Word Choices

Forward Magazine - - Letters -

I am a sub­scriber to the For­ward. I look for­ward to it and read it weekly. I am quite frus­trated that a pa­per that pro­fesses to be a Jewish pub­li­ca­tion con­tin­ues to use the phrases “Oc­cu­pied Ter­ri­to­ries” and “Pales­tini­ans.”

The British Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion rat­i­fied by the League of Nations in 1922 set up Pales­tine as the Jewish home­land. Right then Bri­tain for some rea­son de­cided to make Pales­tine much smaller. It used the Jor­dan river to the west as the bor­der and set up what is now known as Jor­dan to the west of the river. In 1947 the British gave up and Is­rael was born. Right away Is­rael was at­tacked by all the bor­der­ing Arab states. Af­ter the war when Is­rael lost Gaza and the West Bank no one called the Arabs oc­cu­piers, but when Is­rael for her own safety took them back in a war started by the Arabs, all of a sud­den Is­raelis are the oc­cu­piers of the “Pales­tinian” land.

That brings up an­other prob­lem. Throughout his­tory up un­til 1947 when­ever any­one re­ferred to “Pales­tini­ans” they were re­fer­ring to Jews. Be­tween the me­dia and Yasser Arafat that ti­tle was stolen and given to these Arabs that were in fact on Is­raeli land. The real Pales­tini­ans were and are Jews. There was never an Arab Pales­tine. Jews have lived there con­tin­u­ously for thou­sands of years. Pre­dat­ing even Muham­mad, the Ko­ran, and the cre­ation of the Mus­lim re­li­gion.

So please, in the fu­ture, re­fer to the Arabs as Arabs and what you re­fer to as Oc­cu­pied Ter­ri­to­ries, as part of Is­rael called the West Bank and Gaza.

BEN­JAMIN GARFIN­KLE

Gar­den Grove, Calif.

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