The Babylon Bee on Israel and Palestine

May 14, 2023 • 1:00 pm

NOTE:  Some readers thought that this was a serious website, or that I thought it was a serious website. Most people realize that the Babylon Bee is a humorous “fake news” website, and what’s below is made up–satire. But it does convey some of the truth.



Tomorrow is (wait for it) the U.N,’s commemoration of “Nakba Day,” (the word means “catastrophe” in Arabic), originally used around 1949 or so to mean the catastrophe caused by several Arab armies who couldn’t even manage to destroy Israel, and also caused many Palestinian Arabs to flee the country. That is, the original “Nakba” was the catastrophe CAUSED by Arab armies.

Later Yasser Arafat decided that the Nakba didn’t mean that, but referred to the catastrophe occurring when Jews announced their independent state and “expelled the Arabs”.

Tomorrow I’ll argue that the vast amount of that supposed “expulsion” was more of less voluntary, under orders from Arab leaders telling their people to get out of the way while their armies slaughtered Jews (no Arab country thought the Jews could possibly win), or Arabs fleeing after initiating fighting with Jews, but not, as the ideologues want you to think, the mass expulsion of Arabs from Israel because the Israelis didn’t want Arabs around.

What’s ironic about all this is that Israel was founded by a UN vote in 1947, came into being in 1948, and on that very day the legal country was attacked by 5 Arab armies with help from two more.

Well, until tomorrow. Here I reproduce from the Babylon Bee an article that, sadly, rings pretty true. The Bee gives you permission to reproduce whole articles so long as you don’t benefit commercially from doing so. And of course I don’t. It’s funny and sad and true all at once. The text is indented below the headline, which you can click on to go to the site:

JERUSALEM – Israel has tried to get along with Palestine and other neighboring countries, but a core disagreement between the two groups has increased tensions and made peace seem impossible. For many in the Middle East, what they want most of all is to kill Jews — which they see as a reasonable request. But a majority of Israel is made up of Jews who, first and foremost, do not want to be killed. And neither side is willing to compromise on these desires.

“We’re a simple people with a simple desire,” explained Bob Hamas, Palestinian founder of Hamas. “We just want to kill the Jews. We’re not dead set on how. Stabbings. Gunshots. Explosions. Pushing them into the sea. Any of those are fine with us, but Israel won’t allow any of those. Not even strangling. It’s keeping us from living our truth.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel and a “you can’t murder Jews” extremist, explained that from his point of view it was Hamas that was being unreasonable. “We just don’t want people to kill us, you know,” he said. “It’s the number one thing people say to me: ‘Hey, Ben, make sure no one murders us.’ And I know this throws cold water on what a lot of people out there want, but I am not moving from this position. No killing the Jews.”

Compromises have been attempted, but so far both sides have rejected them. When the “Kill the Jews” side was asked if maybe they could just beat up the Jews, they were adamant that only killing Jews would make them happy. And Israel, which has faced a lot of international pressure to allow some of their people to be murdered, has remained equally adamant in wanting no murder whatsoever.

“We just want peace between us,” said Bob Hamas. “I mean peace with some murder. A lot of murder. But it always seems like an unattainable dream.”

22 thoughts on “The Babylon Bee on Israel and Palestine

  1. It is said that it was a banning of The Babylon Bee by the old Twitter regime that convinced Elon Musk he should buy Twitter in the interests of allowing speech from across the political spectrum.

  2. When I lived in Israel I was told by many people that the expulsion was more or less voluntary, at the urging of Arab leaders. I was told by Jewish elders that they were present at the time, and there was very little forced expulsion at gun point. But the IDF Intelligence Service documents released in the 80s seem to contradict this narrative, assessing the situation in 1949 and giving the most significant cause for Palestinian emigration as direct hostile Jewish operations against Arab settlements. They list all the causative factors in order, and orders from Arab leaders is on the list, but it comes after direct and indirect actions of Jewish military operations.

          1. The twitter user does not account for the claim that the document was also found in the archives, only that it was found among Aharon Cohen’s papers.

            As per the Haaretz article linked before:

            “This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.”

            From the Akevot Institute:


            Ultimately Haaretz, the Akevot Institute and Benny Morris all agree on its origin.

    1. Well, for what it is worth, according to a fellow named Adin who does a lot of historical forensis on the anti-Israeli claims of various actors and publishes on Twitter, the so-called “IDF Intelligence service records” are:

      “1) The document is not “IDF’s archives” but was an unclassified “review” by anonymous author found to be a Soviet agent
      2) This document,as historians have pointed out, is full of errors
      3) A careful review actually shows that more Palestinians were expelled by Arabs than by Jews”

      As well, there is documentation galore for Arab calls for Palestinian Arab evacuation.

      1. Gingerbaker gives us an account of the summary of the history provided by Adin Haykin. There is a view from the other side, with details, by Ilan Pappe, which I’ll cite. The point is that there are historical citations of documents produced by scholars with totally opposed views. The history is deeply controversial. Here is a fairly recent account, for anyone who wants to see citations from the other side. “An indicative archive, salvaging Nakba documents”. Ilan Pappe, in Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 49, #3, Spring 2020. I am not taking any side myself in this, as I have no expertise.

        1. I would urge caution with regard to Ilan Pappe, who in 1999 said:

          “Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts, Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers,” .

          Indeed, Benny Morris on Ilan Pappe:

          “Critiquing Pappe’s 2004 book, A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, Morris wrote in the New Republic:

          Unfortunately much of what Pappé tries to sell his readers is complete fabrication. . . . This book is awash with errors of a quantity and a quality that are not found in serious historiography. . . . The multiplicity of mistakes on each page is a product of both Pappe’s historical methodology and his political proclivities . . .For those enamored with subjectivity and in thrall to historical relativism, a fact is not a fact and accuracy is unattainable. (New Republic, March 22, 2004)

          1. Benny Morris himself provides yet another angle on the Nakba. I wasn’t suggesting relying on Pappe, but recognizing how unsettled the questions remain, including questions about documents.

  3. That was very humourous.. I was reminded, as a young boy we use to play WAR (all over the neighbourhood) we all decided who the good guys were and who were the… Nazis. Someone had to die, and if you didn’t when you should have, there were arguments and bleating.
    Perhaps the Israelis and Palestinians should pretend they have won, go home and get on with living. The misery of this geopolitical shambles is a drain and not underestimated but like waring children, it’s time to grow up.

  4. The Babylon Bee is a fake news site. Its website even has the motto, “Fake News You Can Trust.”

    1. It’s a *satirical* news site, like The Onion. “Fake” implies it’s pretending to be real.

  5. The Conversation had an article on May 11th with a brief history of the Nakba. The article portrays the Palestinians as victims. Up to 350,000 Palestinians had either fled or been expelled from their homes by the time Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. Up to 750,000 were expelled by the end of the Arab-Israeli war in 1949. The article, with many supporting links, challenges the narrative that the Israelis are the principal victim in this conflict.

    1. The author of that Palestinian narrative in The Conversation is Palestinian. Here is what another Palestinian – the head of the Palestinian Authority himself – had to say on the topic in Falastineth-Thawra in 1979:

      “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny, but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe, as if we were destined to exchange places with them; they moved out of their ghettos and we occupied similar ones. The Arab States succeeded in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity.”
      – Mahmoud Abbas

    2. challenges the narrative that the Israelis are the principal victim in this conflict.

      1949 was 74 years ago – a lifetime. Israelis today had nothing to do with the decisions that were made back then.

      Then there’s also the point made by Jerry below that, the immediately after Israel was created, the Arab nations embarked on a war to destroy it. Israel didn’t start that war, the Arab league did.

  6. Here’s a short satire on Israel and Hamas:Hamas and the Un Demand the
    Right to Proportional Killing

    by Lorna Salzman

    The finding that only 28 Israelis have been killed by Hamas rocket attacks since 2001, compared to about 800 Gazans killed by recent Israeli attacks, has prompted Hamas and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to petition the UN for permission to kill at least 772 additional Israelis.

    A spokesman for the UNHRC, a Muslim-dominated UN department that is calling for a worldwide ban on criticism of the Islamic religion, said that the Israel military attacks on Gaza in response to the routine ten-year shelling of Israel by Hamas have been determined by all righteous people to be disproportional to the injuries suffered by Israelis from Hamas rocket attacks.

    Said the spokesman: “Only 28 measly lives of Jewish dogs have been lost from Hamas attacks in nearly twenty years. Clearly this demonstrates that Hamas’ military capabilities have not been allowed to reach their full potential. Since less than 1000 Gazan lives have been lost in the recent fight, and since these were not martyred suicide bombers, we therefore demand that Hamas be allowed to kill at least 772 Israelis, by means and at a time of its own choosing”.

    In addition, he demanded that Israelis lay down their weapons for at least one year so that Hamas can increase its military training and technology. “Our disproportional loss of lives can only be made proportionate in the future if we have breathing space to strengthen our military offensive potential to reach more densely populated areas of Israel such as Tel Aviv”.

    Israel released a cautious but somewhat conciliatory statement, saying that it will seriously consider a policy that will restrict future attacks on Gaza to exactly the same as Gazan attacks on Israel: random rocket attacks on civilian populations.

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