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Palestinians, not Philistines

By: Sami Shalom Chetrit
Kedma website

In a September 9, 2005 editorial entitled, “The New Disorder in Gaza,” Haaretz newspaper provides a to-date review of the conflict by waving a warning finger at the Palestinians: We have given you this second opportunity and you will be in big trouble if you miss it. The first opportunity given to the Palestinians was of course the deceitful, impossible and anti-Arab partition plan of 1947, which no one involved in its acceptance believed that it would actually hold together for more than one day. Certainly not the Zionists in Palestine who had already prepared the plan for “cleaning” the country (it should not be forgotten that the Arab armies entered the picture only on May 15, 1948, and much of the ethnic cleansing took place before). Then comes Haaretz to remind and warn us about another missed opportunity by “those who don’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” the most malicious cliché in this history of Zionism. “It is now an indisputable fact: Israel is giving. It is less clear that on the other side of the equation, the Palestinians are taking,” writes Haaretz, with deception and denial. It is essential to set the record straight: Israel did not give anything. The “disengagement” was nothing more than a military withdrawal based on Israeli strategic considerations that has nothing to do with a peace process and certainly no concern for Palestinian welfare. No agreement was signed in any process, exactly in the same manner as the withdrawal from occupied land in southern Lebanon. How many times must we repeat the same mantra: you cannot give what is not yours, especially if it was taken by force from the other side and held by force for almost 40 years.

Haaretz is asking the Palestinians to restrain and disarm the forces of opposition. I did not hear any simultaneous calls from Haaretz for the occupying army to dismantle. This is the only equation here: as long as the ghettoization of Gaza and the West Bank continues, the opposition will continue, and the Palestinian Authority has no chance of restraining it, even if the PA was headed by the Israeli Minister of Security Issues, Gideon Ezra. The removal of the ghettoization implies the removal of all settlements and soldiers, up to the last of the lunatics in Hebron. That includes the removal of all the fences and walls up until the June 4, 1967 border, including Arab Jerusalem. There are maps and borders to which the Palestinians have already agreed, and Sharon has ignored since he placed his forces on the Temple Mount.

If Haaretz is asking for a fresh start, it should start with its own language, and stop immediately the use of the belittling and humiliating term they use in Hebrew for Palestine and the Palestinians. The required and correct name is `Palestine` and the adjective is `Palestinians`- written with the Hebrew `SAMECH` and `TET` and not `SIN and `TAV` – in a manner that looks and sounds of the biblical Philistines. Start using it and getting used to it, it will eventually sink in. Imagine if some newspaper were to decide in an ongoing and obsessive manner to write “fucks` (in Hebrew ZIYUNIM) instead of Zionists, or `Eis’raal` (has the Hebrew word poison in it) instead of Israel. Ha`aretz would print an editorial calling for an immediate stop to this cheap anti-Semitism.

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