Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A Guide to the Palestinian Lexicon

By Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Many Palestinians refer to cities inside Israel proper as "occupied." Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle and Lod, for example, are often described in the Palestinian media as "Palestinian Cities" or "Occupied Cities." Jews living in these cities, as well as other parts of Israel, are sometimes referred to as "Settlers."
  • Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel's right to exist. For them, this not only about the "occupation" of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The real "occupation", for them, began with the creation of Israel in 1948.
  • Non-Arabic speakers may find this assertion baseless, because what they hear and read from Palestinian representatives in English does not reflect the messages being relayed to Palestinians in Arabic.
  • It is no secret that Palestinian leaders have failed to prepare their people for peace with Israel, and deny its right to exist.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking in Arabic at a press conference broadcast December 24, 2014, used the word "Israel" in explaining that he refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)
"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought." — George Orwell, 1984.
What do you do if you do not like Israel, but have only one outlet for that dislike: expressing it in rhetoric and print?
Well, if you are a Palestinian, you can always come up with your own terminology -- one that sheds negative light on Israel and anything that is associated with it. This is precisely the tack Palestinians have taken over the past few decades, inventing their own terms and phrases when talking about Israel.
George Orwell, of course, saw through this behavior. For him, "language can also corrupt thought." The anti-Israel sentiments, delivered for decades by Palestinians, not only corrupt thought, but also incite people against Israel, by creating incendiary situations that are designed to burst into flames.

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