Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East

Grounded in Abrahamic Theology

Seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians
through political advocacy

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"Israelis live in a "closed information environment" wherein an insidious Orwellian "newspeak" (a language of propaganda aimed at creating ideologically determined boundaries for thought), shapes thinking and perception relative to the Palestinians."

  • Israel/Palestine 101 | Jewish Voice for Peace

    Some doublespeak words and phrases often used by critics of those who bring to light a human rights violation of the Israeli government.
    Sam Bryan - unpublished - taken from a letter to the editor of The Daily Tar Heel responding to a letter critical of the the demonstration outside
    Memorial Hall where the Israel Philharmonic was performing on April 3, 2014.
  • “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict” Calling it like it is would be the “Israeli occupation of Palestine”.

  • Nuanced” . The occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel for 48 years is not a nuanced issue. It is a simple violation of international law.

  • Disagreements” You don’t call the illegal appropriation of land, destruction of homes, restriction of movement, etc. “disagreements”   If someone stole your car, you wouldn’t say you and the thief were having a “disagreement”.

  • “the protestors’ chosen method to delegitimize … Israel”. The protesters were protesting the injustices of the Israeli government inflicted on the Palestinian people. They were not delegitimizing Israel. A curios, if not ironic, accusation. The Israeli government has delegitimized itself. The protesters if anything were seeking to relegitamize it. See also. A similar word used by critics of those who bring to light a human rights violation of the Israeli government is demonize.

Not used in the letter to the editor, but also in the doublespeak category:

  • Facts on the ground From the wikipedia definition: "It originated in discussions of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, where it was used to refer to Israeli settlements built in the occupied West Bank, which were intended to establish permanent Israeli footholds in Palestinian territory." Given that the settlements are deemed to be illegal under international law, "facts on the ground" could be translated "crime scene".

  • Anti-Semitic Anti-Semitism is real as is racism and bigotry against other classes of people and is to be condemned in the strongest terms. Often though claims of anti-Semitism are leveled against critics of Israel without evidence to justify it. Many Jews increasingly are decrying the baseless use of the term, because such usage renders the term meaningless. If you see the term used without evidence, ask the author where was truth not being spoken.

  • Self-hating Jew Similar to above. Jews who are critical of Israel are sometime called self hating, when no evidence is provided to show that the criticism is not valid. Similarly, if you see the term used without evidence, ask the author where was truth not being spoken.

   Some statements taken from the website www.thechurchletter.org that addressed criticism of the letter sent by 15 church leaders to congress in
   October 2012, requesting that military aid to Israel be conditioned on the Israeli government's not violating human rights in the region. The statements
   can be taken to apply to criticism of Israel generally.


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