Language Guide

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Language Guide for NCCI Website

Here is a guide to some of the language/definitions of Israel/antisemitism related words you should expect to find on this site. What you see below are words that are the foundation for our discussion on Israel and anti-Semitism. Visit our section Words as Weapons to obtain a list of words that are used as weapons against the only Jewish state in the world.

Israel Contexts

Israel will be called Israel. It will not be called “Israel/Palestine”. It will not be  called “Palestine”. The latter two terms are intended by anti-Zionists to erase  Israel, and conversely to create a state of Palestine that does not exist.

Palestinian Description

The word “Palestinian” is more complex. Some history is important here.

  • From biblical times until 135 CE, Judea was called “Judea”
  • The Romans renamed it Palaestina to erase Jewish presence there
  • After WWI and the breakup of the Ottoman empire, the British Mandate of Palestine was created. Palestine was a region, never a state.
  • All people living in British Palestine were called Palestinians. There were Jewish Palestinians, Muslim Palestinians and Christian Palestinians, etc.
  • 1948, after the establishment of Israel, there were no Palestinians. There were only Israelis, Jewish Israelis, Muslim Israelis, Druze Israelis, Christian Israelis
  • 1964 the Egyptian Arafat created the terrorist organization PLO or Palestinian Liberation Organization. In doing so he created the “Palestinian” people to refer to any Muslim Arab who claimed to be displaced by the creation of Israel. About 25-35% of Palestinians came  from countries such as Lebanon, Egypt or Syria prior to 1948. Use of this term has intentionally and effectively been used since 1964 to invent a peoplehood.
  • Therefore, the word “Arab” may be used on this site, as it was defined before Arafat created the PLO. Effort will be made to clarify Muslim Arabs vs other Arab groups. (Example: rather than describing the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, the term Arab-Israeli conflict will be used.)
What is Jordan?

Jordan is the “Palestinian” state. The original Palestine mandate included essentially what is Israel and Jordan today. All of the mandate was intended for the Jewish state. However, in response to Arab pressure, Britain created Trans-Jordan as an Arab state only, no Jews were allowed to settle there. This move took 78% of the land away from what would have become the Jewish  state.

What is Intersectionality?

Intersectionality, officially this means “the complex, cumulative manner in which the effects of different forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect” (Merriam Webster). However, some use the concept to make false comparisons, to claim that the suffering of one group is just the same as another’s. For example, “Japanese concentration camp” is used to make the internment of Japanese Americans sound equivalent to the murder, torture and genocide against Jews in concentration camps. The internment of Japanese was a terrible wrong against these Americans, but it is false to claim that they experienced what Jews did during WWII.

What is Colonialism?

This word colonialism generally means that a country explores and conquers other lands, often to expand power and economic dominance. Examples include British colonialism in India or French colonialism in Algeria. AntiZionists accuse Israel of being a colonial enterprise, however no specific country colonized Israel. Jews returned to the Jewish homeland to escape persecution—initially from European countries and later from Muslim lands. Jews are also indigenous to the land of Israel, with an unbroken presence for more than 3000 years. As noted above, Jews purchased a great deal of the land in Israel before it became a state, and much of the remainder was sparsely populated.

What is Zionism?

Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people who sought to restore their freedom and independence in their ancestral homeland. It is the Jewish right to self-determination.

What is Anti-Semitism?

Anti-Semitism is hostility towards or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized pogroms by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on Jewish communities. Also see our Advocate Toolkit section on “What is AntiSemitism/AntiZionism