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Palestinian Word Games

Daniel Pipes writes:

In an era when the battle for public opinion has an importance that rivals the clash of soldiers, the Palestinian Arabs’ wording often dominates English-language usage, helping them win the war for public opinion. Refugee status normally applies to someone who is outside the country of his nationality, but not to that person’s descendants. In the Palestinian Arab case, however, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of refugees also merit refugee status. One demographer estimates that more than 95% of so-called Palestinian Arab refugees never fled from anywhere. Nonetheless, the term continues to be used, implying that millions of Palestinian Arabs have a right to move to Israel. A settlement is defined as a small community or an establishment in a new region. Although some Jewish towns on the West Bank and in Gaza have tens of thousands of residents and have existed for nearly four decades, settlement, with its overtones of colonialism, is their nearly universal name. Occupied territories implies that a Palestinian state existed in 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza. That was not the case, making these areas legally disputed territories, not occupied ones. Cycle of violence, a term President Bush has adopted, implies a moral equivalence between the killing of Israeli civilians and Palestinian Arab terrorists. It confuses the arsonist with the fire department.

Palestinian Word Games

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