The nakba-ization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the process of historical revisionism by which the accurate and documented history is replaced retroactively by a lab-grown narrative favored by activists and academics.

Obviously, you can see this most clearly and most often with the event referred to by the term “nakba”: the failure of the combined Arab armies to destroy the nascent Jewish state in 1948. That Palestinians and their supporters openly mourn a failed attempted literal ethnic cleansing of the Jewish people three years after the Holocaust certainly tells you much about the conflict itself.

It’s also quite revealing about media organizations that join the mourning of the continued existence of the Jewish people. Here’s how the Associated Press, for example, marks Israel’s birthday today: “Palestinians on Wednesday will mark the 76th year of their mass expulsion from what is now Israel, an event that is at the core of their national struggle. But in many ways, that experience pales in comparison to the calamity now unfolding in Gaza.”

This is the perfect example of nakba-ization: It not only rewrites the region’s history but attempts to revise what happened mere months ago, all in the service of claiming that Israel’s supposed illegitimacy grows by the year. More: “Palestinians in recent days have been loading up cars and donkey carts or setting out on foot to already overcrowded tent camps as Israel expands its offensive. The images from several rounds of mass evacuations throughout the seven-month war are strikingly similar to black-and-white photographs from 1948.”

Indeed, it’s uncanny how similar are the pictures of people loading up a car to earlier pictures of people loading up a car in the same place. On a more serious note, this kind of editorialized propaganda resembles science fiction more than it does reporting.

There’s another example of this kind of manufactured narrative being imposed on history: the credulous reporting of a U.S. Army officer’s resignation purportedly over America’s Israel policy.

On Monday, Maj. Harrison Mann posted a letter he sent to colleagues announcing his resignation from the Defense Intelligence Agency. He had emailed the note to his colleagues on April 16. “The policy that has never been far from my mind for the past six months is the nearly unqualified support for the government of Israel, which has enabled and empowered the killing and starvation of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians.”

The only problem? Mann’s letter also states: “Most of you know I already intended to leave the Army at some point, but this moral injury is what led me to finally submit my resignation on November 1.”

November 1? Mere days after Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza began? And this was the result of spending time agonizing over it, meaning his moral crisis likely came not when Israel moved to defend itself but in the wake of Hamas’s blood-drenched barbarism?

The good news is that there is almost no way the story Mann is selling here is true. And if it were true, based on his own timeline, he would be painting himself as something of a monster.

I don’t think Mann is a monster. What he is describing, instead, looks like this: A guy wants out of the Army, says so repeatedly, procrastinates (according to the timeline he stayed on for four more months after his exit was approved), figures out a story that is backwards-compatible with influencer-style self-branding and pronounces himself not lazy but a hero. All he has to do is nakba-ize his own life by revising what actually happened to fit a simple framework: the Jewish state is evil.

These types of stories always amuse me to some degree, insofar as the pro-Hamas protest movement and its cheerleaders love to talk about how brave it is to criticize Israel when their own actions prove it is the easiest route to social media clout available to them. Harrison Mann was an anonymous public servant, but now he may get some television invites and maybe an oped in the New York Times. At the very least, he can store away this anti-Israel street cred for a rainy day.

It is a sign of a deeply unhealthy culture to incentivize the retroactive scapegoating of Jews for individual misfortune. Expect to see more of it.

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