According to a report in Israel National News, the commander of Israel Army Radio, the national radio station in Israel operated by the Israel Defense Forces, has determined that all the station’s reporters should refer to the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria.” The report states the decision was made as a result of complaints made by Israel Media Watch that the radio station’s referral to the area as the “West Bank” gives the impression to listeners that the territory does not in fact belong to Israel.
Even Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon refers to the area as “the West Bank” in his famous “hasbara” (PR) video explaining why the land is in fact not occupied – but I am all for calling the area “Judea and Samaria.” Since Israel looks like a theocracy and acts like a theocracy, it might as well talk like one too.
I shot the picture below in Gaza two years ago– a common feature of rubbish bins after the Israeli onslaught of ’08-’09, a star of David scratched on to the sides of them. I believe it’s anti-Semitic, and god knows it made me upset. But then isn’t such a response the natural result of Jewish colonists appropriating religious symbols as they take your land?
When will American Jews waken to the threat that this type of rhetoric represents to our position in diverse societies? I don’t like Islamist radicalism, I think it’s a real issue. But this army radio language is the Jewish equivalent. And it’s what Ambassador Howard Gutman was saying when he said that some of Israel’s actions contribute to anti-Semitism.