Algemeiner and JNS: Furthering Palestinian Propaganda?
How can we expect the world to understand our history and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict if our own news sites continue to use nomenclature from “theirstory”, aka, the “Palestinian narrative”?
On 16 January, I wrote the following letter in response to an article that appeared 3 days earlier on both the Algemeiner and Jewish News Service websites. I have yet to get a response from any of the addressees.
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Dear Mr’s. Jacobson and Efune, and Ms’. McDonough and Glick:
I read the Algemeiner frequently and appreciate that it has a significant impact factor in the contemporary world of questionable journalism. I have recently learned about the work of the Jewish News Service (JNS) and understand its value. And I have long been a fan of Ms. Glick.
Given my high esteem for all of you, therefore, I was surprised when I read a recent article by Ariel Ben Solomon, entitled: “Can Israel Move Toward the One-State Solution in the Trump Era?” It was published in identical form in both Algemeiner and JNS. Ms. Glick is quoted in a way I find hard to understand. To the point: In this approximately 1000-word article, the term “West Bank” was used 9 times and “Judea and Samaria” 3 times.
Judea and Samaria was used within quotes, one from former ambassador Yoram Ettinger and one from Likud Director of Communications and International Relations, Eli Hazan. I would have expected the term to have been used throughout the article. Most disturbingly, the third use of the name of the region was in the following:
Glick [Caroline] told JNS.org that Israel now faces two questions: “The first is what to do with the PLO regime in Judea and Samaria (the Israeli government’s biblical term for the West Bank). The second is how to administer the area.” [emphasis mine]
Judea and Samaria (J&S) is NOT the “Israeli government’s biblical term for the West Bank” – the West Bank (WB) is the Jordanian occupation term for J&S on a par with the Romans having called the vanquished Jewish kingdom Palestine.
Israel became very careless and we allowed the “Palestinian” Arab “narrative” to take over our history. Fighting the public relations battle in the media is rendered totally ineffective if our own media, politicians and other public figures continue to refer to J&S as the WB. How can we expect world leaders and the general population around the globe to understand that J&S is an integral part of our own ancient homeland if we, ourselves, use the term, WB?
The Algemeiner “About” page (copied below for reminder sake) makes strong claims that your news site is an authoritative and important voice in the Jewish world. I would think that part of your responsibility, then, would include using proper language and place names. After all, J&S is not a rose. If you do not agree with me I would appreciate understanding why not.
Finally, the “About” page states that you do not assume responsibility for opinions, facts and media content of your bloggers. While I applaud the possibility for bloggers from all sides of the political spectrum to publish on your site, and I understand you not wanting to take responsibility for possibly misused copyright-protected media materials, I cannot understand why you would allow anyone to publish erroneous facts on your site. We are fighting what sometimes seems like a losing battle (do not worry, I am not giving up on us) in the public relations sphere and I do believe that publishing outlets, especially ones so important as Algemeiner and JNS, need to be wary of contributing in any way to malicious propaganda and mis-information, .
From Algemeiner “About” page:
The fastest growing Jewish newspaper in America, the NEW Algemeiner serves as a valiant media voice addressing the most compelling issues of our time, with vision, integrity and moral clarity.
Algemeiner is a pioneering newspaper, setting trends while offering stimulating content, breaking news and insightful analysis on contemporary events. This bold approach includes investigative reporting, thought-provoking features and deeply felt opinions, presenting unconventional and unique voices on politics, as well as on the social and cultural life of the American and international Jewish community.
Unique in today’s Jewish media, TheAlgemeiner was created in 1972 to publish important stories with an international scope for a global audience; the new Algemeiner extends that vision for the 21st century.
All opinions, facts and media content presented by Algemeiner bloggers are presented solely by those authors, and The Algemeiner assumes no responsibility for them.
[Feature Image Credit: Kunsthandel International Antiques]
We agree totally on this one. The words/terms “Palestine”, “Palestinian” and “West Bank” should be totally expunged from existence. It is just as easy to type/write Judea and Samaria in lieu of Palestine or West Bank….as equally as it is to designate Islamic Arabs, rather than the all encompassing Palestinians.
And I will keep on doing what I can to get our leaders and writers to refer to Judea and Samaria by its true name. The more of us that pressure them to do so, the more success we can hope to have.
Agreed! I am trying to use “J&S” when referring to the area (although, when writing for a general audience the first time I refer to it I write “WB” in parentheses, to insure my reader will know what I am referring to). Thanks for saying this, and I hope the publications will listen.
I have taken to using J&S or the full name when speaking of that area. It’s no longer the West Bank to me…. I was glad for the ‘re-education’ last year.
Excellent article, Sheri. I have been trying to point this out also. If there is a need to use the words (e.g., reprinting the article), at least put ‘Palestinians” in quotes, or preface it with [so-called] in brackets, or followed by [sic]. Place “West Bank” in quotes followed by (Judea and Samaria) in parenthesis. I understand the need for website SEO but there is still ways to handle it so as not to give legitimacy to the terms. The truth outrules SEO.
I never thought of SEO being a reason for using these improper terms. Good thinking.
Liberated Judea & Samaria (sometimes referred to as the “West Bank”)
Judea & Samaria (Liberated from the Hashemite invaders who temporarily re-named it the “West Bank”)
I like to use the term Palestinianists (advocates of Palestinianism) for those who proclaim that (sic)”Palestine” is something more than a Potemkin Village propaganda ploy. When it is a fiction on a par with Narnia, Mordor, Neverland or Westeros.
Good term. I will adopt that one.