Monday, March 23, 2020

Dovid Efune, The Algemeiner and the Cowhearted Usage of "West Bank"

Michael Lumish

It is always disappointing when pro-Israel publications such as Dovid Efune's Algemeiner continue to use anti-Jewish / anti-Israel terminology such as "West Bank."  The very term is an insult to any self-respecting Jew because it undermines the central point of Jewish indigeneity to the Land of Israel and thereby undermines the movement for Jewish freedom known as Zionism. "West Bank" was devised by the Jordanians after World War II for the purpose of erasing Jewish history on historically Jewish land. The fact that it is continued to be used by any number of pro-Israel publications demonstrates a certain feint-heartedness on the part of the editors.

It is not that editors-in-chief, like Efune, are unaware of how "West Bank" promotes anti-Zionism, it is considerably more likely that they are afraid to break from it because their colleagues have not and are, likewise, afraid to do so.

Thus we get the following from the Algemeiner.

March 23, 2020, "Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Hurling Rocks at Cars on Highway"

In this piece we read that, "Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian who was hurling rocks at Israeli cars driving on a highway in the West Bank on Sunday, the military said."

March 22, 2020, "First Coronavirus Cases Confirmed in the Hamas-Controlled Gaza Strip"

Here we read that "On Saturday, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians said it was closing borders with Gaza as well as with the West Bank..."

March 22, 2020, "Netflix Announces Release Date for ‘Fauda’ Season 3"

In this case, we learn, "in the third season, Kavillio 'is deep undercover in the West Bank...'

March 19, 2020, "Israelis Ordered to Stay at Home, as Coronavirus Crisis Worsens"

Apparently, "Forty-seven cases have been reported among Palestinians in the West Bank."

March 19, 2020, "Palestinians Defy Leaders’ Health Crisis Ban on Work in Settlements"

In this article, Judea and Samaria are referred to as "West Bank" six times. That is to say, six times in a single article published just a few days ago the Algemeiner willingly sacrificed Jewish history in order to comply with what has become a media standard at the expense of the historicity of the Jewish people.

March 17, 2020, "Israeli-Palestinian Team Cooperating to Fight Virus in Arab-Controlled Areas"

In the lead photograph of this piece we read, "A Palestinian municipal employee disinfects a street at the entrance to the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 12, 2020."

March 17, 2020, "Under Coronavirus Lockdown, Armageddon Is Like the End of the World"

"The Palestinian Authority has reported over 40 in the West Bank..."

March 16, 2020, "Jewish Worshipers Urged Not to Kiss Western Wall Due to Coronavirus Fears"

In this piece, the Algemeiner undermines Jewish indigeneity to historically Jewish land only once.

This is just a smattering of examples -- almost all of which, given this historical moment, are concerned with Covit-19 -- from one publication over the last week. I have no doubt that many people would shrug their shoulders and go back to the New York Times, but the point is that when we use language that drives directly against the interests of the Jewish people then we lose the argument before it even begins.

Once we concede that land known as Judea for perhaps over three thousand years is actually something called "West Bank" then we have already conceded Jewish heritage.

On a more upbeat note, it does seem that Efune and the Algemeiner are using "West Bank" more judiciously in their headlines, at least. I will take that as progress.

Nonetheless, when even we refer to the traditional homeland of our forebears by language specifically designed to eliminate our heritage than we bury ourselves historically and forfeit any claims to the lands of our ancestry. We thereby concede, in an unspoken manner, that Jews are interlopers in Judea, the very land of our ancestry.


  1. In the penultimate paragraph is that "judicially" or "judiciously?"

    Also, Mike, in the 1st paragraph you talk about the Jordanians referring to J&S as "West Bank" after WWII. I always thought that that designation began in the 1950's after Jordan had taken over the area as consequence of Israel's War of Independence. Is there something I don't know?

    BUT, if publications are going to refer to West Bank, then it would seem to me they ought to be referring to its Arab population as Jordanians. If they would like to modify that that with 'displaced' or 'expatriate', fine. Otherwise, I think insistence of its Jewish name is absolutely in order. Actually, scratch that. It's Judea & Samaria.
    "West Bank" was always just a way to assert Arab sovereignty in opposition to Zionism.

  2. Nice catch! "Judiciously," thank you.

    As for precisely when Judea and Samaria became designated "West Bank," I am not certain. It was sometime in the period shortly following WWII.

  3. New York Times Backs Cellphones
    to Fight Virus Everywhere Except Israel
    by Ira Stoll, 2020 March 24

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