Back To Basics: Israel Vocabulary 101

UPDATE 7 am Israel time Thursday:

At 11:15 pm last night, an IAF air strike hit a vehicle in Gaza killing two members of the Defenders of Al-Aqsa–a terrorist group affiliated with Palestinian terrorist Hamas. The dead, who were in the final stages of a plan to attack Israel, were identified as Anis Mahmoud Abu Alainain and Ashraf Mahmoud Salah.

The vehicle in which the terrorists were riding.

At 11:53 pm last night, IDF forces were put on “high alert” for a possible attack from the Sinai. At 1:44 am this morning, the area around the Western Wall in Jerusalem was cleared because of a suspicious object.


As stated in yesterday’s blog, your humble servant is providing a vocabulary refresher course today of terms you should use to frame the discourse about Israel. Too long have pro-Israel supporters surrendered the terminological high ground to the Palestinians, leftist Israelis, and so-called international “human rights” groups. 

Last year we began to reclaim the vocabulary; during this new year we want to continue on our quest. Enough said . . . on with our list (with apologies to regular readers who have already seen many of these entries):

1. Use “Muslims” instead of Muslim fundamentalistsMuslim extremistsMuslim fanaticsIslamistsmilitant Islamistshostile Islamistsradical Islamists, and Salafists. If you must use two words to describe terrorists, use “Muslim terrorists.”

What are Muslim fanatics, Muslim extremists, Muslim fundamentalists, Islamists, and Salafists? They are simply Muslims, and the attempt to cast them otherwise is an obvious attempt to portray just plain old “Muslims” as not fanatic, not extremist, not fundamentalist, not Islamist, and not Salafist. In Gaza, we now have the ludicrous situation in which Palestinian terrorist Hamas–which is one of the most fanatic, extremist, fundamentalist, and Islamist terror organizations on the planet–being portrayed as the “good guys” by the media. The time has come once again to call a Muslim a Muslim.

2. Use ‘Judea and Samaria’ instead of ‘the West Bank. ‘West Bank’ is a term of occupation and exploitation created by the Jordanians to refer to the area west of the Jordan River illegally seized and annexed to Jordan in 1948. Prior to 1948, the land was referred to as Judea and Samaria for almost 3000 years. In the 1947 U.N. Resolution that partitioned “Palestine”, “Judea” and “Samaria” were the terms used.

3. Use ‘Jewish community’ instead of settlement. How in the world can anyone call the community neighborhoods (blocs) of Maaleh Adumin (40,210) and Modin Illit (51,773), Gush Etzion (54,939), and Ariel (41,720) ‘settlements’?

4.  Use ‘construction of Jewish homes, schools, and hospitals’ instead of settlement activity’. By obscuring what the activities are, the activities are delegitimized.

5. Use ‘new Jewish communities’ instead of outposts‘. An outpost is a small military encampment not a place where people are planning to permanently live.

6. Use ‘Jewish community member’ instead of settler. Are we living in the wild west? Most Jewish community members are suburbanites commuting to jobs in Tel Aviv and elsewhere.

7. Use ‘conservative politicians’ instead of right-wing politicians‘. Smearing someone as ‘right-wing’ is a convenient way of dismissing what they have to say.

8. Use ‘PLO’ or  ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ instead of Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear that the PLO runs the show in Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria, and the United Nations recognizes the PLO–not the Palestinian Authority. Your humble servant was the first to use the abbreviation “PLO/PA” when writing about the governance of Areas A and B–an abbreviation now used by various newspaper columnists here in Israel.

9. Use ‘Palestinian Terrorist Organization–HAMAS’ instead of merely HamasHAMAS is an acronym for “Harakat al Muqawamah al Islamiyya” which means ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’–which is a euphemism for Palestinian Terrorist Movement. It is easier to say or write HAMAS, but the acronym does not tell what the organization is about.

10. When possible, use ‘Israeli men, women, and children’ instead of  Israeli citizens when referring to those of us assaulted by terrorists. After all, Palestinian terrorists delight in trying to kill all Israelis–regardless of age or gender.

11. Use ‘Palestinian cities’ instead of  Palestinian refugee camps. Who is kidding whom? Cities such as Kalandiya are huge places with massive construction going on all the time–the city’s residents are not nomads living in tents.

12. Use Palestinian ‘settlements’ instead of  Palestinian ‘villages’ or ‘hamlets’. Who is kidding whom?  “Village” is a word blatantly used to make the West think that the Palestinians are (and have been) living peacefully and sleepily in hamlets for thousands of years.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

13. Use Palestinian ‘settlers’ instead of Palestinian ‘farmers’ and ‘villagers’Let’s call people what they are, not what the delegitimizers would have us believe that they are.

14. Use “so-called human rights organizations” or “self-proclaimed human rights organizations” instead of “human rights organizations” to denote the so-called human rights organizations operating in Israel. None of these organizations are in the least interested in protecting Israeli or Jewish human rights.

15. Use international ‘lawbreakers’ instead of international ‘activists’ when referring to those members of the international community who come to Israel for the express purpose of breaking Israeli law and attacking Israeli police and soldiers.

16. Use ‘the suicide bomber prevention fence instead of the ‘separation fence’ or ‘wall’Have we all forgotten why the suicide bomber prevention fence was built? To stop suicide bombers.

17. Use “Israel concession process” instead of “peace process”. There never has been a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians–only a process of trying to wrench ever more concessions out of Israel in return for nothing.

18. Use ‘eastern Jerusalem’ or the ‘eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem’ instead of East JerusalemThe city of Jerusalem must never be divided again.

Speaking of eastern Jerusalem, that is where your humble servant is at this moment–but more about that in blogs later this week.

Once again, your humble servant encourages you to use the vocabulary in the israelstreet lexicon when you have conversations, attend meetings, and write letters! What have you done for Israel today? 

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