“Palestine” Becomes A Country Without Much Effort At All
Pro-Palestinian propaganda need not be shouted out from the rooftops or blatantly reverberate on the social media. Even a seemingly innocuous medical article that says nothing at all about Israel can become an effective propaganda tool when people are lazy, naive, do not care, or otherwise give in to the out-and-out manipulations of those who are not lazy, not naive, and do care.
For example, four Lebanese faculty at the Department of Epidemiology and Population at the American University of Beirut published a new paper entitled: “Ageing and health in the Arab region: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward”. (UPDATE: The article appears to have been taken down as the link no longer works and I cannot find it anywhere online.) It seems like pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli propaganda was far from the minds of both the article authors and the editors who reviewed and accepted the article for publication.
However, already on the first page, we are introduced to “Palestine,” one of twenty-two Arab League countries listed alphabetically. I guess it was just too much effort to write what the entity is really called: The Palestinian Authority.
In fact, “Palestine” appears twelve times in this article, in the text and on figures and tables presenting hard data.
I know that “Palestine” just rolls so smoothy off the tongue; “Palestinian Authority” is too much of a mouthful, and “PA” really does not do justice to the ambitions of the Palestinian Arab leadership.
The thing is, as more and more professionals in a wide variety of academic fields are exposed to the naming of the PA as “Palestine,” it just keeps on getting harder to convince people of the truth: that there is no such country! And never has been.
I serve as a reviewer for psychology papers submitted for consideration for publication in two or three journals. My experience has been that even when I point out such errors as calling “Palestine” a country or an illegal occupation, regardless of whatever other recommendations of mine are accepted, the papers are published without changing that wording. In other words — such corrections are ignored. Now why is that? Willful ignorance? Nastiness? Political correctness that means that Muslims are always right and I am wrong?
Sometimes it really feels we are fighting a battle for the truth that we cannot win.