Not to bear false witness is the Ninth Biblical Commandment, and for journalists it should be the first; yet, 10 words used daily and even hourly by the media have for decades permeated the written and spoken word, all of them patently false:
- “West Bank”
- “occupied territories”
- “refugee camps”
Instead, the accurate terms are:
- “Jews” or “Israelis,” referring to people building permanent residences, neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, businesses, public amenities, and houses of worship
- “Israel,” being the only independent nation in the particular area, with a long-established body of laws, history of commerce and industry, and being formally recognized by the countries of the world (No independent nation of “Palestine” has ever existed in history.)
- “Judea and Samaria,” being the legal names for the regions of Israel where Jews have lived for thousands of years
- “murdered,” referring to Jews from infancy through elderly whose lives are ended through acts of Arab or Muslim violence committed upon them
- “Islamic terrorist,” being a person whose religious ideology compels him to commit acts of violence against persons of other religions and their property
- “Arabs” or “Muslims,” referring to stateless peopleliving in the region of present-day Israel and whose fellow Arabs and Muslims slaughtered and/or rejected their entry into existing Arab and Muslim nations, with sizes many hundreds of times larger than the tiny State of Israel
- “Judea and Samaria,” being regions administered by Israel through her victory in the defensive 1967 War and lawfully recognized under international law, historical precedent, and Biblical rights
- “cities” and “towns,” referring to the places where the Arabs and Muslims rejected for generations by their own people live in apartments and homes with full amenities and standards of living often better than in American inner cities
- “communities,” being areas of development for residential and commercial purposes under the laws of the State of Israel, including public governmental institutions, medical facilities, well-maintained neighborhoods, public utilities, private enterprises, and international industries
- “Islamist,” referring to a person whose religious doctrines drive him to commit acts of violence against those who are not of his own Muslim persuasion, their family members of all ages, and their property.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness” against the Jewish State through fallacious and inflammatory terms that re-write history and re-define a miraculous nation and its People, Divinely established and blessed, using words and images to make news rather than to report it as it truly is. In truth, every news coverage that uses the word “Palestine” is ab initio false; since no nation of “Palestine” ever existed. Likewise, every news report about the “West Bank” has renamed geographic regions of Israel legally called “Judea and Samaria.”
When reporters have become falsification wordsmiths and historical revisionists, the world loses, as is certainly the case in this epoch of time. Words matter, and history matters. Lies matter especially when they determine history.
Lest we forget the horrific lessons of history’s lies, all of us, be we journalist or not, must use the words of truth to tell Israel’s story. As it was explained to me by my student, Robbyn, like Joshua and Caleb, who corrected the false reports of their 10 fellow spies sent by Moses to survey the Holy Land before entering it to give an accurate assessment to the Jewish People, “We have to correct a bad report …. We have an obligation to fight a bad report” lest we will wander and be buried in a desert of lies.