Back in July, a handbook from the Zionist group The Israel Project emerged, giving advice to poor Jews who just wanted to support their fanatical friends in the settlements. Alas, the team has had to recant:
The Israel Project says it has removed the term “ethnic cleansing” from an internal document discussing how to talk about the issue of Jewish settlements.
The provision in The Israel Project’s Global Language Dictionary had said that the “best” argument when someone brings up settlements — if changing the subject doesn’t work — is to “try accusing those who advocate removing Jewish settlements of promoting ‘a kind of ethnic cleansing to move all Jews’ from the West Bank.”
That language had caused controversy last month, when J Street called the language “incendiary and dangerous” and urged its supporters to sign a petition telling that to TIP founder and president Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.
Mizrahi defended the use of the language at that time, saying that when Israel evacuated Gaza it “was ethnic cleansing” becaause “every Jew left Gaza, including the dead Jews,” whose graves had to be moved. But Mizrahi said she decided to remove the term because it had been misinterpreted and called the use of the term “regrettable.”
Some saw the term as an allusion to the Holocaust or other genocides, and “we never meant it that way,” said Mizrahi. But “we understand how it could be interpreted, and we have to be sensitive to that.”