe the better question is: has any professor or advisor attempted to challenge his views, forcing him to rethink what he believes?
Youth lends itself to stridency and na?t?making campuses fertile fields for hatemongers and paranoia peddlers, providing an ideal home to delusional Muslim mythology. And political correctness has served as ignorance?s accomplice.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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