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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Global Language Dictionary

Haaretz reports on a volume called the Global Language Dictionary (116-page pdf link) that's been put out by The Israel Project, a pro-Israel organization in the United States (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). It's clear from Haaretz's article that they did not read the book. They turn the entire book into 'settlement' advocacy. But there's much more to it than that.

Especially for those of you who blog or otherwise try to persuade others of the justice of Israel's cause, it's worth looking through the book (I know, 116 pages is a lot to read for many of us). There are many ideas here that we ought to internalize for use in debating the other side.

Britain's daily Guardian sees a sinister plan in the dictionary's publication.
Hardline pro-Israel groups in the US have been confronting President Barack Obama's demands for a halt to settlement expansion by accusing him of promoting the ethnic cleansing of Jews and jeopardising Israel's security.

Members of Congress allied with Israel and powerful lobby groups in Washington are also trying to shift the focus of administration policy from the Jewish settlements, arguing they are not an obstacle to peace, to demands for Arab governments to recognise Israel.


The strategy to play down the significance of the settlements is laid out in a document drawn up for an influential pro-Israel lobby group by a prominent Republican pollster, Frank Luntz, on how to influence American public opinion.

The Israel Project, with an advisory board that includes 20 members of Congress from both parties, issued the confidential document to its supporters at about the time Obama came to power in January.

The report, marked as "not for distribution or publication" but since widely disseminated outside of the organisation, says that those who back the removal of the settlements should be told they are supporting ethnic cleansing and antisemitism. The guide offers what it describes as "the best settlement argument".

"The idea that anywhere that you have Palestinians there can't be Jews, that some areas have to be Jew-free, is a racist idea. We don't say that we have to cleanse out Arabs from Israel. They are citizens of Israel. They enjoy equal rights. We cannot see why it is that peace requires that any Palestinian area would require a kind of ethnic cleansing to remove all Jews," the guide says.
Israel has offered time and time again - going back to the immediate aftermath of the 1967 war, when Israel offered to give back all of the land it liberated in that defensive war and the Arab countries said no - to give up land and to give up 'settlements' for peace. But the Arabs have repeatedly refused. Nothing Israel has offered has ever been enough for them. The 'settlements' are not the obstacle to peace. Israel has shown that it is willing to give up nearly anything for peace. The obstacle to peace is that the Arabs are unwilling to accept a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. It is high time that this basic fact be recognized - even by the Guardian.

As to the reference to 'ethnic cleansing,' it's incomprehensible that any land turned over for a 'Palestinian state' must be judenrein, while Israel is 20% Arab today, and the 'Palestinians' argue that we should increase that percentage by allowing the 'refugees' a 'right of return.' Where is the symmetry in the Arabs' argument? And why does it so bother the Guardian that Israelis and their supporters are being advised to point out the asymmetries in the Arab positions?

And how's this for a piece of media bias?
The accusation of ethnic cleansing is particularly ironic for many Palestinians, as the past 41 years of occupation have been marked by a continual forced removal of Arabs to make way for Jews.
From where have 'Palestinians' been forceably removed in the last 41 years? Name one place. Facts? Evidence? There is none.


At 3:48 PM, Blogger R-MEW Editors said...

Chris McGreal and The Goebbelsian strike again. McGreal is well known for his agitprop and blood libels aimed at Israel:


Facts? Evidence? When it comes to attacking the Jews, we don't need no stinkin' facts.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Anti-Semites have never needed facts or evidence to hate Jews. To have to point out shows that Israel's enemies are not driven to disagree with Israel nor because they oppose particular Israeli government policies or actions but because they oppose the country's existence,


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