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Friday, May 05, 2006

Semantics: 'Withdrawal' sounds too much like 'Surrender'

The Jerusalem Post reports this morning that Acting Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to change the English term for his plan to surrender Judea and Samaria to the 'Palestinians' and expel all the Jews from 'convergence' to 'consolidation.' In this writer's humble opinion (and I am not an expert in Hebrew language) the 'problem' is with the policy itself and with the Hebrew term 'hitkansut' which is like the opening session of a convention when people get coffee and find their seats. It just doesn't describe what's happening.

What's amusing (in a bittersweet sort of way) about this is the discussion of terms at the end of the story:

One problem some are having with the word "consolidation," however, is that it sounds too military, too much like what an army does before waging battle. [Of course, if that were really what is happening - and that's how the Gaza surrender was sold in the summer - it might even have some justification. That they admit that it is not a military maneouver speaks volumes about its stupidity. CiJ]

Two words that are not being discussed are disengagement and withdrawal.

"Disengagement" was ruled out because, unlike the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, the objective now is to set the country's final borders, and not just to leave one geographic area.

And withdrawal was ruled out, one official said, because it sounds too much like surrender.

Maybe 'withdrawal' is the most accurate description after all. Except for 'surrender'.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger westbankmama said...

After the disaster of the Gaza withdrawal I think "turning the other cheek" is the right term (which is, of course, is definitely not a Jewish concept)


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