You keep using that word…


When you pay attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you’ll notice a lot of buzzwords that are used to describe things that are happening on the ground.  Buzzwords are important because they are able to draw attention simply by saying them, you don’t even need an explanation.  These buzzwords are one of the main tools to recruit a lot of the useful idiots and the people who just don’t care to hear the explanation to the side of the Palestinians.  Here are my favorites.

International Law

Every single debate and every time you hear someone complaining about something Israel has done, you will always hear someone say, “… Israel…. Violation of international law…” However, you will never hear what law they are violating. Sometimes you will hear about something a representative of the UN said or a resolution passed against Israel; but I think I have heard an actual law quoted just about 4-5 times and maybe one of them related to what was being discussed.

If I saw someone run a red light in California, I could tell them (I had to look it up of course) that they are violating Vehicle Code 21453, part A.  However when speaking with the anti-Israel crowd, they will throw the buzzword “International Law” around like candy at a bar mitzvah without knowing what law they are actually referring to, if any at all.

I recently read a letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the UN outlining 19 violations of international law that Hamas has committed during Operation Protective Edge alone.  For each violation you can see exactly which international laws they have violated and still are violating.  This is how you accuse someone of violating the law, not just by yelling that there was a violation.

Genocide/Ethnic Cleansing

These are phrases that grab people’s attention because they are really crimes against humanity.  The phrase genocide means the deliberate and systematic killing of a large group of people from a particular background.  Being a member Hamas doesn’t count as “a particular background” we could target, so that argument is out.  How about Palestinians as a group?  If it was deliberate, why do we wait until they attack us?  If it was systematic, why do we warn civilians of airstrikes before they happen?  If we were really attempting genocide, why did we allow Palestinians in the past to become Israelis?  There are whole cities of them that could be targeted in Israel of Israeli Arabs if genocide was our goal.  But it’s not.  If it was systematic, why have their numbers increased and continue to increase every year?

I guess it could just be the worst attempted genocide in the history of the world, but if you think that, you really need to get your brain checked.

Same with ethnic cleansing, there are no attempts to move Palestinians out of Gaza, no attempt to move them out of the many cities around Israel that are Arab only or the big cities like Tel Aviv.  They all have rights and are full citizens just like me.


This word works very well to drive people into a frenzy because most people arguing about the conflict now were alive during the South African apartheid or it is in recent enough history that there are huge numbers of people that can teach about this period of history for South Africa.

Arabs in Israel hold the same rights as any Jew.  That has been proven over and over.  I am not saying there is no racism in Israel, but racism is met by people who fight it, including the law, and because of that it is reduced to a minimum, and always getting less.

The only difference is they aren’t drafted into the army, however, many still chose to do it.


This part could go on forever, but I will put just a few details in.  Gaza isn’t occupied.  There is a blockade because once the occupation was over, instead of living peacefully, the people in Gaza, supporting Hamas, decided to use their resources to fight Israel.
The West Bank hasn’t been occupied since 1974.  Before 1967, Jordan controlled the territory. For the next 7 years, Israel was occupying Jordanian land until they decided not to trade it for peace and then forfeited their control over it.

It is now “disputed” territory.  However the purpose of any occupation or however you call this is to quell the violent parts of the population following a war or conflict before turning it back over to the owners.  In this case, “owners” is hard to define.  But in any case, the purpose of having troops in the territory is to quell the remaining violence in the society before removing the troops.  It has taken 40 years and some progress has been made, but it seems like a long road is still ahead.  Since it is disputed and not occupied, there is no “International Law” against the settlements. However, the longer it takes for the Palestinians to renounce the violence that keeps causing these conflicts, the longer it will take for them to receive their own country.  And it will keep getting smaller.

Concentration Camp/Prison

Nothing about Gaza is remotely similar to a concentration camp.  There are no guards, and the walls only exist on the borders.  There is enough food for everyone, maybe not luxuries, but enough.  There are power plants, beaches, malls, theatres, restaurants, and hotels.  An iPhone in Gaza is cheaper than one in Israel.  There is cable/satellite TV and Internet access (provided by Israel).  55% of people in the Middle East have no Internet access, so drop that buzzword in the trash.
Just like the “Occupation,” there would be no need for a blockade without the push for violence against Israel in their society.


Proportional Force

There was a great scene on the TV show The West Wing where the president said, “What is the virtue of a proportional response?”  If we look at the history of warfare, nothing was ever solved by a proportional response.  Each side did everything it took to destroy their enemy.  When a conflict is dragged out over a long period of time, then you might trade blows 1:1, but anytime you get a chance for the knockout punch… you take it.  To limit a fight that has been going on now for such a long time to just proportional responses, that would make it last even longer.  Additionally, if you criticize Israel for not responding proportionately, you’re overlooking the fact that it is a response, not the first move but a response to an attack against us.

What would be a proportional response is if we launched unguided rockets into Gaza without any actual target, it would be shooting at their civilians that came too close to the border, it would be digging tunnels into their cities to kill and kidnap their people.  Would the world prefer this type of response to their attacks or would they condemn us for a war crimes?

By reducing us to not use our full strength, this is just going to become a long, and drawn out war of attrition.  Which leads me to the last item.


Hamas just said today in their latest threat for peace (irony), that if Israel doesn’t accept their demands, we will suffer a war of attrition.  Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material.

Does anyone in the world see it being even remotely possible for Hamas to wear down Israel through continuous losses of personnel and material?  For a war of attrition to work, you need to have the upper hand, which Hamas does not.  Forcing a war of attrition would be Hamas forcing us to slowly wear them down, just as they forced us into this current conflict with their actions.  Maybe that’s the plan.

About the Author
Jacob is a staunch defender of Israel and the Jewish people. He has always enjoyed an intelligent debate between those who would like to have one on the subject.