The goal of this article is to get opinions out from readers. If you are offended by my questions, then challenge me without calling names. Discuss the issues.
Do you disagree with me on how these words are abused? Then state your arguments and justifications.
I mentioned the percentages of Jews who support Israel, who some would categorize as Zionists, because without them-- a few million of them in the US-- who are among the most reliable "super voters," the Democratic Party would lose the presidency, and lose the congress. I have no doubt about and neither do the members of congress.
Advocating for the Palestinians to have rights, to have justice, for peace in the Middle East are all good things that even most Jews will support. But reviling and vilifying "Zionists" is a dangerous road to travel. I believe it is easy to use other words that are clearer and more precise... unless your intention really is to revile and vilify Jews.
Here's a comment I recently made on an article that used the word "zionists" where I felt it was unnecessary.
<blockquote>I often see the over-use of the word zionist in a way that could bleed into anti-semitism, or at the least, feed the antisemitic message machine. Currently, TODAY, zionism is probably, by the numbers, at least as actively supported by right wing extremist Christian fundamentalists praying for the rapture as by Jews, and probably with more ardor and support of violence.
Some important truths. AIPAC is incredibly powerful and the members of congress do fear the repercussions of crossing AIPAC's interests. But part of the fault lies with "progressives" and faux progressives who are advocates for the Palestinian cause who express their support for the Palestinians while attacking Israel, often calling for its demise or de-funding. There is little room allowed for a middle ground where Palestinians are treated fairly and the US continues to support Israel in a way that keeps it safe. I believe that if more was invested in providing for the Palestinians, so they stopped raining rocket and suicide bombs on Israel, the US could drastically cut the support to Israel without impacting on its safety. That's not a call for cutting funding to Israel. It's a call to raise humanitarian funding to the Palestinian people.
There are smarter, more nuanced ways to do things to help the situation. Because they do not bash Israel and the Jews, they will not be acceptable to anti-semites, the kinds of people who visit and support antisemitic hate sites, which, we've discovered, a significant number of our readers do visit.
OpEdNews keeps the most open forum for discussing issues on the web. We do it because we'd like to serve to allow positive developments and the emergence of ideas that help move towards peace and justice. We do not provide the forum for haters and anti-semites to vent their despicable feelings and flog their mental pathologies. If you feel offended by this statement, that's your problem. People who know in their hearts that they are not haters or anti-semites shouldn't have a problem with this. If you DO have a problem with it, maybe you're a bigot, anti-semite and hater. If so, go away. You're not welcome. Sow your hate somewhere else.</blockquote>
As we have this conversation here, we added, yesterday a new function to OpEdNews content submission. The software tracks some words and if you use those words, you'll get a link to this article and a summary of the conclusions we draw. You'll get a request to use words as precisely as possible.
We're also using this word tracking software to catch the use of words that have been "languaged" by right wingers like Frank Luntz-- words like "Death Tax" and "Iraq war," and suggestions for other language, like inheritance tax and Iraq occupation will be suggested, so writers won't serve the message of the right wing.
Then, we're also tracking dirty language. I use it and it doesn't faze me, but there are some readers it does offend, and frankly, most writing is better without it.
All of this word tracking will be for self regulation and awareness only. There will be no censorship. But we will, for some words, put icons on comments, to let readers know, for example that foul language is included. We'll be looking for a small graphic for that one.
Okay. Let loose. What do you think?
Definitions? Abuses of the words? Worries and concerns? Suggestions?
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