Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Reminder: Words Mean Things

Every time the conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews (aka "Israelis") flares up into open combat, so does promiscuous use of the term "genocide" to characterize the policy of the latter toward the former.

genocide [jen-uh-sahyd], noun 1. the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. ("genocide." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 05 Aug. 2014.)

As I've pointed out elsewhere, the term just doesn't apply to this situation. Its use unmasks those try to so apply it as a) dishonest, b) stupid or c) both.

If the Israelis wanted to exterminate the Palestinian Arabs, well, they've had almost 70 years to do so. For a good chunk of that 70 years they've been in a position to do so virtually unopposed by organized military might (largely due to US assistance in de-fanging, in various ways, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and lately Syria).

And yet the Palestinian Arab population continues to grow, not shrink. And not only that, it continues to grow faster than Israel's Jewish population. Whatever that is, it's not "genocide."

It's entirely possible to take the side of the Palestinian Arabs without lying about what the Palestinian Jews are up to, just like it's entirely possible to be anti-Manson-Family without referring to the Tate-LaBianca murders as "defenestrations" ("the act of throwing a thing or especially a person out a window;" op. cit.).

"Genocide" accusations make for great propaganda if you can sell those accusations, but unless they stand up to scrutiny they only sell well for a short time. And this particular "genocide" accusation went stale and moldy decades ago.

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