Sunday, November 22, 2009

Expulsion by any other name would smell so foul

(Apologies to William Shakespeare)

Neve Dekalim 2004. One of the Jewish towns in Gush Katif

...and this is their "Evacuation". It is obvious to all that this was a "forced evacuation".

This is an Israeli Bulldozer destroying a Jewish home. If you look up the word “Evacuation” in the dictionary you find this or similar definitions: Evacuation: The act of evacuating; leaving a place in an orderly fashion; especially for protection. Example, to move out of an unsafe location into safety; "After the earthquake, residents were evacuated" (WorldNet Dictionary) In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, US authorities ordered first the evacuation and then, what they termed as the “forced evacuation” of people from endangered areas after many people refused to leave. Despite the fact that legal experts said that the government had a well-established right to remove people from their homes for their own protection, nevertheless, many National Guard officials said that they were not willing to forcefully evacuate US citizens against their will. I do not wish to discuss whether the US Government had a right to forcefully evacuate those who did not wish to leave their homes, even when authorities determined that danger to health was very high. My point is that the US Government made a clear distinction between the initial evacuation which was voluntary and the eventual full evacuation which they called “forced”. [Source:StPetersburg Times, Florida.] Now, according to all the dictionaries that I consulted, the word that best describes the term “forced evacuation” is the word “expulsion”. Expulsion: the act of forcing out someone or something; Example: "the ejection of troublemakers by the police"; "the child's expulsion from school" c.1400, from Latin. expulsionem, from stem of expellere "drive out" ( However, in Israel the Israeli Authorities have forbidden any other term except the neutral term “Evacuation” to refer to what was actually the forced removal of Jewish people from their homes in territory to be handed over to Arabs, and the accompanying destruction of their homes, as part of the policy of Land for Peace. The High Court last week ruled that advertisements on behalf of the former communities of Gush Katif on national TV and radio would be banned because of the use of the terms “expulsion” referring to the inhabitants of Gush Katif and the word “destruction” to refer to what Israeli Authorities did to their homes. According to The Jerusalem Post these are the offending sentences:


“Israel Radio and [Arutz 2] the Second Authority rejected an ad submitted by the right-wing petitioner that began, "As we mark three years since the destruction and expulsion from Gush Katif..." According to another ad, "On the fast of Tisha Be'av and the days around it, we light a memorial candle to mark the expulsion from Gush Katif." I’m no lawyer or expert in Linguistics for that matter but it seems to me that the Israeli High Court’s decision to ban the use of the word “expulsion” (which actually objectively describes what happened to the inhabitants of Gush Katif) because the judges deem it a political statement is actually itself extreme left wing political bias. Simply put (as the photos above tesify), it makes no difference if you were in favour of the expulsion and destruction of these communities or not, the banning of these terms is an attempt by the High Court of Israel to rewrite history and to stifle the right to freedom of speech.

Netzrarim shul Before and After. Big smile - job well done!

Neve Dekalim shul. Before and After.

We hang our heads in shame.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mordechai, for this and I totally agree that this censorship is bringing us to the dark ages.