Will the Guardian be inspired by AP and stop referring to Jews as “illegal”?

H/T Yisrael Medad

Associated Press, one of the largest news agencies in the world, will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant” to describe those who migrate to a country in violation of their immigration laws, their Executive Vice President announced on Tuesday.

Their style guide will no longer permit the term ‘illegal immigrant’ or the use of ‘illegal’ to describe a person.  It will now only use of the word “illegal” to describe an action, such as “living in or migrating to a country illegally”.

It is believed that most of the 1400 U.S. newspapers which use AP will likely follow their decision on the use of such a loaded term and will, for instance, stop referring to the millions of unauthorized Latino migrants to the US as “illegal”.   

ABC reported the following:

…most of America’s top college newspapersand major TV networks, including ABC, NBC and CNN, have vowed to stop using the term. Nearly half of Latino voters polled last year in a Fox News Latino survey said that they find the term “illegal immigrant” offensive. A coalition of linguists also came together last year to pressure media companies to drop “illegal immigrant,” calling it “neither neutral nor accurate.”

Whilst many Americans are applauding the decision by AP as a victory for accuracy and diversity, we can only wonder whether serious news organizations – and the Guardian – will similarly drop the loaded and value-laden term “illegal settler” to characterize Jews who, consistent with the parameters of the Mandate for Palestine, live beyond the 1949 armistice lines (in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem).

An "illegal" Israeli settler boy, Purim 2011

An “illegal” Israeli settler boy in the historic Jewish city of Hebron, Purim 2011

A quick search of the Guardian’s site shows a few references to such ‘illegal’ Israelis.

Guardian film critic Philip French wrote the following in his Oct. 21, 2012 review of the documentary ‘5 Broken Cameras’:

Behind this pair, but no less endangered, is Emad, recording some of the fiercest footage of assaults and atrocities on the West Bank that I’ve ever seen, as well as the arson wreaked on Palestinian olive groves by illegal Jewish settlers.

A July 24, 2012 story by Phoebe Greenwood on Palestinians facing eviction from ‘unauthorized’ homes in the southern Hebron hills included this variation of the charge:

Hila Gurani, the state’s attorney, wrote that the second intifada and the second Lebanon war exposed gaps in IDF preparation that requires more extensive training in firing zones, which the illegal Hebron residents are preventing  

And, a report by Nicholas Watt about the call by some within the UK Labour Party to label products which are produced in the West Bank included this passage:

Labour is opposed to boycotting Israeli goods but [Yvette] Cooper believes consumers should be informed whether products are produced by illegal settlers.

Moreover, a Google search using the words “illegal Israeli settlers” turns up 727,000 hits, and included references to the proscribed Jew in many “mainstream” publications. (Obviously, another variation of these specific words, in a different order, would likely produce further examples.)

The implications are fascinating. 

If, for instance, we use AP’s logic as a guide, and only use the term “illegal” to describe an action, shouldn’t the Guardian and other sites stop referring to Jewish communities and homes in places like Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim and eastern Jerusalem as “illegal”?  If so, we might one day look back at the ubiquitous use of such subjective terminology (there were more than 5,000 references to “illegal settlements” at the Guardian’s site) as an embarrassing chapter in their paper’s history.

Whatever the Guardian editorial position on the desirability of a future Palestinian state which may include most of Judea and Samaria, we can hope that they’ll catch up with the times, heed their liberal calling and stop labelling – in one manner or another – hundreds of thousands of Jews residing within the boundaries of their historic homeland as “illegal”.   

42 replies »

  1. With the way Israel is singled out at the UN and the Durban conferences, the possibility that the Groin Pull will discontinue its policy of hypocrisy and disinformation is pretty close to zero. They would sooner stop drinking 4 o’clock tea.

  2. but do you not think an illegal immigrant,if there is such a thing, is very different – an immigrant comes to your country is pursued by the authorities who he tries to hide from and works in the lowest paid jobs – an illegal settler comes into your country is backed by the army that comes with him forces you out of your land and forces you from your own land – for ordinary people there is no comparison between the two –

    • Actually, many Mexicans in America are looked at in disdain by the powerful White majority– and I’m talking in places that was Mexico but 150 years ago. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas… It don’t matter to the ignorant if these people have connections that go back hundreds of years to their neighborhoods.

      A Jewish connection in Israel goes back thousands of years. The powerful majority in charge of misrepresenting the not-too distant past is Arab. And the ignorant are all over the place, complaining about Jewish autonomy and redefining terminology in order to “make” their point that Israel is some illegal enterprise hellbent on destruction and wrecking havoc.

      Yeah, I see the connections, and I’m not at all surprised folks like you don’t.

    • abc – your assumption is that everyone who has immigrated unlawfully (rather than an illegal immigrant) does so to escape persecution. That is clearly a confusion between the term “illegal immigrant” and “asylum seeker”. There are many reasons why people choose to move from one country to another – push factors, such as war, persecution, famine, poverty etc and pull factors such as peace, security, jobs, family or social ties etc.

      I personally find SOME of the drive to expand the “settlements” distasteful and counter-productive, and do not wish to associate myself with the extreme political views or actions of SOME of those who choose to live in them, but there is a huge variety of such “settlements” and a huge variety of people who live in them. I have relatives who live in Gilo, which is technically an “illegal settlement” but it is indistinguishable from the rest of Jerusalem and my relatives are kind, gentle and politically and religiously very moderate people.

      It is just ridiculously simplistic to pick the most “deserving” of all those groups of “illegal immigrants” (i.e. refugees from persecution) as a comparison with the worst stereotyped image of radical Israelis who actively “force you from your own land”.

  3. a connection going back 1000 years ago I suppose supersedes the one that has existed for 1000 of years and was current until the ethnic cleansing few decades ago – makes perfect sense in a racist mind but not in mine.

    You do know Arabs are also sons of Abraham whatever their faith

    Scientifically, very difficult to establish a link going back 1000’s years when that connection was broken 1000 years ago – Whereas the Arabs have been there for thousands of years and never left – What a perverse view of history

    • You are dead wrong, abc. Arabs entered the Land in the 7th century as Mohammad’s conquering army swept out of the arabian peninsula. Some stayed, most moved on as the army continued its conquests. Arabs continued to enter in waves, large and small, since then. A substantial number of the Arabs in the Land now are relatively recent arrivals, coming at various times in the 20th century.

      • Arabs entered the Land in the 7th century as Mohammad’s conquering army swept out of the arabian peninsula.

        But as most Jews had been expelled by the Romans in the 2nd century, are you saying that the land was practically uninhabited for almost 500 years?

        • No. The Romans expelled the leaders, intellectuals and others of the political, religious and economic ruling classes. The average person – workers, artisans, farmers – mostly remained. Also remaining were some Romans, Christians, and miscellaneous others.

      • Wrong.
        Modern Arabs are not all from A or B.
        For example, Salah ADin was a Kurd.
        There were remenant of Asyrians, Lebanese are Arabs only by Language and culture.
        Ottomans ruled the area for many years and have had their influance.
        Barbars are the Morrocan – Algerian Arabs.
        Then you have the Bedoins and Egyptians.
        The Arab culture may have been brought up from the peninsula but even that is open for debate.

        The one thing I agree with you is that Jews have always been present in the land since the days of Abraham.

        • Itsik, I didn’t say that “modern Arabs” are all “from A or B.” I said they “continued to enter in waves, large and small” after the initial conquest; I didn’t say from where. And, yes, they came from many places.

      • I never tire of the following link.

        It is a video of Jerusalem back in 1925. Notice the almost complete absence of any buildings outside the Old City walls. I noticed the Russian Orthodox church. But, otherwise, no East Jerusalem. (Gasp!)

      • well, at the least, abc doesn’t know much about history. Not unusual in the case of anti-Zonists and anti-Semites, though I don’t venture an opinion which is the case with abc.

    • I don’t think you figured this part out. I have no problem with Arabs living in Israel. The State of Israel has no problem with Arabs living in Israel.

      See how easy that is to completely discredit all that you base your limited perspective on?

      • Asher you are absolutely right. “Abc” accuses you of being racist, but it seems it is he who believes that Jews should be prohibited from living in Judea and Samaria (or the West Bank if he prefers), and you who has no problem with Arabs living in Israel.

        Hmm. Now who is the racist here exactly?

    • So is “abc” the latest incarnation of JH/JB/JA?

      If so, then I shall take his current choice of nick as a great compliment. I’m obviously more of an influence on him than he realizes.

    • abc – thank you for drawing our attention to the “ethnic cleansing [a] few decades ago.” I presume you are talking about the ethnic cleansing of Jews from almost every Arab country that was so complete that it destroyed centuries old communities in places like Yemen, Baghdad, Hebron, Damascus, Tehran…

      Or perhaps you are referring to the ethnic cleansing that Israel is guilty of – the removal of every Jew from Gaza in 2005 in the hope that it might bring about peace on that front.

      Surely you can’t be referring to a mythical “ethnic cleansing” of Arabs from Israel and the “Occupied Territories” – a strategy that has been so massively unsuccessful that Arabs make up 20% of the Israeli population, and that Muslims are the fastest growing population in Jerusalem, and that there are Arabs in the Knesset and the Supreme Court etc?

      • I thought he was referring to the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Etzion Block and from Hebron and from the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem (and the destruction of many synagogues, among them the famous Hurva Synagogue).

    • Ignorant comment. If Israel practices “ethnic cleansing” why has the Palestinian population increased, the infant mortality rate fallen, and life expectancy increased? There has also been continuous Jewish habitation of this land since the time before there were any Arabs whatsoever. The Jewish community in Hebron dates to Biblical times, unbroken since then.

      Why don’t you actually lean some facts instead of grazing of soundbites from pundits like the rest of the mindless libero-fascist herd?

  4. Hey, ABC, I have a question for you… Do the words “Arabia” and Judea mean anything to you?!…

  5. If Israel has no problems with Arabs living in Israel so why the ethnic cleansing and why not allow those who were forced out – Perhaps little truthful reflection on your part – history of the region is now known to many gone are the days when lies will work – as for the marauding conquerors they came from Europe – and among them were some of the founders of Zionism

    and cba really got a nerve call yourself cba and criticize others for doing the same – something really lacking in your racist mind

    • and cba really got a nerve call yourself cba and criticize others for doing the same – something really lacking in your racist mind

      {cba smiles a big cheese-eating grin}

      If I had the teeniest-tiniest-slightest doubt about the identity of “abc” (and I was aware that there was indeed the teeniest-tiniest-slightest possibility that it was not JH/JB/JA), then this has dispelled it–the baseless accusation of racism, the complete mis-characterization of the posts to which he is responding (I said I took it as a compliment, there was not one single word of criticism) are as good as fingerprints to identify him.

      My plan worked {heh-heh-heh}… but then, I was rather involved in a battle of wits with an unarmed man, so perhaps it was unfair of me.

    • “history of the region is now known to many gone are the days when lies will work ”
      it seems lies are working for you abc

  6. The IDF is really on the ball today so would the number of children arrested go up today and I am sure enough crimes are committed today they can be linked to and for which photographic evidence can be provided.

    • Cba – more proof for you that this “abc” character is the same idiot who has been here before. He simply throws in an accusation (ethnic cleansing, illegal settlements, racism) then when challenged shifts to another baseless allegation.

      Let’s deal with this one, shall we? “Abc” you are right. I am appalled at the child arrests. Did you know that in 2011, 209,450 under 18s were arrrested, including 2,117 aged just 10 and 11 – that’s six primary school children arrested every minute? Shocking, isn’t it?

      Oh – by the way – those figures relate to England and Wales, where children are arrested and can get a criminal record for “being naughty” and nobody is calling for the state’s destruction or the murder of all its Christian inhabitants, and none of these children were arrested for throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at civilians or attempting to blow themselves up.

      • I know.

        I’m very flattered that I’ve had such an effect on him that he’s patterned his latest nick after mine. He likes me, he really likes me… I hope I don’t end up breaking his heart, poor love-lorn creature.

        BTW, Labenal, good post.

  7. Sorry, of course, that should have read six primary school children arrested every DAY, not every minute.

  8. Labenal that makes sense – It is a perfect justification for entering houses in the middle of the night and picking children up – Labenal or abc or def or whatever – they all do the same – the justification of the crime we are discussing is that their are others doing the same – in a normal court of law that is never a defense but where cba, labenal etc it is the only defense –

  9. I did not expect the IDF will go this far today they killed two Palestinian youth who were protesting against the death of a Palestinian who died of cancer in Israeli prison.

    Israeli troops have shot dead two Palestinian youths in the occupied West Bank, medical officials said on Thursday, as confrontations entered a third day following the death of a prisoner in an Israeli jail.

    The Israeli army said troops fired on Palestinians who threw firebombs at a guard post after dark on Wednesday near Tulkarm, in the northern West Bank. One body was swiftly recovered and a second was found in the early hours of Thursday.

    Palestinian officials named the dead men as Amer Nassar, 17, and Naji Belbisi, 18. The army said it was investigating the incident, which left at least one other Palestinian wounded.

    Tensions have risen rapidly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following the death on Tuesday of Maysara Abu Hamdeya, 64, who was serving a life sentence in an Israeli jail.

    Palestinians accuse Israel of withholding care from the man and failing to release him after diagnosing that his cancer was terminal. Israel says it followed normal procedures.

    • Protesting while throwing molotove and firing. ? and what were the soldiers to do? come out and hug them. When you play with fire you might get burnt. They were 17 and 18 years old by the way. Surprisingly you didn;t call the children,

      • Hug them? That would be awful, alexa. If an Israeli soldier hugged a Palestinian civilian, wouldn’t that count as illegal restraint and bodily assault? And if he/she hugged a Palestinian CHILD, I’m sure that would count as paedophilia too.

        No, alexa, what abc wants is for the Jews to stand still so that the rocks and molotovs can more easily find their targets.

      • But his worship is conditional – the throwing must be implemented by someone else.
        He’s the fan at an illegal street-fight or box match screaming from behind: Kill him!!