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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
(415) 356-7801


November 2, 2004

Dear Friend of FLAME:

This week's FLAME Hotline features our latest published message, which appeared in more than 20 publications nationwide, including U.S. News & World Report. We're sending it to you in case you did not see it in the media and because it addresses two critical issues in the debate over Middle East peace: 1) "Palestinian land" and 2) "Arab humiliation." Both of these terms are used freely by pro-Islamist advocates and often, unfortunately, by American media. This piece, the second in a two-part series on Arab propaganda written by FLAME president, Gerardo Joffe, exposes these phrases as propaganda. (You can find the first part of the series---and many other useful articles---by clicking on the "Our ads and positions" button in the left column of this Hotline.)

Best regards,
Jim Sinkinson
Director, FLAME

Twisted Words and Phrases (2)
More examples of Arab propaganda, giving new meaning to old words.

In the previous of this series of hasbarah (educating and clarifying) messages, we described how Arab propaganda systematically twists words and phrases so that eventually they come to mean almost the exact opposite of their original intent. We discussed “Terrorists and Freedom Fighters” and “Dishonor in the Muslim World.” Here are two more examples of such twisting of language, and there are many more like it.

What are the facts?

“Palestinian land”:
A great hue and cry has arisen about the Israeli barrier (called the “apartheid wall” by its noisy detractors). At a cost of billions of dollars, Israel has been forced to erect such a barrier in order to safeguard itself against constant murderous attacks that have so far cost over 1,000 Israeli lives and have hurt and mutilated thousands more.

Fourteen out of fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice have condemned this barrier as “illegal.” The only laudable exception to this lopsided and totally unwarranted decision was that of the U.S. judge on this (otherwise kangaroo) court. What particularly agitated the judges was that this barrier allegedly intrudes on “Palestinian land.” But, of course, there is no such thing as “Palestinian land.” The Palestinians do not own any land in Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”). That land, originally part of the Ottoman Empire, became part of the British Palestine mandate after the First World War and was allocated as part of the Jewish homeland by the Balfour Declaration. In the War of Liberation of 1948, right at the birth of Israel, the invading Jordanian army occupied that territory and assumed possession. In the Six-Day War, Israel repulsed the attack and stayed in possession of the territory.

Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) is therefore part of Israel. If at some future date Israel should decide to relinquish any part of that territory to a Palestinian entity, then it would indeed become Palestinian land. But right now, there is no such thing. “Palestinian lands” do not exist. It is a twisted phrase, created by Arab propaganda to score public relations points and to create confusion in an uninformed public.

“Arab humiliation”: A great deal of ink is being spent on “Arab humiliation” at the hands of the Israelis. There are almost daily stories in the papers deploring the “endless delays” that Arabs suffer at being stopped and interrogated and in some cases searched at one of the many check points. Those delays, which undoubtedly are major inconveniences and annoyances to the Arabs, have one purpose only, namely to reduce and to the degree possible to prevent altogether the passage of suicide bombers that have so far caused so many Jewish victims.

The Arabs have brought those miseries upon themselves with their “intifada,” now over four years old. There were no check points and no delays before that started. And what could one say about women who, feigning pregnancy, carry explosives under their garments and blow up the female guards who examine them and all others around them? Or what about little children in ambulances who are supposedly in urgent need of quick passage (to a Jewish hospital), but who have bombs hidden in their gurneys, ready to explode and to kill?

But how about the “humiliation” and annoyance that the Jews have to endure? For Jews, normal life in Israel has practically ended. Motorists in Israel expose themselves to a gauntlet of sniper fire on the highways. Most school trips have been canceled for fear of attack on the children, similar to what the Moslem barbarians have just perpetrated in Russia. Social occasions, such as weddings or bar mitzvahs, can’t take place unless armed guards are provided. Restaurants, movies, stores and parking lots have to be heavily guarded. Arabs, on the other hand, can freely move through any part of Israel, the cities and the countryside, without any fear of attack. They need not protect their schools or their places of worship, their restaurants, grocery shops or other places where people gather. And they need not fear for their children and that Jews are going to blow them up.

The prevention of Islamic terror is an enormous burden on Israel. Fully three percent of the country’s $40 billion GNP goes to protection against terror. The Palestinians brought their misery upon themselves, but the Jews suffer much more from the necessary security precautions than they do. “Arab humiliation” is a twisted phrase, invented and endlessly promoted by Arab propaganda in order to engage the sympathy of the world.

The Arab Moslems have launched three major wars against Israel and have engaged in a constant war of attrition, in order to destroy what they call the “Zionist entity” (another twisted phrase). Unable to defeat Israel militarily, they have resorted to an endless war of propaganda, in which twisted words and phrases play a major role. They have been quite successful at that. Peace cannot come about until the Arab world is willing to wholeheartedly accept Israel and to forget about military action and the war of propaganda. But that day, if it is to come at all, is not yet in sight.

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