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Important Words
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 9, 2007

I've Been Thinking:

The Middle East is fraught with conflict.
The conflicts are not always military.
Some conflicts are about words.
Some conflicts are about facts on the ground.

Nomenclature versus ideology versus reality.

The word "settler": packs a wallop in the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

Right now there is a huge row developing over that specific word.
The United States, the United Nations and the Palestinians on one side, Israel is on the other side.

The controversy centers on about 307 new apartments being built in the Jerusalem community of Har Homa. The Israelis say that Har Homa is in Jerusalem proper and therefore the building is totally legitimate.

Everyone else is calling the community a "settlement" and the building "expansion."

Har Homa is situated off of Hebron Boulevard which runs from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The distance between Jerusalem and Bethlehem is less than a mile.

Har Homa is not new, it broke ground in 1997 and probably has 10,000 residents already living there. It is not a suburban settlement and that is why Israel has designated it as a Jerusalem neighborhood.

Palestinians call the area Jabal abu Gneim.

If the United States and the United Nations start replacing Har Homa with Jabal abu Gneim the tide of the discussion will have shifted.

At that point, Israel will have lost the argument.

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4 June 2017 12:14 PM in Thoughts

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