Words Matter

Fred’s post at IsraPundit reminds me that most of us out here are not history scholars, and we have very short memories, as well.

Words Matter

It has long been my opinion that what we call things makes a difference in the way we see them. The Arab world has long understood this and has taken the liberty of establishing a vocabulary that has been adopted by US and western news media, and even many if not most American Jews. In my view we need to be careful of how we use this vocabulary.

For example:

West Bank: This is the name the King of Transjordan gave to Judea and Samaria when he conquered the territory in 1948. It has no historical meaning but the world continues to use it. The proper terms are Judea and Samaria referring to the biblical names of the territories.

Palestinians or Palestinian people: This term was first used to describe Jewish volunteers in the British army during WW I. It was co-opted by Yasir Arafat in 1964 and used to describe a fictitious lineage between the ancient Canaanites and the modern Arabs who live in the disputed territories. The proper terms is the Arabs of Judea and Samaria.

Occupied territory: This term is often used by the Arabs to describe Judea and Samaria. The proper term is disputed territory or more recently liberated territory. This territory was conquered by the Transjordanians and Egyptians in 1948 with the help of the Syrians, the Saudis and the Iraqis. It was made completely Judenrein, i.e. free of Jews during the period from 1949 -1967 and was liberated by the IDF in 1967. Any compromise over the ownership of the disputed territory must be by mutual agreement, not by Arab fiat.

Al Quds: Although this hasn’t caught on in America it is the Arab name for Jerusalem, which they also think they own.

Settlers: This generic term used to mean people willing to sink roots in virgin land. Now it is a pejorative for Jews who have built towns and villages on disputed land. The connotation is of grasping Jews who take what isn’t theirs.

Read the remainder of this post at IsraPundit and note, especially, Fred’s comment about traveling from Samaria into Judea.

Related reading:
Who and What are the Palestinians
Palestinians are the Indigenous People?

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