Dear Mr. Brauchli:
At first, it seemed that it may just have been an oversight that accounts for the fact that the Washington Post has turned Palestinian wishful-thinking about Jerusalem into actual reality. But it wasn't just a one-time mistake . It again pops up in a Jan. 11 dispatch by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg ("Netanyahu rejects Clinton criticism" page A10).
What startled me in reading this piece was a reference to Adnan Husseini objecting to plans for 20 Jewish apartments on a Jerusalem spot where once stood a villa of the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who aligned himself with Hitler and fomented Arab pogroms that killed many hundreds of Jews;
The startling, surreal part is Greenberg's identification of Adnan Husseini, a descendant of the Mufti, as "the Palestinian Authority's governor of Jerusalem."
That can't be, can it? Does this mean that Nir Barkat is no longer Jerusalem's mayor, but has been succeeded by a Palestinain governor? From Greenberg's writing, it sure looks like a done deal.
But after checking other media references to Adnan Husseini, it dawned on me that the Washington Post simply has reached the bottom of a slippery semantic slope that gradually transformed his job description from an advisor on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to PA minister for Jersualem, to PA-appointed mayor of Jerusalem (the Reuters version) to the final, formal promotion and recognition of Adnan Husseini by the Washington Post as the PA's "governor of Jerusalem."
If words still have precise meanings -- a debatable proposition when dealing with the Washington Post -- calling Adnan Husseini "governor of Jerusalem" makes him unequivocally the political ruler of Israel's capital. Barkat is out; Husseini is in. Israel's rule of the capital is out. The Palestinians have taken over the city. Jerusalem is ruled by their "governor."
This is not a small matter. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has many dimensions. And one important dimension is a battle over vocabulary -- something Orwell well understood. To Palestinian leaders, reality doesn't seem to matter. The medium controls the message. Thus, pro-Palestinian media like the Post hav erased any notion of Palestinian "terrorism" or Palestinian "terrorists." There are only Palestinian "militants" who kill Israeli civilians. Mahmoud Abbas, an avowed admirer of suicide bomber who contests Jewish historical and religious ties to Jerusalem, is transformed into a "moderate" peace partner.
And so now the Washington Post shoves aside Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and replaces him with Adnan Husseini, "governor of Jerusalem."
Another Orwellian twist in pursuit of a pro-Palestinian agenda. As Orwell himself observed, "Political language is designed to make lies truthful and murder resepctable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."