by Hugh Fitzgerald
Ahmad Nofal, a Jordanian professor of Islamic law, claims that the Jews “control the world,” and especially, it seems, they do this through the instrument of language, that they wield like a weapon. “Jordanian professor accuses Jews of ‘ruling the world, controlling our language,'” Israel Hayom, April 12, 2021:
See how they rule the world? They even monitor what words you use. What kind of power is this? If you curse 1.7 million [sic.] Muslims — there’s nothing to it, but if you dare to say one word [against the Jews], they cancel you.
Nofal has not been reading the news. He has things backwards. All over the world, there has been a steep rise in antisemitic utterances and acts, especially in western Europe. But those who dare, however mildly, to criticize the behavior and beliefs of Muslims are promptly silenced, accused of “islamophobia” and “racism,” and removed from social media. Meanwhile, you can find on that same social media endless attacks on “the Jews” that none of the Big Tech companies that control social media websites feel they have a moral obligation to remove.
Global Freemasonry is a Zionist movement. I shouldn’t say this, you say? So what is it? A national movement? Is it a humanist movement? No, my dear. Zionism came up with the notion of Freemasonry. ‘Masonic lodges’ and whatnot… The ‘Grand Master’… These are all Zionist notions. Jewish notions… Call them whatever you like.
This bizarre theory of a “Judeo-Masonic conspiracy” arose in France just after the Revolution, and involved various forgeries, akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that would appear a century later. There is no such conspiracy, but that hasn’t stopped the semi-demented, such as Ahmad Nofal, from believing that there is and spreading the word.
We need to make sure that Western culture has not changed our notions and our tastes without us even noticing. It is like someone who undergoes a surgery under anesthesia… That’s what the Zionists do. They harvest organs from our [Palestinian] patients. They chop off part of the liver… You know that when you cut part of the liver it grows. Sometimes they plant illnesses in you when you are under anesthesia.
Yes, of course, those endlessly evil Zionist doctors treat Palestinians in order either to harvest their organs for Jewish patients, or to “plant illnesses” – unspecified – in the Palestinians they treat. But why don’t those thoroughly evil Zionists simply kill those patients outright, and then harvest not just parts of their livers but all kinds of organs needed by Jewish patients, including kidneys, lungs, and hearts that can be transplanted. And if those Jewish doctors are so evil, why do Arab patients by the tens of thousands allow themselves to be treated in Israeli hospitals? In fact, why do Palestinian leader, including Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, insist that their own family members be treated at Israeli hospitals?
You [Americans] came from all over. Some came from Germany, some from Italy, some from France, some from Britain, some from Scotland, some from wherever… You gathered there and annihilated only 140 million red Indians, and 40 million Africans. That’s about 200 million. You killed them so that America could become America. And you are still killing them for being black.
Ahmad Nofal swerves crazily from his denunciation of the Jews/Zionists to the Americans, whom he accuses of genocide. His factoids are pulled from the air; they bear no relationship to reality. In 1492, the Americas, North and South, had a population estimated at 60 million, with only five million of them inhabiting the territory that later became the United States. With a total population of five million Indians, it would have been impossible for the proto-Americans to have “annihilated” 140 million of them. Furthermore, “annihilation” is the wrong word. Although Western movies convey the notion that the white man made his genocidal way across the continent, by far the greatest contributor to Indian deaths were diseases brought from Europe, including smallpox, measles, influenza, bubonic plague, diphtheria, typhus, cholera, and scarlet fever. These were diseases that had existed for centuries in Europe, and many Europeans had acquired immunity. But that wasn’t the case in the New World. In Hispaniola, Columbus’ first stop in the New World, there were 250,000 people in 1492; by 1517, 236,000 had died of various diseases brought by Columbus and his crew. Death by illness is very different from deliberate murder, which is what Ahmad Nofal accuses the Americans of committing when he charges them with “annihilating” the Red Indians.
But let’s go back to Ahmad Nofal’s insistence that “Jews control the world” through their control of language. Who has been in control of the “language” surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict? Let’s start with toponyms. The Arabs have managed to sever the linguistic link between Jews and their ancient homeland. Instead of the toponyms “Judea” and “Samaria” that date from Biblical times, and have been in continuous use in Europe for the past 2000 years, the Jordanians wasted no time when they took possession of the lands so named in 1949; they replaced “Judea” and “Samaria” with the blandly uninformative “West Bank.” And “West Bank” has become the accepted placename for “Judea” and “Samaria” everywhere except Israel; the long-accepted terms “Judea” and “Samaria” are looked at askance in the rest of the world, which thinks only “settlers” use such quaint “Biblical” terms that should now be jettisoned. Incidentally, no one points out that “Gaza,” a place name everywhere still in use, is just as “Biblical” as “Judea” and “Samaria.” This toponymic substitution by the Arabs has a precedent: the Romans attempted to sever the Jewish connection to their ancestral land by renaming “Judea” as “Palaestina,” and “Palestine” it remained, in the Western world, until the State of Israel was declared in 1948. But “Palestine” is still used by those who want to claim that same land for the Arabs. Thus, “Palestine will soon be free/From the river to the sea.”
Another linguistic victory by the Arabs is the invention of the “Palestinian people.” After their defeat in the Six-Day War, the Arabs realized they would have to first push Israel back to something like its pre-1967 lines before trying to attack it yet again. They would need to wage a propaganda battle in order to pressure Israel into giving up territory it had won in 1967. Instead of tiny Israel being assaulted by many Arab states, the Arabs presented “two tiny peoples” – Israelis and Palestinians – locked in struggle. No longer would they call those who had left Mandatory Palestine/Israel between 1947 and 1949 “Arab refugees.” They instead were transformed into “Palestinian refugees,” and those “Palestinian refugees” then became known, after 1967, as the deliberately invented “Palestinian people.” These “Palestinian people,” by their very name, could be seen as laying rightful claim to the land that Western Christendom had for nearly two millennia known as “Palestine.” No one was uncivil enough to ask the obvious question: what distinguishes the “Palestinian people” – religion, language, customs, cuisine – from their Arab neighbors in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The answer, had it been given truthfully, is that there is nothing to distinguish them.
The most celebrated admission of this linguistic strategy was the statement by Zuheir Mohsen, the leader of the Palestinian terrorist group As Saiqa. He said in an interview in 1970 to the Dutch paper Trouw that “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”
A third linguistic victory against Israel was achieved when the epithet “occupied” was permanently affixed to the place name “West Bank”: “Occupied West Bank.” This single word has served to convince hundreds of millions of people that Israel has no right to the territory — the “West Bank” — that it only “occupies.” Rarely, in the media, does anyone hold up for inspection and discussion the word “occupied.” It was Jordan that “occupied” the West Bank in 1949 and held onto it until 1967. Its claim of sovereignty to the territory was rejected by all states except Great Britain and Pakistan; the rest of the world saw Jordan as the “military occupier” of that land. When Israel took it from Jordan in 1967, Israel was in a position at long last to exercise its pre-existing right to the territory assigned under the Mandate for Palestine to the Jewish National Home. That territory extended from the Golan Heights in the north to the Red Sea in the south, and from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the “West Bank”) were always supposed to be part of the Jewish National Home which then became the State of Israel.
Ahmad Nofal thinks the “Zionists” have won the linguistic battle. He is wrong. The Arabs have won victory after victory in matters of language. “Judea” and “Samaria” are now known everywhere outside Israel as the “West Bank.” The Arabs who left Mandatory Palestine/Israel as “Arab refugees,” as well as the Arabs who remained in place, both metamorphosed into that product of creative propaganda, “the Palestinian people.” One wonders if the Arabs in southern Iran, in a future attempt to win independence from Tehran, will copy the “Palestinian” example and rename themselves the “Khuzistanian people.” It might just work.
Ahmad Nofal should be proud of the Arab linguistic campaign against Israel. The Arabs have never prevailed on the battlefield against Israel. The Mossad runs circles around them in its deeds of derring-do to prevent, and punish, terrorist attacks. But when it comes to propaganda, the Arabs have made enviable use of sleight-of-word. Think only of the impression left by the following two sentences: “The Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank reject the Zionist claims to the land.” “The Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria reject the Jewish claims to the land.” The first, tendentious version, can be found everywhere. The second, accurate sentence, can be found almost nowhere. May the Israelis become more vigilant about language, and undo the damage done thus to their cause by the Arabs. They might start by reducing the word “Palestinian” from an ethnic noun to a geographic adjective — “Palestinian Arab” rather than “Palestinian.” Israeli leaders could insist on using the toponyms “Judea'” and “Samaria” instead of the “West Bank,” and in public discussions they could inform audiences when, and for what purpose, the “West Bank” was adopted by Jordan. That’s a start.
First published in Jihad Watch.
As is his calling, Ah! Mad No Fal-lacy sprawling offers his wrong opinion appalling. Had he known his derrière from third base, he’d not have slid headfirst, up to his hips, seeking rectal rectitude there ((you know where).