Common Phrases and Statements about Israel and Palestine and What They Really Mean

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“Israel has the right to exist”: Israel has the right to continue to occupy Palestine, to continue to keep Palestinian refugees away from their ancestral homes and in refugee camps in neighboring countries, to continue its apartheid and discrimination against non-Jews, to continue to demolish Palestinian homes on occupied lands and to continue to build new settlements for Jews, and the Palestinians must accept all this before we even “negotiate” with them.

“Israel has the right to defend itself”: Israel has the right to bomb defenseless Palestinian population centers and to kill, torture and imprison them when they resist the occupation and apartheid.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict”: a phrase invented to hide the fact that one, in this so-called “conflict”, is the occupier, armed to the teeth with the most modern and lethal superpower weapons, and the other, the occupied and defenseless, watching helplessly as their homes are demolished, their land stolen and their youth hauled to prison and tortured or killed, for resisting.

“US mediation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”: a tool for deceiving the public of the world to give the impression of US impartiality, to delegitimize the resistance of the Palestinian people against occupation, to maintain the current Israeli occupation of Palestine and the apartheid and to buy time for the creation of more Jewish settlements.

“Two state solution”: the creation of a “state” with limited administrative and policing duties over disjointed pieces of land, separated and controlled by Israeli checkpoints, completely surrounded by Israel, which would maintain complete control over its airspace, water, food, economy, trade, and foreign policy, without the right of the Palestinian refugees to go back to their homes, with the wall separating them from their relatives who are on the other side of it, and with the “Jewish state” and apartheid continuing to exist and to discriminate against non-Jews, within those walls, in exchange for a Palestinian flag at the UN.

“The boycott against Israeli products hurts Palestinian workers who are hired by Israeli companies”: the boycott suddenly made us feel concerned about the Palestinians who have been made to suffer and starve and languish in occupiers’ jails and living in squalid conditions in refugee camps for 66 years and have endured bombings and assassinations and siege and collective punishment and apartheid and discrimination, without us getting concerned. So, why the concern suddenly? Because the boycott is having an affect on the occupiers. This same excuse was used by apartheid South Africa which hired black workers (how generous of them). The same argument was used even in defense of slavery: the slave owners fed their slaves who would not survive without their masters.

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