Zionism - Israeli Flag

Zen and Understanding Middle East News and Issues

Zionism Israel Zionism on the Web definitions about issues history documents links photos contact help us

 Zionism & Israel Center    Zionism and Israel Pages   MidEastWeb Middle East News Views & Facts

Use and misuse of words

CONTENTS

Zen & Understanding the Middle East

Introduction
Sellers' Market
Will to Believe
Rules of Thumb

"The truth is out there "
Use & misuse of words
False information signals more false information
Technical whiz-bang
Understand the Context
Lies, More Lies, Damn Lies and Newspapers
Beware of Generalizations
Theology and scripture
Misleading Statistics
Smoke in your eyes: a picture can be worth a thousand lies
What is Missing?
Myth versus fact versus narrative
The past was not like the present; the future will be different

Fallacy Recognition in the Middle East

Fallacies and Arguments
Cause and Effect
Slippery Slope
Gambler's Fallacy
Ad Hominem
Authority
Beliefs
Appeal to Novelty
Appeal to Emotion
Appeal to Tradition
False Dilemma or Black and White Thinking
Special Pleading
The Spotlight Fallacy
Who is to Say?

Fallacy Handbook

Use and misuse of words

Words shape Middle East history. (see here ). Use of a word in a treaty or a description can create a fact, and that fact becomes a contention in the conflict. If someone writes "West Bank" they are possibly of a different political persuasion than someone who writes "Judea and Samaria." From the historical point of view, there was no West Bank before 1945 approximately, but maps of Israel and Palestine have shown "Judea" and "Samaria" ever since there were maps. In the hands of propagandists, "illegal" becomes synonymous with "bad." For example, the British prevented Jewish immigration to Palestine after 1939, and therefore most immigration was "illegal" as Palestinians often point out. However, the prohibition itself was "illegal" since it violates the terms of Mandate of the League of Nations. "Illegal" is not synonymous with "immoral." If the something is declared illegal, ask if the law has been applied equitably. The law treats rich and poor alike, - it forbids both to sleep on park benches.


Beginning in 1967, the Israeli government and the Israeli army controlled the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza. Israeli troops were recently withdrawn from Gaza. These territories are called "occupied" by some and "disputed" by others, depending on which side they support in the conflict, but the facts remain precisely the same. Occupations are not illegal under international law, and nobody has ruled or declared that Israeli occupation of these areas is illegal, yet many articles and activist groups write about the "illegal occupation."


A "right" sounds like a good thing. If someone talks about a "right guaranteed under international law" it sounds even better. But the law is not always clear, some rights take precedence over others, some rights are not applicable to given situations, and some "rights" are not rights at all. The droit du seigneur is a famous right and well established, also known as Jus primae noctis.

It is the right of ancient Roman nobles and medieval lords to spend the first night with brides of their subjects. The "right of return" of refugees claimed by Palestinians is not clearly established in international law. The right of self-determination takes precedence over it. "Right of return" has more power as a slogan than as a legal argument.


Slogans - If a story or narrative is studded with slogans and value-laden pejorative terms, you are looking at propaganda, not a source of facts. "Apartheid wall," "colonialists," "Zionazis," "Arab Jihadis" and other such terms are usually signs that the article or book was written to convince rather than enlighten.

Previous: "The truth is out there " Next: False information signals more false information


Understanding the Middle East I Understanding the Middle East II - Words about Words

Read/Download the entire book (PDF)

Copyright

This material is copyright © by Ami Isseroff and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA, 2006. Please do link to these pages and tell your friends about them by e-mail. You may print out these materials for nonprofit use.  Do not reproduce these pages or the entire book for any other purpose in any media other than e-mail without permission.

External Links

This site provides resources about Zionism and Israeli history, including links to source documents. We are not responsible for the information content of these sites. These links are NOT intended to be an exhaustive reference about Zionism, but the list will keep growing...

Please tell us about your favorite links and we will review them for inclusion.

Please be careful to credit the Zionism pages and link to us. Please do copy  these links to your Web site,  giving credit to Zionism Israel Center

Sister sites : Zionism Pages Brave Zionism Zionism and Israel information center  and Zionism and Israel On the Web Brave Zionism

 Thank you.

MidEastWeb  History of Israel Palestine and the Middle East Conflict conflict   

MidEastWeb Middle East News, Views, Maps and History

Zionism  Definition and Brief History  A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish antiZionists.

Labor Zionism   History and Critique  Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

Concise Guide to IsraeliZionist CyberSpace

Israel-Palestina  (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie gids Israël, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective  Dutch and English.

English  Israel-Palestine.info Guide to the Middle East Conflict (Peace, Zionism, antiSemitism ...)

Advocacy

Active Zionism  A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

PEACE Watch  Middle East Dialog and Peace Process

Pnews  Progressive Views on Zionism Israel Jews & AntiSemitism

Addmorelinkshere

ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log    Zionism & Israel News  Israel: like this, as if History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew  Zionism and its Impact

Israel Christian Zionism Site Map