sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

July 20, 2011

Occupation Lingo

Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon put together a great video explaining the history and legalese of commonly used terms like “West Bank” and “Occupied Territories”.  (Via Angel.)  The term “West Bank” was applied to Judea and Samaria by Jordan to strip the area of Jewish history when Jordan illegally occupied it in 1949, cleansing it of Jews in the process.  Israel’s possession of the land today is perfectly legal, and Jewish construction is fine by international law — if that international law is fairly applied:

Israel is existentially threatened because she’s a small country.  The Jewish state appears weak, and territorially she is, which inspires her enemies’ belligerence.  If Ben Gurion had the spine to keep fighting in 1949, Israel would a safer place today.

There is more to Israel’s weakness than the puny territory.  The video above illustrates that when it comes to writing history, Israel has little if any power.  Doesn’t it strike anyone as odd that in a region with thousands years of history and full of religious significance a plot of land is called the “West Bank”?  For a nice bureaucratic touch, I assume.  Or because the people who called it “West Bank” had so little meaningful connection to the land.  In any event, the language we Americans (and Israelis) use to talk about the conflict is carefully chosen to deny Jewish history.  That’s the starting point of any conversation.

Speaking of history, who teaches this or any other subject to our kids?  Last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle ran a cover story on a great charter school in Oakland.  The teachers?

radical teacher
Jacob Weiler (left), Caitin Schoenfelder and Rachel Niederman are Aspire teacher residents in Oakland.

Brain-dead hipsters all donned keffiyehs ten years ago.  I too did stupid things for fashion, just not that stupid.  And now that the trend exhausted itself, it’s safe to assume that Caitlin Schoenfelder is not the kind of person you want near your kids.  My daughter will start kindergarten next fall, and I’m racking my brain trying to figure out where in the Bay Area I can find a school that doesn’t employ fanatical lefties.



  1. thanks hun for the linky luv…great post and yes the keffiah is the equivalent of a swastika!

    Comment by Angel — July 20, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

  2. What an educating video. It truly is not occupied territory but disputed territory. Whether it belongs to Israel may be in dispute. But it certainly did not belong to Jordan. Thank you for sharing this video.

    Comment by Conservatives on Fire — July 21, 2011 @ 7:11 am

  3. “Doesn’t it strike anyone as odd that in a region with thousands years of history and full of religious significance a plot of land is called the “West Bank”?”

    What an eye opener this question is. Man, I love being enlightened about things I previously had no clue and never thought about. Thanks.

    I feel for you, regarding school. For now you can take solace in the fact that propoganda means little and is easy to undo from K thru . . . oh, I’ll say 2nd grade, since I first ran into real issues in my son’s 3rd grade.


    Comment by nooneofanyimport — July 21, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  4. Angel, you are most welcome. The fact that keffiyeh is socially acceptable speaks volumes about our society.

    Conservatives on Fire, I’m glad you found it useful.

    Linda, I have a bunch of Israel links if you are interested. Caroline Glick is a superb columnist, for instance. However, she’s unbelievably depressing. Angel who posted here always has something about Israel, and it’s not necessarily depressing.

    I’m afraid that elementary school will do a bunch of insidious things early on… We’ll see how it goes… I don’t see myself homeschooling, and I don’t think I would have liked to be home-schooled.

    Comment by edge of the sandbox — July 22, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  5. […] week I re-posted a video about the language commonly used to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Historical Jewish place […]

    Pingback by Will Jerusalem Be on the Map Two Years from Now? « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — July 25, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

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