Word Choices

Letter to the Editor

Published October 17, 2012, issue of October 26, 2012.
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I am a subscriber to the Forward. I look forward to it and read it weekly. I am quite frustrated that a paper that professes to be a Jewish publication continues to use the phrases “Occupied Territories” and “Palestinians.”

The British Balfour Declaration ratified by the League of Nations in 1922 set up Palestine as the Jewish homeland. Right then Britain for some reason decided to make Palestine much smaller. It used the Jordan river to the west as the border and set up what is now known as Jordan to the west of the river. In 1947 the British gave up and Israel was born. Right away Israel was attacked by all the bordering Arab states. After the war when Israel lost Gaza and the West Bank no one called the Arabs occupiers, but when Israel for her own safety took them back in a war started by the Arabs, all of a sudden Israelis are the occupiers of the “Palestinian” land.

That brings up another problem. Throughout history up until 1947 whenever anyone referred to “Palestinians” they were referring to Jews. Between the media and Yasser Arafat that title was stolen and given to these Arabs that were in fact on Israeli land. The real Palestinians were and are Jews. There was never an Arab Palestine. Jews have lived there continuously for thousands of years. Predating even Muhammad, the Koran, and the creation of the Muslim religion.

So please, in the future, refer to the Arabs as Arabs and what you refer to as Occupied Territories, as part of Israel called the West Bank and Gaza.

Benjamin Garfinkle

Garden Grove, Calif.


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