Within recent decades Arab and old Soviet propaganda convinced the well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) in the progressive-left that Jews are "Occupying" the innocent "indigenous" population of "historical Palestine."
The progressives - in the years since the 1967 war allegedly turned Jewish Israelis into "Goliath" - convinced the majority of diaspora Jews that Israel is somehow "illegally occupying" what is, in fact, the current and historical land of the Jewish people.
Jews are accused of illegally occupying the very land that we come from and many diaspora Jews unwittingly (or so one hopes) promote the notion.
Let me give you an example of the kind of thing that I am talking about.
Over on Daily Kos there is very little any longer in the way of pro-Jewish / pro-Israel participants, most of whom were driven out by the growing presence of a highly malicious contingent of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists of the type typically found within progressive-left venues.
However, one pro-Jewish / pro-Israel participant who still posts there goes by the moniker charliehall2
Charliehall2 has a brief "diary" up at Daily Kos from a few days ago alerting an almost entirely indifferent community about the fact that three Jewish teenagers, including one American, were kidnapped just outside of the old Jewish city of Hebron by Arabs.
Charlie writes this:
I have never written two diaries in one day. In fact it is rare for me to write two diaries in a month. But something happened in the Occupied Palestinian Territories within the past day that deserves note -- three young men, all Israeli with one also a US citizen, are missing and feared kidnapped, possibly by terrorists. (My emphases.)Now, I have no ill-will toward Charlie and, in fact, remember him as a perfectly reasonable individual from my own time participating on that blog.
But I do have a few criticisms of Charlie's effort and, by extension, Jewish left discourse around the Arab-Israel conflict. First, while I understand that he is seeking to wait until he gets more information, but if they were not kidnapped by terrorists, then just who were they kidnapped by?
The Girl Scouts? The Rotary Club? B'nai Brith?
It is obvious that terrorists grabbed those kids and if they were not terrorists before they did so they instantly became terrorists the very moment one of them pulled out a weapon. In fact, that is pretty much the way it works, yes?
But let me ask Charlie a question, because this is a far more important point.
If Judea and Samaria actually constitute Occupied Palestinian Territories then just why shouldn't the local Arabs try to kill or kidnap Jews?What Charlie is doing, whether he realizes it or not, is justifying ongoing majoritarian violence in the Middle East toward the small Jewish minority. After all, if Judea does not belong to the Jews, and if the Jewish presence is illegal under international law - which it is not, by the way - then naturally the local Arab population would be well within their rights to resist the Israeli Occupation Forces, by any means necessary.
By telling the world that Judea belongs to Arabs and not Jews he ends up accidentally justifying violence against us.
This is not Charlie's intention, but it is the message that he spreads when he uses Arab propaganda phraseology like "Occupied Palestinian Territory."
What's next? Are left-wing diaspora Jews going to now start referring to the IDF as "Zionist Occupation Forces"? Will the Knesset become the "Zionist Colonial Government"?
As I have argued many times in these pages, so long as diaspora Jews continue to use the language of the enemy then we will continue to send a message to the rest of the world that the Jews are guilty as sin.
Of course, the only way to convey that message is to not place the conflict within the long history of Jewish persecution under Arab-Muslim imperial rule. By failing to do so Charlie sends a message that is both strategically unsound and entirely empty of the necessary historical context.
As I say, I have nothing against the man, personally, but if he thinks that "Occupied Palestinian Territory" represents anything that resembles reality, either historical or current, then he is doing a great service for the very anti-Semitic anti-Zionists who drag his reputation through the mud on Daily Kos and who wish to see Israel dismantled as the national home of the Jewish people.
I recommend against it.