What Ryan McBeth gets wrong about Israel

What Ryan McBeth gets wrong about Israel

I discovered Ryan McBeth about three months ago. McBeth is an intelligence analyst, software architect, cybersecurity expert, and YouTube content creator for military, intelligence, and disinformation topics. I appreciate expert opinions even when I disagree with them, and Macbeth is just such an expert. While I don’t believe he is biased, when I subscribed to his YouTube channel, the algorithms began recommending rabidly anti-Israel and even antisemitic videos for me.

While I would not describe McBeth as pro-Hamas, he is not pro-Israel. It disturbs me that he treats Hamas as a credible source while at the same time claiming that the IDF has intentionally lied. I appreciate his analyses but he seems to overlook the fact that Hamas is a barbaric terrorist organization dedicated to the genocide of the Jewish people.

But he recently made a video that I believe displays a total ignorance of the obvious. The video dealt with an image circulating online of a patch allegedly worn by IDF soldiers. The patch said eretz yisrael hamoovtachat (the promised land of Israel). The image on the patch was a map of Israel that included Egypt, Israel (including  Judea, Samaria, and Gaza), Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. The post with the image got over one million views.

The image was retweeted by Moatasem a Dalloul, a reporter who has been embedded in Hamas units. 

McBeth investigated whether the patch was real.  His approach was to investigate whether Israel has the military ability to carry out such a plan. But this approach ignored many obvious facts. 

McBeth asked people who spoke Hebrew  to translate the phrase that appears on the patch, which they did, claiming it meant “the promised land of Israel.” He cites Genesis 12:7 as the source. But the phrase does not appear in that verse:

Hashem appeared to Avram and said, “I will assign this land to your offspring.” And he built a mizbeach there to Hashem who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:7

Indeed, this phrase does not appear in the Hebrew bible. The Bible describes God as saying he will give the land to the patriarchs’ descendants but never uses the word ‘promise’ (moovtach). This phrase was clearly written by someone unfamiliar with Hebrew or the Hebrew Bible. 

McBeth implied that Netanyahu was being expansionist when he displayed a map that did not differentiate between Israel and “the West Bank and Gaza.” I want to emphasize that Palestinian maps, as a rule, erase Israel from the map and are rarely faulted for this. Indeed, until 2005, Gaza was part of Israel, and international law demanded that the fate of Judea and Samaria be decided by bilateral negotiations.  So, one day, at least part of Judea and Samaria will be Israel.

Despite being unable to find the patch anywhere else online, McBeth determined that there was a “roughly even chance” that it existed and was worn by IODF soldiers. However, because most of the people retweeting the image were inauthentic users, he downgraded it to “unlikely.” He  then acknowledged that the “theology doesn’t make sense,” downgrading it to “highly improbable that this is a real patch worn by an IDF soldier.”

While he came to a seemingly logical conclusion, the premise was so absurd and steeped in antisemitism that it was deeply insulting that he even entertained the possibility. 

Every form of racism has unique characteristics. One antisemitic trope that never seems to go away is that there is a cabal of Jews who run the world. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a fabricated text purporting to detail a Jewish plot for global domination first published in Imperial Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. Like most antisemitic tropes, it attributes to Jews actions and intentions that are prohibited by the Torah. While it is true that God promised the land of Israel to the Jews, the borders are divinely mandated. Jews are commanded to conquer the land and forbidden from adding onto it unless divinely directed. The expanded image of Israel that appeared on the patch violates the Torah.

This is reflected in the foreign policy of the modern state of Israel. Israel has relinquished significant tracts of land in the hope of coexisting with its Arab neighbors. The history of the region is dominated by Islamic-Arab colonialism. Under the Muslim principle of Ummah,  once Muslims have conquered a country, it must remain Muslim forever.  

Despite these facts, it seemed perfectly reasonable to McBeth that Israel may intend to conquer the Arab states in the region, even ones it has signed normalization agreements with.

Despite his training as a military intelligence analyst, McBeth overlooked all of the proof to the contrary and immediately jumped to the assertion that it was plausible to assume that Israel might intend to conquer other nations. 

I appreciate McBeth’s analyses. But he dances around the fact that Hamas is a bloodthirsty, inhuman organization dedicated to the genocide of every Jew on the planet. He gives them credibility, treating them like a legitimate military.  He treats Israel like a nefarious actor despite the obvious fact that the IDF displays far more concern for civilians than McBeth did as a US  soldier. 

He is intelligent but, at the same time, stupid.  The war between Israel and Hamas is not like any war McBeth was trained to fight or analyze. Israel is fighting pure evil.  

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