A War over Words

A sort of totalitarian vocabulary police preclude rational discussion on the Mideast. One expects such Orwellian vocabulary police to prowl the salons of the Left, but sadly the Right has now adopted the practice.

Of course, the greatest newspeak wordcrime is "the West Bank," an ahistorical word felony. The area has been called Judea and Samaria throughout history.  "The West Bank" has its origins in the Jordanian rule of the area from 1949-67, a brief interlude in the grand scheme of things. Jordan has long since waived any political control over the area, except for the Temple Mount compound.  The continued use of "the West Bank" denies any Jewish historical connection to the land; and "Judea and Samaria" should be the only acceptable term.

The use of "Al-Aqsa"(the farthest) to label the mosque at southern end of the Temple Mount is to perpetuate the historical fraud of Mohammed's night journey to Jerusalem, and from thence to heaven.  Islam had not extended out of Eastern Arabia in Mohammed's lifetime, let alone to Jerusalem. There is no way that Mohammed could have made a night journey to a mosque that did not exist. The whole story is a lie, and yet no one in the media confronts it. The edifice should be labeled "the Southern Mosque," not Al-Aqsa.                                                                                                                                                             

Moreover, the second part of that bogus journey consists of a flight from the then non-existent mosque to an Islamic heaven, which in Arabic is called the al-Mi'raj -- whence we get the word: mirage.  A more succint description of the confabulation cannot be found. How come our intelligentsia avoids that noun?  Personally, I think the whole Islamic claim is a mirage, no matter how you spell it.

Yes, the Left has imposed a dishonest vocabulary on us, so as to preclude truth, and prevent honest conclusions. I find it sickening. However, the Right has now also entered into this pernicious practice.

The new bugaboo on the Right is to shout down anyone who uses the term "Palestinian." Some call them generic Arabs. Some insist on Fakestinian. The idea is to deny the Palestinians any historicity at all. It is no less an application of newspeak than the Left requires of its sycophants.

will2012012 - They are Arabs, not "Palestinians"  - Comments on AT

Fakestinian Lies Taught to Israeli Schoolchildren Israpundit

The "Palestinian" problem will not evaporate if we relabel them. If only it were that simple.

The real debate is over which side has a better claim to the land, not which word is appropriate. Of course, the Jews have the better claim; but to deny the Palestinians any historicity at all smacks perilously close to editing history, which is what the left does.

In 1911, the paper Filastin (Palestine) was published during Ottoman rule. Those Arab publishers obviously had some sense of Palestinian identity, even before the Mandate had started. In 1920, Christian Arab immigrants to Chile from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and its suburbs started a soccer club called Palestino (Palestinian). They did not call themselves "South Syrians" or in Spanish, "sur sirios," as so many would have us believe. We may not like the Palestinian cause, but we cannot claim that the local Arabs never embraced the Palestinian identity.

Nor were the "Palestinian people" invented in 1964 by the PLO, as so many proclaim. There was an all-Palestine government set up in 1948. 

One fights lies with truth, not thought police. If the Right adopts the dishonest mendacity of the Left, we have lost our moral authority. Worse yet, we will lose our ability to think rationally, which seems to be a perpetual leftist condition. 

UncleVladdi -- "Palestinians?!" WHAT "palestinians?"!  ... Where were the Palestinians? - Comments on AT

Let us take an example of a national identity that could not define itself clearly for any part of its history.

In 1836, when Texas declared its independence, Santa Ana could honestly have noted that the chiefly Anglo rebels could not even decide on a name for themselves: Texans, Texians, or Texicans, among others. The defenders at the Alamo flew a modified Mexican flag.  There had never before been a country called Texas. There was not even a province called Texas. It was merely the truncated northern half of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, Texas never had its own currency. It never had its own historic capital. Texas never had its own unique religion. It never had its own unique language. Texas did not have clearly defined borders (which became the cause of the Mexican-American War). They had no national anthem.  Its leadership came from a foreign country. Almost everyone in Texas was a recent arrival from somewhere else, and initially identified themselves as Americans, not Texans. Unlike Palestinian identity, which has persisted, Texans voted to join the USA at the first available opportunity within 9 years. To be honest, Texas' chief identity was "Anglos are Not Mexican," and not much beyond that.

Whatever arguments the Right uses to deny Palestinian historicity could more forcibly be applied to deny Texan historicity.  Yet no one denies Texas… and lives! At least not in Dallas.

Do not get me wrong, I am not against Texas, nor against Israel. I am against adopting the newspeak non-logic of the Left. 

The Right must insist on the use of Judea and Samaria, and decry the use of the term, "the West Bank."  The Right must insist on the use of "the Southern Mosque," and call out the claim of Al-Aqsa as a fraud.  Better yet, the use of the term "Miraj” should be turned on its head to use the Arabic to demonstrate the Arab lie. 

However, to fuss over the term Palestinian is sheer nonsense. The terms Palestinian and Palestine have meaning in history, like it or not; just as the terms Confederate and Confederacy. Both the Confederacy and Palestine have been judged by history to have weak claims to nationality in favor of those with superior claims and morality, ie: the Union and Israel. (Boy, will that draw some howls from wannabe Confederates on the Right!) But no one should deny that the terms are historically proper.

We may not like the Palestinian cause -- just as I do not think well of the Confederate cause -- but one does not refuse to admit existence of such a cause or identity with wordplay. 

Nor can one deny the validity of a Palestinians identity by saying they are an invented people,

PALESTINIANS: THE INVENTED PEOPLE - Think-Israel

That is not valid critique. Every nation in the Western Hemisphere was invented. No one doubts the identity of Chileans or Canadians. Belgium was invented in 1830.  Prior to that it was a collection of Dutch and French speakers. The question is: Who has priority in the Holy Land? Not who was invented. Stick to the point!

Nor is it a valid critique, as some say, that Palestinians cannot even say the letter P. 

They, as Arab speakers can't even pronounce their made up nation name cuz the letter "P" doesn't even exist in the Arabic Alphabet. -- Liveleak

The above argument is specious. Chicago comes from a French mangling of the Indian word:  shikaakwaGuadalajara, Mexico gets its name from a province in Spain, which got its name from Arabic speaking Moors, who called the local area Wādi al-ħajāra (valley of stones). But the Spanish cannot pronounce W properly so they morphed W to Gua-. I have to assume the present day Aztecs in those mariachi bands who sing Guadalajara are mispronouncing lots of other Arabic consonants. Yet, no one doubts their Guadalajaran identity. People adopt mispronounced names all the time. Ask anyone who prides themselves on being a Chicagoan, or Dakotan, or Alaskan. The Arabs say Filastin, which is close enough. The issue is priority, not etymology.

Bait and switch rhetoric should be consigned to the province of lawyers and leftists. For the Right to win, truth must prevail, not casuistry. Stick to the important issue: Who has priority in the land? 

Many here on the Right offer genuine ideas and creative solutions which address the problems between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead of considering the ideas, all too often the commentators in this forum, and elsewhere, flail such authors over terminology. If the Right adopts the totalitarian newspeak practices of the Left, the game is over. We cannot compete with the masters of doublespeak at their own game.

Neither tolerate nor adopt the mind befogging vocabulary tactics of the Left.

Mike Konrad is an American author who writes on various topics.

A sort of totalitarian vocabulary police preclude rational discussion on the Mideast. One expects such Orwellian vocabulary police to prowl the salons of the Left, but sadly the Right has now adopted the practice.

Of course, the greatest newspeak wordcrime is "the West Bank," an ahistorical word felony. The area has been called Judea and Samaria throughout history.  "The West Bank" has its origins in the Jordanian rule of the area from 1949-67, a brief interlude in the grand scheme of things. Jordan has long since waived any political control over the area, except for the Temple Mount compound.  The continued use of "the West Bank" denies any Jewish historical connection to the land; and "Judea and Samaria" should be the only acceptable term.

The use of "Al-Aqsa"(the farthest) to label the mosque at southern end of the Temple Mount is to perpetuate the historical fraud of Mohammed's night journey to Jerusalem, and from thence to heaven.  Islam had not extended out of Eastern Arabia in Mohammed's lifetime, let alone to Jerusalem. There is no way that Mohammed could have made a night journey to a mosque that did not exist. The whole story is a lie, and yet no one in the media confronts it. The edifice should be labeled "the Southern Mosque," not Al-Aqsa.                                                                                                                                                             

Moreover, the second part of that bogus journey consists of a flight from the then non-existent mosque to an Islamic heaven, which in Arabic is called the al-Mi'raj -- whence we get the word: mirage.  A more succint description of the confabulation cannot be found. How come our intelligentsia avoids that noun?  Personally, I think the whole Islamic claim is a mirage, no matter how you spell it.

Yes, the Left has imposed a dishonest vocabulary on us, so as to preclude truth, and prevent honest conclusions. I find it sickening. However, the Right has now also entered into this pernicious practice.

The new bugaboo on the Right is to shout down anyone who uses the term "Palestinian." Some call them generic Arabs. Some insist on Fakestinian. The idea is to deny the Palestinians any historicity at all. It is no less an application of newspeak than the Left requires of its sycophants.

will2012012 - They are Arabs, not "Palestinians"  - Comments on AT

Fakestinian Lies Taught to Israeli Schoolchildren Israpundit

The "Palestinian" problem will not evaporate if we relabel them. If only it were that simple.

The real debate is over which side has a better claim to the land, not which word is appropriate. Of course, the Jews have the better claim; but to deny the Palestinians any historicity at all smacks perilously close to editing history, which is what the left does.

In 1911, the paper Filastin (Palestine) was published during Ottoman rule. Those Arab publishers obviously had some sense of Palestinian identity, even before the Mandate had started. In 1920, Christian Arab immigrants to Chile from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and its suburbs started a soccer club called Palestino (Palestinian). They did not call themselves "South Syrians" or in Spanish, "sur sirios," as so many would have us believe. We may not like the Palestinian cause, but we cannot claim that the local Arabs never embraced the Palestinian identity.

Nor were the "Palestinian people" invented in 1964 by the PLO, as so many proclaim. There was an all-Palestine government set up in 1948. 

One fights lies with truth, not thought police. If the Right adopts the dishonest mendacity of the Left, we have lost our moral authority. Worse yet, we will lose our ability to think rationally, which seems to be a perpetual leftist condition. 

UncleVladdi -- "Palestinians?!" WHAT "palestinians?"!  ... Where were the Palestinians? - Comments on AT

Let us take an example of a national identity that could not define itself clearly for any part of its history.

In 1836, when Texas declared its independence, Santa Ana could honestly have noted that the chiefly Anglo rebels could not even decide on a name for themselves: Texans, Texians, or Texicans, among others. The defenders at the Alamo flew a modified Mexican flag.  There had never before been a country called Texas. There was not even a province called Texas. It was merely the truncated northern half of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, Texas never had its own currency. It never had its own historic capital. Texas never had its own unique religion. It never had its own unique language. Texas did not have clearly defined borders (which became the cause of the Mexican-American War). They had no national anthem.  Its leadership came from a foreign country. Almost everyone in Texas was a recent arrival from somewhere else, and initially identified themselves as Americans, not Texans. Unlike Palestinian identity, which has persisted, Texans voted to join the USA at the first available opportunity within 9 years. To be honest, Texas' chief identity was "Anglos are Not Mexican," and not much beyond that.

Whatever arguments the Right uses to deny Palestinian historicity could more forcibly be applied to deny Texan historicity.  Yet no one denies Texas… and lives! At least not in Dallas.

Do not get me wrong, I am not against Texas, nor against Israel. I am against adopting the newspeak non-logic of the Left. 

The Right must insist on the use of Judea and Samaria, and decry the use of the term, "the West Bank."  The Right must insist on the use of "the Southern Mosque," and call out the claim of Al-Aqsa as a fraud.  Better yet, the use of the term "Miraj” should be turned on its head to use the Arabic to demonstrate the Arab lie. 

However, to fuss over the term Palestinian is sheer nonsense. The terms Palestinian and Palestine have meaning in history, like it or not; just as the terms Confederate and Confederacy. Both the Confederacy and Palestine have been judged by history to have weak claims to nationality in favor of those with superior claims and morality, ie: the Union and Israel. (Boy, will that draw some howls from wannabe Confederates on the Right!) But no one should deny that the terms are historically proper.

We may not like the Palestinian cause -- just as I do not think well of the Confederate cause -- but one does not refuse to admit existence of such a cause or identity with wordplay. 

Nor can one deny the validity of a Palestinians identity by saying they are an invented people,

PALESTINIANS: THE INVENTED PEOPLE - Think-Israel

That is not valid critique. Every nation in the Western Hemisphere was invented. No one doubts the identity of Chileans or Canadians. Belgium was invented in 1830.  Prior to that it was a collection of Dutch and French speakers. The question is: Who has priority in the Holy Land? Not who was invented. Stick to the point!

Nor is it a valid critique, as some say, that Palestinians cannot even say the letter P. 

They, as Arab speakers can't even pronounce their made up nation name cuz the letter "P" doesn't even exist in the Arabic Alphabet. -- Liveleak

The above argument is specious. Chicago comes from a French mangling of the Indian word:  shikaakwaGuadalajara, Mexico gets its name from a province in Spain, which got its name from Arabic speaking Moors, who called the local area Wādi al-ħajāra (valley of stones). But the Spanish cannot pronounce W properly so they morphed W to Gua-. I have to assume the present day Aztecs in those mariachi bands who sing Guadalajara are mispronouncing lots of other Arabic consonants. Yet, no one doubts their Guadalajaran identity. People adopt mispronounced names all the time. Ask anyone who prides themselves on being a Chicagoan, or Dakotan, or Alaskan. The Arabs say Filastin, which is close enough. The issue is priority, not etymology.

Bait and switch rhetoric should be consigned to the province of lawyers and leftists. For the Right to win, truth must prevail, not casuistry. Stick to the important issue: Who has priority in the land? 

Many here on the Right offer genuine ideas and creative solutions which address the problems between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead of considering the ideas, all too often the commentators in this forum, and elsewhere, flail such authors over terminology. If the Right adopts the totalitarian newspeak practices of the Left, the game is over. We cannot compete with the masters of doublespeak at their own game.

Neither tolerate nor adopt the mind befogging vocabulary tactics of the Left.

Mike Konrad is an American author who writes on various topics.