Barry Shaw: The EU’s Misuse of Language to Gain Diplomatic Advantage

Changing words from 'disputed' to 'occupied' makes a big difference...

Barry Shaw,
International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies

I have recently been offering a presentation on the Strategic and Diplomatic Challenges for Israel 2020.

In this presentation I include the linguistic trend, used by the international diplomatic community, away from Israel’s original territorial legitimacy through the term “disputed territory” and arriving into “occupied Palestinian land,” an incorrect, devious and dangerous change of language to suit a narrative.

And, lo and behold, this morning I read that the EU just changed their official definition of Judea & Samaria from “occupied or disputed lands” into a shorter, simplistic “occupied lands.”  This fails to admit that Israel is occupying its legitimate land. On the contrary, it is part of the push to delegitimize Israel on its ancestral land in favor of an amorphous, undefined, “Palestinian” entity.

This is the new, contrived, anti-Israel definition of EU foreign policy under its new foreign official, Josep Borrell.

The bias against Israel has been a noticeable feature of EU foreign policy for several years, particularly emphasized under the foreign policy leadership of Federica Mogherini, a former Arafat groupie and disciple of Italian Communist, Massimo D’Alema. Mogherini rose through the rank of the Italian DS party, which emerged out of the Italian Communist Party. As such, her political dogma included sympathy for arch-terrorist, Yasser Arafat and a desire to reduce Israel’s legitimacy in order to create a balance favorable to a belligerent Palestinian ideology.

This EU formula continues to today.

The misuse of language is just one strategic ploy used by EU officials when forging policies that leave Israel at a major disadvantage, and fly in the face of documented history and territorial legitimacy favorable to Israel’s case for justice and fairness.

A return to the phraseology of “disputed territories” would be equally unacceptable to Israel but that would be less politically biased than the noxious and incorrect term “occupied Palestinian land.”

To prove themselves to be balanced and even-handed, something they have never done for decades, I recommend that the EU bring legislation to bear to repeal the status of “refugee camps” located in areas under the full administrative and security control of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza.

This must be done in recognition of Israeli territorial concessions to the Palestinians in vain gestures for peace, gestures that has been totally rejected by both sides of the divided Palestinian political camps.

Simple logic decrees that people claiming to be “Palestinian refugees” born in territories under the sole control of a Palestinian regime, cannot be defined as “refugees.”

It is unacceptable for the EU to assist in the illogical claim that Arabs born and living in territories exclusively governed by Palestinian leadership, whether it be the PA in the “West Bank,” or Hamas in Gaza, are “refugees.”

That is as illogical as saying that people born in Belgium are refugees.

If the EU claim they are working to create a Palestinian state in “the West Bank” they are duty bound to make changes to their language and policy to prove it, and removing the fraudulent definition of refugeeship as one essential prerequisite.

The excuse that the EU has no control over refugee status, even as they help maintain such a status, but that this is a UN issue, is disingenuous. Collectively and individually EU members must bring a motion to the floor of the UN General Assembly, if not the Security Council, to rescind the definition of “refugee” from Palestinians living under Palestinian control as self-evident misnomer.

This will make the work of UNRWA redundant, but many countries and leading institutions say that UNRWA have gone beyond their sell-by date decades ago. Why should this UN body maintain its existence in perpetuity when there is another UN refugee body whose role has been to implement the reduction of refugees globally Why must Palestinians, living under Palestinian rule, be nurtured into their fifth generation by the Un and EU?

By not addressing this misdemeanor the EU remain exposed as having a clear diplomatic bias and of being an active participant of Palestinian ambitions to “liberate the rest of Palestinian occupied lands from the River to the Sea.”

Barry Shaw

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism’ and ‘BDS for IDIOTS’ both available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

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