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ISRAEL'S OTHER STRUGGLE IS WITH TRENDY TERMINOLOGY
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: BAR-ILLAN, DAVID
Date: Feb 12, 1993
Start Page: 08
Section: Features
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Jack Redden], whose knowledge of history is obviously as limited as that of most journalists, complains that "when Israel in 1991 began its first peace talks with Palestinians, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir could only bring himself to say 'Palestinian Arabs.' " That Shamir himself was called a Palestinian for the first half of his life never seems to occur to him.

Redden cites Bob Lang, "spokesman for Jews living in the occupied West Bank, whose organization fights the use of the word 'settlements.' " But by referring to the area as the "occupied West Bank," Redden proves how entrenched propagandistic terminology has become. "West Bank" is, after all, an imperialistic Jordanian term. No one but Britain ever recognized [Jordan]'s illegal, forcible annexation of the area, and yet not one solitary news organization ever referred to it as "occupied" during its 19 years under Jordanian rule. Ironically, it is still mostly described as "Israeli occupied Jordan," even though King Hussein has relinquished all claims to it.

"Both Israelis and Palestinians practice this propaganda art," says Redden, "but Israelis, more experienced at polishing their image abroad, have been more persistent." This, too, is an opinion masquerading as fact, intended to impart the impression of sophisticated Israeli Westerners fighting poor natives. Unfortunately, it is also manifestly wrong. Anyone who has witnessed the total incompetence of the Israeli government's handling of the deportee issue, and the extraordinary Arab ability to turn activists of a vicious, anti-peace and anti-Western terrorist organization into "Palestinian doctors, lawyers and intellectuals" can hardly be impressed by Israel's "propaganda art."

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