Twisting Language to Defame Israel

According to journalists, foreign-policy experts, and anti-Israel propagandists, one of the great crimes committed by the Jewish state involves the so-called “settlements” of the West Bank, although there is rarely any effort to explain how Jerusalem suburbs hurt Palestinians or obstruct peace negotiations. Stephen Flatow presents a case study in how the media make innocuous construction projects seem like vicious land grabs, using a recent New York Times article about the government’s approval of construction of housing for some 3,000 families:

[B]uilding some apartments within [West Bank] towns doesn’t sound too ominous. So Patrick Kingsley, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, came up with a new, nonsensical term that makes apartments sound much more menacing than they really are: “settlement units.”

“Settlement units” is a rhetorical trick. . . . It’s a way of trying to make Israel look bad when the facts alone won’t accomplish that objective. It’s also a way of trying to energize Israel’s critics so they will immediately launch their own propaganda blasts. And sure enough, the same day that the Times published Kingsley’s huge article about “settlement units,” [the soi-disant “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group] J Street issued a press release denouncing Israel for its “plans to advance thousands of new settlement units throughout the West Bank.”

J Street also trotted out an additional rhetorical device, one it’s used before: it characterized the Israeli decision as “settlement expansion.” From that deceptive term, one would think that the settlements are spreading out further and further. Which is exactly what J Street wants the public to think—that those evil settlements are like a cancerous tumor, metastasizing and squeezing the Palestinian Arabs out of the region.

J Street doesn’t want you to know that the new apartments and houses will be built on land that already belongs to the state of Israel or to those Jewish communities. No Arabs will be displaced. Nobody’s land is being stolen. But acknowledging those facts would make it harder for J Street to incite the public against Israel; hence, the use of tricky language. The U.S. State Department, which vehemently opposes Jews living in the heart of the ancestral Jewish homeland, is only too happy to play along.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, J Street, Media, New York Times, Settlements, State Department


Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion