Sunday, May 22, 2011

On The War of Semantics

As Michael Rubin makes clear:-

Technically, the West Bank is disputed territory, not occupied territory. There was no independent Palestine in 1967 before the Six-Day War. The status of the territory was just as unresolved before 1967 as it was after. If the Israelis “occupy” the portions of the West Bank unresolved under Oslo and subsequent accords then the Palestinian Authority also “occupies” those areas...Along the same lines, the term settlement shows tremendous bias. If portions of Jerusalem are unresolved, then new Palestinian construction on disputed lands are as much “settlements” as new Israeli construction. To speak of Palestinian civilians and Israeli settlers is to accept a false narrative and a dehumanizing one.

It behooves those who believe that Israel matters and its security and Jewish identity are important to be accurate with language. Otherwise, they simply cede points in negotiations and risk putting Israel in an even more precarious position as diplomacy continues.



Anonymous said...
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YMedad said...

Anon - no expletives. and Michael doesn't live in the Middle East.

DC said...

Yisrael, can you describe what you realistically think a reasonable resolution is? One that doesn't rely on a miracle, or even a very improbable event such as a drastic change in current demographic trends.

I haven't heard one coming from the settler movement. Beyond "we're here and we're not leaving." I can understand why that dream is compelling, but there are something like 1.5 million people we don't want to have as citizens and who want their own state.

The historical legitimacy of their claims and the history of that area doesn't change those facts. Believe me, I too wish that the media and world opinion was sensitive to the real and not the imagined history of the region, but even without mounting international pressure this situation needs a permanent resolution, so if you could lay out for me briefly what you have in mind I would be very interested.

Kol Tuv,


Morey Altman said...

Here's the thing: proponents of the 'occupied territory' mantra know full well that a Palestinian state never existed; they know there is no occupation of a previous political entity. The occupation they speak of is of a future state. In other words, they charge Israel with a crime that has yet to be committed. Remember Minority Report? Same thing. It's basically tantamount to accusing someone of the kidnapping of the child of a couple who have yet to get married yet alone consummate the marriage. There is no proof - none - that the Palestinians will succeed at creating an independent state. Yet, the charge remains. And THAT is the lie that is so egregious.