TORTURING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:  THE NOMENCLATURE WAR AGAINST ISRAEL

 

Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2001 11:42:58 -0500

From: mark rosenblit <markrosenblit@home.com>

To: Hartford Courant <letters@courant.com>

 

In an effort to be "evenhanded", the mainstream media, within the past year, has decided that wherever the "Temple Mount" shall go, "al-Haram ash-Sharif" (alternatively labeled: “al-Haram al-Sharif”) or, at least, the "Noble Sanctuary" shall follow.  In today's edition of the Hartford Courant some enterprising writer decided to save some ink and simply referred to the "Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary". The claimed rationale for this new grammatical rule is that since the "Temple Mount" is the Jewish name for this holy site -- which thereby evokes memories of the two Jewish Temples which, in seriatim, once stood there -- it is only fair to mention, as well, the Arabic-language name (“al-Haram ash-Sharif” or “al-Haram al-Sharif”) for this place or, at least, its English-language translation (“Noble Sanctuary”), neither of which so patently evokes such Judaic memories.

The problem, however, with this rationale is that it is based upon a false premise, namely, that the designation "Temple Mount" is Jewish nomenclature. It is not!  Every language has its own name for something, and "Temple Mount" is simply the English-language name for this very special place.  The fact that the English language acknowledges the Jewish connection to this place is a reflection of the fact that this place was called, in English, "Temple Mount" long before the Islamic Arab Empire’s invasion and subjugation of the Land of Israel and its consequent erection at the dawn of the 8th Century of al-Aksa Mosque (which was built upon the ruins of the Church of Our Lady erected by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th Century) atop the Temple Mount.

By inventing alternative names for the Temple Mount, the media is not being even-handed at all;  it is, rather, torturing the English language in the service of those who seek to erase from Humanity's historical memory the eternal Jewish bond which the name "Temple Mount" evokes.

Finally, there is, indeed, a Jewish name for the Temple Mount. It is "Har HaBayit" which translates into the English language as "Mountain of the House [of God]".  I await, in vain, the day when the "even-handed" media employs this Hebrew-language name or its English-language translation in order to balance its ubiquitous use of "al-Haram ash-Sharif" and "Noble Sanctuary".

© Mark Rosenblit

 

Note:  The foregoing is an example of that which I label "structural" bias against Israel as compared with that which I label "transactional" bias against Israel.

Transactional bias occurs when the details of a news story -- which (unlike an opinion essay) is supposed to be a factually accurate depiction of the events and circumstances described -- fail to convey the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth thereof, and, instead, manufacture lies and/or half-truths and/or distortions of truth in the service of advocacy. In the case of reportage concerning Israel, this happens because a reporter's bias against Israel induces him to insert into his news account some assertions which are outright fabrications (e.g., that, during its March 2002 military operation in Jenin, Israel's military forces perpetrated a massacre of 800 "Palestinian" Arab civilians and buried the victims in mass graves which are now conveniently hidden from detection under demolished buildings, destroyed an entire wing of Jenin's hospital, cut off electricity to that hospital, and prevented Arab ambulances from transporting the injured to that hospital -- each one of these published assertions was an outright LIE, because there was neither a massacre of noncombatants nor damage to, or disruption of services provided to or by, Jenin's hospital) and/or some assertions which, while facially true, omit necessary contextual information (e.g., that "Palestinian" Arabs have been barred by a series of Israeli military checkpoints from traveling freely throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza or from freely entering pre-1967 Israel -- this published assertion was a HALF-TRUTH because, while it was indeed true, it omitted the contextual information that Israel effected these restrictive measures only after a series of "Palestinian" Arab terror attacks, launched from these very areas, killed hundreds and maimed thousands of Israelis, and that such measures have, in fact, succeeded in substantially reducing both the number and severity of such terror attacks) and/or some assertions which are a mixture of truth and fabrication (e.g., that, after the celebrants at a bat mitzvah in Hadera were massacred by "Palestinian" Arab terrorists in January 2002, Israel bombed the headquarters of the broadcasting system of the Palestinian Authority because it objected to the fact that P.A. radio and television had voiced opposition to Israel's presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza -- this published assertion was a DISTORTION OF TRUTH, because, while the portion of this published assertion that reported the bombing of the P.A. media headquarters and its connection to the Hadera massacre was indeed true, the portion thereof that attributed Israel's choice of target to mere pique over unfavorable reportage was false; for, official P.A. television and radio have habitually and relentlessly utilized their monopoly of the airwaves to incite hatred against Jews and to provide religious justification for their annihilation, thereby rendering themselves legitimate military targets).

Structural bias occurs when the news story's commonly-accepted nomenclature is itself the source of bias -- and this may occur even if the news story contains no transactional bias. In a way, structural bias is even more insidious than transactional bias, because while transactional bias may distort the truth of a particular event being recounted in a particular news article, structural bias, by utilizing commonly-accepted nomenclature to falsify or obscure historical truth, conceals itself in the background of the news story and thereby creates the distorted lens through which the reader begins to view every news article concerning Israel. The attempt to render "al-Haram ash-Sharif" and the "Noble Sanctuary" as commonly-accepted and favored alternative designations for the "Temple Mount" is hardly an isolated example of the media's use of fraudulent nomenclature to express its structural bias against Israel disguised as neutral reportage. For instance, the media universally refers to Judea and Samaria only as the "West Bank", despite the fact that Judea and Samaria are the correct English-language historical designations for those geographic portions of the Land of Israel, and despite the fact that these English-language historical designations were recognized and utilized by the international community as late as November 1947 (via the delimitation reference thereto in United Nations General Assembly Resolution no. 181, commonly known as the Palestine Partition Plan, in Part II thereof, entitled “Boundaries”, at Section A thereof, entitled “The Arab State”). However, when Transjordan (precursor to Jordan), illegally seized Judea and Samaria (and the eastern portion of Jerusalem) during its 1948 invasion of Israel, the media universally began treating Judea and Samaria as if they were inseparable and permanent parts of Jordan, rather than corpora separata temporarily under Arab military occupation. Only after Israel's reclamation of these lands in 1967 (during its repulsion of an attempt by Syria, Jordan and Egypt to invade and annihilate the Jewish State) did the media suddenly recognize (or remember) their geo-political distinctness -- but only as the "West Bank". The reason for the media's post-1967 boycott of the designations "Judea" and "Samaria" is obvious. Like the designation "Temple Mount", the designations "Judea" and "Samaria" are simply too evocative of the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel, and consequently these historically-correct designations have been jettisoned in favor of the de-Judaized historically-nonexistent designation "West Bank". Not surprisingly, the media has not seen fit to rename the historically-correct designation "Gaza" precisely because this name already sounds non-Jewish -- at least in the English language.  In fact, “Gaza” is merely the English-language translation of the Hebrew-language “Aza” (which means “Power”).

A unique dilemma for the media -- and another example of structural bias against Israel -- occurs with respect to the designation "Jerusalem".  Although, after crushing the third and final Jewish revolt against its rule in 135, the Roman Empire renamed “Iudaea” (Judea) -- Land of the Jews -- with the appellation “Palaestina” (Palestine) -- Land of the Philistines -- and renamed Jerusalem with the appellation “Aelia Capitolina”, the latter re-designation was never accepted by Posterity.  Accordingly, the designation "Jerusalem" has existed in History without interruption for almost 3000 years until Jordan (then known as Transjordan) invaded and illegally occupied the eastern portion of Jerusalem in 1948, in the process of which it mercilessly massacred and expelled the entire Jewish population thereof. For the next 19 years the City was divided into western and eastern zones controlled, respectively, by Israel and Jordan. In 1967 both zones of Jerusalem were reunited under Israel's sovereignty.  In order to blunt the effect of using the historically-correct -- but philo-Jewish -- designation "Jerusalem" to describe the formerly-occupied eastern portion of Jerusalem, the media routinely seeks to de-Judaize that portion of Jerusalem which had been illegally occupied by Jordan for only a brief moment in History by designating it as "predominately-Arab East Jerusalem" or as "traditionally-Arab East Jerusalem" or, less frequently, as just "East Jerusalem".  Of course, as a necessary corollary thereto, the media routinely designates the western portion of Jerusalem as "West Jerusalem".  Firstly, while every city in the World is necessarily comprised of its geographic portions, such geographic portions are not treated by the media as if they constitute different cities -- except when the city in question is Jerusalem. Suffice it say that there is no city in the Land of Israel which was ever known to History as "East Jerusalem".  Secondly, the eastern portion of Jerusalem is neither "predominately" nor "traditionally" Arab. Since only a slight majority of the eastern portion of Jerusalem consists of Arabs, the media promotes a demographic lie when it refers thereto as "predominately Arab".  Moreover, since, for almost a century immediately prior to the illegal occupation of Jerusalem's eastern neighborhoods by Jordan, as well as for the 10 centuries immediately prior to the Roman Empire's sacking of Jerusalem, Jews were the majority population thereof, the media also promotes an historical lie when, due to the brief Jordanian occupation thereof, it refers to the eastern portion of Jerusalem as "traditionally Arab".  If not for the media's interminable structural bias against the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel, the fact that Jordan -- through massacre and expulsion -- had rendered the eastern portion of Jerusalem completely Judenrein (cleansed of Jews) for a brief 19 year period almost 40 years ago would never have been deemed sufficient to justify referring to the eastern portion of Jerusalem as anything other than "traditionally Jewish".

Moreover, for years, the media has even utilized its news articles' datelines as instruments of structural bias against Israel by identifying a typical news story location as follows: "Nablus, Occupied West Bank".  This brings to mind a journalism awards ceremony that I attended many years ago.  When I inquired -- prior to the 1989 dissolution of the Soviet Union (formally known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) -- of John Zakarian, then Hartford Courant Editorial Page Editor, why his and other mainstream newspapers persisted in using the judgmental term "Occupied" in the dateline of a news article about an event in the "West Bank" (-- in order to avoid a hostile reaction at the outset of our conversation I did not challenge him over his newspaper's equally tendentious employment of the designation "West Bank" --) or in Gaza despite the fact that the actual legal and political status of these non-sovereign areas was still a matter of political dispute and a matter for diplomatic negotiations under various United Nations' resolutions, he replied that the Hartford Courant was merely conforming its datelines to the U.S. State Department's official view that these areas were not a lawful part of Israel and were, consequently, "Occupied". When I then inquired of him why the Hartford Courant and other mainstream newspapers persisted in datelining a typical news story location within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (commonly known as the Soviet Union) as "Vilnius, U.S.S.R." rather than as "Vilnius, Occupied Lithuania" -- in conformity with the U.S. State Department's official view that the formerly-independent Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were not a lawful part of the Soviet Union and were, consequently, "Occupied" -- he turned without responding, and walked away!  This non-response was all the more hypocritical due to the fact that, while the media habitually treated the "West Bank" and Gaza, which had never been sovereign entities, as if they were so, it habitually treated the Baltic states, which had been sovereign entities, as if they were not so. Why this disparate treatment -- not to mention the inversion of history? I think that the answer to that age-old question is self-evident. -- © Mark Rosenblit

 

Note:  Perhaps because the mainstream media prefers a more subtle approach to its brazen balancing of the faux designations "al-Haram ash-Sharif" and "Noble Sanctuary" against the normative designation "Temple Mount" with respect to each and every news article in which that Jewish holy site is mentioned, the media has gradually phased out altogether its employment of the designation "Temple Mount" (as well its favored anti-Judaic alternatives).  Instead, for the most part, the media now speaks only of a Muslim holy site known as "al-Aksa Mosque Compound". -- Mark Rosenblit, September 2004

 

Note:  The legitimization of the designation “al-Aksa Mosque Compound” in lieu of the designation “Temple Mount” has finally reached even the United States Government. Note the second paragraph in the recent travel advisory for Jerusalem posted on the U.S. Department of State’s Jerusalem Consulate website at http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/wm_10022009.html  -- Mark Rosenblit, October 2009

2009 Warden Messages

The final two of the local autumn holidays, Sukkot and Simhat Torah, will be celebrated this weekend and next.

Warden Message
October 2, 2009

The final two of the local autumn holidays, Sukkot and Simhat Torah, will be celebrated this weekend and next. American citizens should avoid the Old City for one week from sundown Friday, October 2nd, through sundown on Friday, October 9th, 2009. Vehicle traffic in and around the Old City will be restricted by the Israeli National Police (INP).

Although it is a good idea to avoid the Old City for the entire week, Monday, October 5th, is expected to draw the largest crowds due to the annual pilgrimage by Jewish worshipers who will assemble at the Western Wall for special prayers. Additionally, political and religious tensions are expected to be high in the areas immediately adjacent to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound throughout this period. A large police presence in the area may provoke spontaneous violence in the form of civil unrest and police actions.

Finally, the crowded environment could result in an uptick in criminal activity to include pickpockets, physical assaults and other crimes. American citizens should avoid crowds and walking or driving around the Old City. Carry a mobile phone and stay cognizant of your surroundings.

 

For the latest security information, Americans should regularly monitor the Department's web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Israel, West Bank and Gaza, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays.)

Americans in Jerusalem are strongly encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens who require emergency services may telephone the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7250.

 

(Emphasis created by Mark Rosenblit)

 

Note:  The below article demonstrates another facet of media bias against Israel, namely, its obsessive focus on negative -- even if accurately reported -- events occurring in Israel.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit

Targeting another country, for a change

By MANFRED GERSTENFELD

(Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2007) Many foreign correspondents apply a variety of techniques to express bias against Israel. Some emphasize its negative aspects -- of which every country has many -- neglecting to mention the positive ones, and omit context. Others actually distort the facts. Frequent repetition helps create a negative image among viewers or readers abroad.

Reversing this method illustrates how it works, and to do this most effectively one should apply it to a country with a good reputation. The Netherlands makes an appropriate target, both because of its international image as a decent and calm place, and in view of the anti-Israel bias of several current and former Dutch correspondents.

AN ARTICLE on a week of developments concerning the Netherlands could read as follows:

In mid-May, charges resurfaced that Dutch soldiers had used torture in Iraq several years ago. The press mentioned that they had used an electric stick and other instruments of torture when questioning Iraqis.

Other news on the Dutch military: On May 16, nine Dutch soldiers were arrested in the town of Eindhoven, suspected of having beaten a homeless man unconscious.

A few days later the UN Commission Against Torture expressed its worry regarding Dutch asylum policy. Due to accelerated procedures, asylum seekers do not get enough time to plead their case, creating the possibility that refugees will be sent back to countries where they might be tortured. This goes against a 1985 convention signed by the Netherlands. The UN Commission also expressed its worry that asylum seekers in the Netherlands are often left insecure about their future for a long period of time.

On the same day, Dutch papers wrote about the State Department's International Narcotics Strategy Report, which stated that the Antwerp harbor in Belgium is the favorite port for cocaine smuggling throughout Europe. Almost all major shipments there are destined for the Netherlands. The same report cited the Netherlands as the largest supplier of Ecstasy pills to the United States.

A few days earlier, Jan Kees de Jager, deputy minister of Finance, was accused of having broken a broad range of labor laws in his previous position as director of his own software company.

On May 18, a Haarlem court concluded that the current leader of the Liberal Party, Mark Rutte, had incited to racial discrimination in 2003, when he was deputy minister of Social Affairs. In a letter to municipalities he asked them to submit citizens or residents of Somalian origin to fraud investigations concerning social assistance. As a result, the Haarlem municipality investigated 84 residents of Somalian origin.

When the judgment became known, Rutte said that were he deputy minister now, he would send the same letter. He added that if the judge thought this discriminatory, the law would have to be changed to make it legal. Rutte said one sometimes has to target perpetrators of fraud. Targeting is now more common in The Netherlands. A few days earlier, the government announced that it would provide five million euros to the four largest Dutch municipalities specifically to fight crime in the Moroccan community.

IN AMSTERDAM, Faith Dag, a local leader of the Turkish Milli Gorus movement, announced that if the permit for a huge new mosque was cancelled, the movement would call on Turks from all over Europe to come and demonstrate in Amsterdam. Dag also mentioned that as Turks are emotional people, this could lead to violence.

Initially the Amsterdam Municipality had given permission for the mosque. In the meantime, control of this project was passed to a new community board reporting to Milli Gorus in Germany, which is under ongoing observation by the Secret Service there. The initial director of the Amsterdam project stands accused of fraud by Milli Gorus. The Dutch authorities are also investigating the possibly illegal trade in Milli Gorus mosques of Turkish securities, through which many congregants have lost money.

Geert Wilders, the heavily guarded leader of the conservative Freedom Party whose life is regularly threatened by Dutch Muslims, filed another complaint with the authorities. Among his latest hate mail was a threat from somebody calling himself "Mohammed B. II.' which said he would be killed, his throat cut in the same way filmmaker Theo van Gogh was slaughtered by religious Muslim Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004.

It isn't only politicians who are insecure in the Netherlands. In the Rotterdam Zoo, a gorilla escaped and wounded several visitors. It crushed the hand of a woman, broke her wrist and bit her.

ALMOST ANY WEEK would yield a similar collection of negative facts in a country which is far from facing Israel's existential threats. The Dutch needn't worry, however, as the foreign media are hardly interested in what happens there.

But anti-Israel correspondents get a great deal of media space. This phenomenon has its roots in the two-milennia-old incitement against Jews in the Western world.

The writer is chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is presently working on a book titled The Netherlands, the Jews and Israel, sponsored by the Israeli Maror Foundation.

(©) The Jerusalem Post

 

Note:  In June 2006, a team comprised of Hamas, Fatah and Popular Resistance Committees members tunneled under the security fence surrounding Gaza, in the process murdering two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.  Since that time, Shalit has been held incommunicado in Gaza.  In October 2011, Israel agreed to release over 1,000 imprisoned Arab terrorists belonging to these three groups in exchange for Shalit.  In at least one instance, a major news service reported a significant half-truth instead of the whole truth.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit

From: Mark Rosenblit

Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:38 AM

To: letters@courant.com

Cc: edsanders@tribune.com

Subject: Sloppy reporting

 

In “Joy, sting in prisoner swap”, the 10-19-11 Tribune Newspapers story detailing the aftermath of Israel’s release of 1,027 convicted terrorists in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, the Tribune Newspapers reporter omitted the context for, and a material caveat in, Schalit’s response to a loaded question from Egyptian state television.

 

First, the context: Schalit had just arrived in Egypt from 5 years of captivity in Hamas-controlled Gaza.  He and his Hamas escort were immediately brought to the television studio.  No family members or Israeli government representatives were informed in advance about the interview; nor were they present.  Instead, his Hamas minder was at his side. As far as Schalit knew, his return to Israel was dependent upon his answers to the Arab interviewer’s questions.

 

Second, the loaded question: “Gilad, you know what it’s like to be in captivity. There are more than 4,000 Palestinians still languishing in Israeli jails. Will you help campaign for their release?”  The subtext of the question is that Israel has imprisoned thousands of innocents for no apparent reason, and that Schalit ought not only to empathize with them but to demand their unconditional release as well.

Third, the Tribune Newspapers’ paraphrase of Schalit’s response: “Schalit said he would be happy to see them reunited with their families”.  By his reported response, Schalit appears to have agreed with the interviewer’s disingenuous portrayal of the Arab terrorists still imprisoned in Israel.

 

Fourth, Schalit’s actual response, including his caveat: “I would be very happy if they were released -- provided they don’t return to fighting Israel.”  The caveat, which shed a different light on the imprisoned Arab terrorists than that intended by Egyptian Television, was not translated by Egyptian Television from Hebrew into Arabic.  Apparently, the Tribune Newspapers reporter missed it as well.



Regards,


Mark Rosenblit
Attorney At Law
14 Coolidge Road
West Hartford, CT 06117-2318
ph 860-236-0531
fax 860-236-4421

 

 

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