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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Palestinian Department of Newspeak

From Palestinian Media Watch:
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information has published a book instructing Palestinians which words to use and calling to replace "the Israeli and American dissemination of poisoned terms." The book, which is called Terminology in Media, Culture and Politics, includes a chart with the "poisoned terms" to be replaced by Palestinian terms.

This book and the chosen terms are significant as they officially and accurately reflect PA beliefs, policies and ideologies. As Palestinian Media Watch has documented for years, when speaking to its own people, the PA adamantly denies Israel's right to exist and glorifies the murder of Israelis and Jews, including civilians, as heroic "resistance" when speaking to own its people. This terminology guide issued by the PA reiterates the official PA positions that foreign governments and the international media often don't understand, deny, or ignore.

PA denies Israel's right to exist - reflected in terminology
The PA does not recognize Israel's right to exist. Accordingly, the introduction to the PA Ministry of Information's book stresses that correct Palestinian language must be chosen in order to avoid language that recognizes Israel's existence as "natural". Using the Israeli terminology:

"turns the essence of the Zionist endeavor (i.e., Israeli statehood) from a racist, colonialist endeavor into an endeavor of self-definition and independence for the Jewish People."
 
Palestinians are encouraged to use terms that indicate that Israel is the result of "a racist, colonialist endeavor," and the book instructs Palestinians never to use the name "Israel" alone but instead to use the term "Israeli colonialism." To use "Israel" by itself is damaging, according to the PA, because to do so "describes Israel as a natural state."

Killing Israeli civilians is not terrorism but "resistance"
A second fundamental of PA ideology is to refuse to accept that Palestinian attacks that kill Israelis, including suicide bombings against civilians, are terror. Therefore, the PA has chosen the following terms to replace all references to terror that Israel and the world use:

Israeli termPalestinian Arab term
(Palestinian) TerrorResistance
(Palestinian) TerroristResistance member
Suicide (bombing) operationsMartyrdom-seeking operations
Palestinian violenceLegitimate resistance
Person who was killedMartyr (Shahid)
reciprocal violenceResistance response

The PA refuses to recognize Israel's fight against Palestinian terror as self-defense. Through its terminology, it attempts to delegitimize Israeli security structures and defense measures by replacing the following terms:

Israeli termPalestinian Arab term
Israeli Minister of DefenseIsraeli Minister of War
IDF - Israeli Defense ForcesIsraeli occupation forces
Separation fenceRacist separation fence

The PA refuses to refer to Israel's Arab citizens as 'Israeli Arabs' or 'Arab Israelis'. The Ministry of Information writes:

"The alternative term for 'Israeli Arabs' is 'the Palestinian people in the '48 territories."
 
The term "'48 territories" is another Palestinian Authority euphemism intended to deny recognition of Israel and is used to replace all references to land in Israel. The term "'48 territories" is actually a shortened term for the full expression used by the PA: "the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948."

Part of the denial of Israel's right to exist includes the PA's refusal to acknowledge thousands of years of Jewish history and culture in the Land of Israel. The book includes Palestinian expressions that should be used to replace Israeli terminology related to history and tradition:

Israeli termPalestinian Arab term
Star of DavidSix-pointed star
Wailing (Western) WallAl-Buraq Wall
Temple MountNoble Sanctuary of Jerusalem
The Promised LandThe Land of Palestine
Judea and Samaria (Biblical terms)The occupied West Bank
The entire ebook is here; the PDF is not in a text format so I can't use online tools to translate it. If any Arabic speaker wants to translate all of the lists I would appreciate it.