Dear pro-Israel Jews and proud Jews overall: please stop adding to the antisemitic rhetoric by using ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinians.’ You are confusing those who are well-meaning and want to learn, and at the same time you are adding fuel to the antisemitic fire, which has real-life consequences.
That is the language I used when I was ignorant of the facts, but once I learned, there was no more excuse.
I will share a real-life situation. A few years back, an Indian Christian woman, here in the U.S, posted on Facebook in support of an organization with Hamas ties. I was baffled as normally Indians do not support terrorists, and her family is Christian as well. I thought she was not aware of the Hamas ties. But no, she was and was proud to support the group. Turns out, her two Jewish best friends, both super liberal, had shared with her all the ‘ills’ that Israel commits, including ‘stealing’ ‘Palestine’ and displacing the ‘Palestinians.’
Unless all your friends in real life and on social media are not only Jewish but are informed of the real facts, which is highly unlikely to be the scenario, your actions are dangerous. As most Jews have non-Jewish friends. To add, many Jews themselves are not knowledgeable of historical details pertaining to Israel. Many falsely assume it was ‘created’ in 1948 and that it just appeared because of the Holocaust.
So then these Jews write articles, talk to their friends, post false posts on social media and on and on. No wonder there is violent antisemitism when Israel defends itself.
By falsely saying ‘Palestinians,’ it gives credence to the (false) notion that there is such a people, and what does any distinct people have? that’s right… a homeland, an origination point. So then, ‘Palestinians’ are from…‘Palestine’ — but where is ‘Palestine’? Oh that’s right, Israel has ‘stolen’ it.
And now the actual anti-Semites are calling for ‘Palestine’ to be free from the river to the sea. Have you thought of what that means? From the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. And what lies between those two bodies of water? Israel. They want a Jew-free Israel. And how does one achieve a Jew-free Israel? Genocide. So now those who are confused about the situation, see that pro-Israel Jews use terms such as ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinians’ — what better affirmation of the ‘truth’?
How is it that 99% of the Arab world is united in spreading the lies about Jews and Israel, yet Jews who only constitute maybe 15 million people on earth, cannot get it together to tell the truth, take back the false narrative as best they can, and not add to the virulent antisemitism.
Arafat knew very well the power of his propaganda. Never mind that Jordan is the second state in the region of Palestine, which also happens to have taken 78% of the British Mandate of Palestine. It was gifted by the British to the Arabs who had no vested interest in Transjordan; there were just nomadic Arab tribes, from the Arabian Peninsula, living there.
It was only Israel which rightfully earned its independence after fighting the British for nearly a decade. In the year the PLO was launched (1964), their charter did not wish for Gaza, which was ruled by Egypt, or Judea & Samaria, which was occupied by Jordan, to be part of ‘Palestine. The term ‘Palestinians’ was unleashed in 1967 to unite Arabs in antisemitic political propaganda against Jews after the Arabs lost militarily to Israel in the Six Day War. The academic left attached itself to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist’s lies, the UN, then anyone else who just hates Jews such as most of the EU, and many others.
So how can any person who calls themselves a proud Jew, a pro-Israel Jew (sad that that even has to be a distinction, as all Jews should be pro-Israel), keep lighting that anti-Semitic match with every false-sharing of the terms. Those who do, are actually to be blamed far more than the ignorant and the Jew-hating.
I often hear the same excuse ‘but I need to start with their language’ or ‘I know the history so that’s all that matters’ or ‘No one will read my posts if I use the proper terms.’ The answer to all that is, have reverence for our Jewish ancestors, for those who gave their lives for Jewish self-determination in the only Jewish homeland. Once you use the correct terms, those who want to learn from you, will. Those who wish to continue to be ignorant and those who are anti-Semitic, will not. That’s not your crowd anyway, whether in real life or on social media.
And when those who do say ‘Palestinians’ — I for one, along with others who share my disgust at those who say it, are quite confused. Do you mean the Gazans, who are mostly Egyptian? The Israeli Muslim Arabs, who hail from 25 different countries, most of whom came between the two World Wars as a result of Jewish revitalization of the land? The Israeli Christian Arabs? The Jordanians in Judea & Samaria? The converted Jews in Judea & Samaria? The Jordanians in Jordan? Or do you mean the Palestinian-Jews who became Israelis once Jews liberated Israel from the British? Because those are seven very different groups.
To properly fight antisemitism is to not only know history and proper facts, but to not uphold our enemies’ lies.