Saturday, June 28, 2014

How the English Language Plays Into Politics of Israel and Palestine--Do You Live in a settlement, hamlet, village, town or city?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                 

The term "Judea and Samaria" was officially adopted by Israel in 1967

Notice that Judea and Samaria, the original names of our ancient Jewish empires, have been misnamed as West Bank, which started with Jordan, meaning west of the Jordan River.  The Emirate Transjordan was accepted by England in 1921 out of the legalized Jewish Homeland, a loss of 80% of the Jewish Homeland, a change in promised policy.  It was given to Abdullah, 2nd son of Hussein, sherif of Mecca,  who had supported Britain during WWI so he could be a king and have his own emirate.  It was renamed Jordan in 1946. In 1948 he took the Arab land of Palestine meant to belong to Jews for Israel.  This was original land that the Bible lists to become Israel.   Jordan helped themselves to the land which was designated as part of the Jewish Homeland when Israel was fighting for its life in the 1947-1949 War of Independence. Quotas were put on Jews' entrance even when allowed into Palestine. This kept the Jewish numbers down in Palestine.

The term "Judea and Samaria" was officially adopted by Israel in 1967 when the Israeli military government issued an order that stated, "the term “Judea and Samaria region” shall be identical in meaning for all purposes to the term “the West Bank Region”". However, the term was rarely used until 1977 when Menachem Begin, a proponent of extending Israel's sovereignty to the region, became Prime Minister.

Much ado has been going on over what is called "Israel's settlements."  Here, the Left is referring to the building of apartments or homes that are being built in Judea and Samaria, the ancient sites of Israel and Judah that Israel won back in the 1967 war.  It seems that only Israel cares about the fact that this land was deemed to be a part of the Jewish Homeland through the direction of the League of Nations in 1920, a decision due to the end of WWI and the Ottoman Empire losing their land to the Allies in this war.  On the other hand, the Arabs of the Middle East have never accepted this ruling and still think it belongs to not the Turks of the Ottoman Empire but to them exclusively, and the powers of the Western nations have allowed the world to condescend to this lie.  Today we see ISIS/ISIL taking the stand that Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Israel have wrongly been created by the League of Nations' decisions in creating states out of the empire.  Note that information in English will refer to Jewish cities as settlements and Arab cities as towns or cities.  This shows a strong bias.

The noun, settlements, denotes a temporary dwelling.  Nowhere should the term be used in talking about the Jewish communities in Israel or Judea and Samaria.  They are not created to be only temporary. In driving my car from Safed to Tel Aviv, I passed Bedouin tents along the side of the road.  Now that's temporary.  They have been nomads and many still are.  The misuse comes from the USA's western use of the term.  In 1862 the USA passed the Homestead Act in which the government gave away 160 acres to individuals free if they would settle on it and cultivate it for 5 years..

 The word was popular in talking about the settling of the western part of the United States in the 1800's when describing the whites' living spaces being attacked by the Indians.  It's been used to describe the housing developments created by the Jews who have returned to living in Israel.  Remember, the Jewish Homeland was created and sanctioned by not only the League of Nations after much haggling with the Balfour Declaration, but through the United Nations in 1948.  As far as world consensus of the time, Jews had won the right to have their own state once again after being a homeless people, a people with their own unique language of Hebrew, their own religion of Judaism, and had been victimized by pogroms, hatred, and finally, a holocaust of gigantic proportions that slaughtered 6 million of their people.  It is only today that 6 million Jews populate Israel, showing how big a number that is, and that number has been reduced by constant wars in the region.

The word, settlements,  has been used on purpose by Israel's opposition to keep people thinking that they are only temporary-recently having moved there, and will be easy to chase out, like the western American squatters were.  Squatters were people who just parked themselves on the land without buying it.  They had no permission to be there.  They would be chased out by those that had title to the land.  The Jews who have moved in Judea and Samaria have had the permission of the Israeli government.  The government under Begin even encouraged Israelis to move there after 1967.  Through the Oslo agreements, the land gained in 1967 by Israel was divided into 3 zones; one for Jewish settlement, one for Arab settlement and one for both.  This is referred to as the green zones.
                                       American Hamlet
A settlement, according to the Webster's Dictionary is: a place or region NEWLY settled; a small village,  A settler is one who settles in a new region.

A hamlet is a small village.  "A hamlet is a small settlement, too small to be considered a village. The name comes from the diminutive of a Germanic word for an enclosed piece of land or pasture. " It usually refers to a small settlement in a rural area, or a component of a larger settlement or municipality. Hamlets are typically unincorporated communities. Countries have their personal definition, such as France-During the 18th century, for rich or noble people, it was up-to-date to create their own hameau (hamlet) in their gardens. They were a group of some houses or farms with rustic appearance, but in fact very comfortable.  In Switzerland-A hamlet is always part of a larger municipality or may be shared between two municipalities. The difference between a hamlet and a village is that typically a hamlet lacks a compact core settlement and lacks a central building such as a church or inn. However, some hamlets (Kirchwiler) may have grown up as an unplanned settlement around a church  An unincorporated area Ilaw, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a townshipparishboroughcountycity,cantonstateprovince or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent (broke-out of money) , and services become the responsibility of a higher administration (for example,Cabazon, California, disincorporated in 1972). In some countries, there are no unincorporated areas as all parts of the country are incorporated, such as in France or Brazil
  • Hamlet – a hamlet has a tiny population (<100) and very few (if any) services, and few buildings.

 A village is a settlement, usually larger than a hamlet.  and smaller than a town.  It is an incorporated minor municipality;  a unit of local government.  A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet, Usually a village is a very small place, usually with only a few hundred people.
  • Village – a village generally does not have many services, possibly only a small corner shop or post office. A village has a population of 100 to 1,000.
                                                     Sderot, on border with Gaza
A town is a village; a cluster or aggregation of houses recognized as a distinct place with a place-name; a hamlet; a compactly settled area as distinguished from surrounding rural territory;  a compactly settled area, usually larger than a village but smaller than a city.  a large densely populated urban area; a city; an English village having a periodic fair or market; a New England territorial and political unit usually containing both rural and unincorporated  urban areas under a single town government by a town meeting.  A town is a community of people ranging from a few hundred to several thousands, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas.  Usually a "town" is thought of as larger than a village but smaller than a "city."  The words city and village came into English from Latin via French.  Town and borough/burrow/burgh/bury/ are of native Germanic origin, from Old English burg, a fortified settlement, and tun, an enclosed piece of land."   A town is larger usually from 1000 to several thousand people.  
  • Town – a town has a population of 1,000 to 20,000.
  • Large town – a large town has a population of 20,000 to 100,000.
A city is a large or small town;  an inhabited place of greater size,  greater population or greater importance than a town or village.  It can be an incorporated British town usually of major size or importance having  the status of an episcopal see;  a large or important municipality in the US governed under a charter granted by the state; an incorporated municipal unit of the highest class in Canada; Many cities have city-managers.  They are officials employed by an elected council to direct the administration of a city government.  A city is an urban settlement with a particularly important status which differentiates it from a town.  In the USA, city is a legal term meaning an urban area with a degree of autonomy, ie, a township rather than meaning an entire large settlement/metropolitan area.  Outside the USA, city implies an entire settlement or metropolitan area.  There are notable exceptions; the term City of London.  In the UK, a city is a settlement with a charter (letters patent) from the crown.  In Britain, a town becomes a city when it contains a cathedral. A glaring example is Ely - a city of some 12,000 people,   A city is usually a big metropolis. ALTHOUGH, this rule does not always stand true here in the USA.
  • City – a city would have abundant services, but not as many as a large city. The population of a city is over 100,000 people up to 300,000.
  • Large city – a city with a large population and many services. The population is <1 million people but over 300,000 people.
  • Metropolis – a large city and its suburbs consisting of multiple cities and towns. The population is usually one to three million.

There are numerous definitions of towns, villages, hamlets, cities and such. Based on what I have seen, it is based on population. However, how do you define a population area varies by local governments. (Jim-USA)).  

Here is a rough idea of what a good definition of each is: 

Hamlet - 1,000 - 9,999 
Village - 10,000 - 99,999 
Town - 100,000 - 999,999 
City - 1,000,000 - 9,999,000 
Metropolis - 10,000,000+ 

Once again, this is based on population in an area, not necessarily the legal boundaries of each. But since nobody is willing to put numbers to meanings, and is content to let things be ambiguous, this is as good of a definition as any. (this is a comment from Jim) 

Hamlet and village are words coming from England.  They were used in our early beginnings in the United States but have been replaced more often by the words, town.  and city.  After 238 years, The USA has grown.  Perhaps some communities in England haven't.  They have kept their charm and size.  In talking about our Wild American West, the words settlers and pioneers were used interchangeably.  Many terms used to describe settlements (e.g., village) have no legal definition, or may have contradictory legal definitions in different jurisdictions.  In Oregon, Ontario, which sits on the border between Idaho and Oregon had a population of about 8,000.  It was commonly referred to as a town, not a Hamlet.  Hamlets and villages had been dropped and replaced by towns.  Such towns as Vale, Oregon and Aloha, Oregon would fit a Hamlet description but are called towns.  

  There are 4 Israeli cities in Judea-Samaria with Ariel as capital.  There are 375,000 Israelis living there.  The cities are: Ariel, Betar Illit, Ma'ale Adumim and Modi'in Illit.  

1. Ariel was founded in 1978 and is in area C.  So its now 36 years old; more than a generation  of 25 years..  As of 2012 the census had 18,638 population. .  It's 26 miles east of Tel Aviv.  

2. Betar Illit  was founded in 1985  So it's now 29 years old,   and is 6.2 miles south of Jerusalem in Judea.  It's mayor is Meier Rubenstein.  As of the 2013 census had 45,710 population. 

3. Ma'ale Adumim was founded on September 21, 1975  as a Nahal outpost.  It gained city status in 1991.  So is 39 years old, over a generation.  It is 4.3 miles from Jerusalem.  As of the 2012 census, the population was 39,200.  It's mayor is Benny Kashriel.  

4.Modi'in Illit was founded in 1994 and as of 2012 had a population of 59,332.  First called Kiryat Sefer, it is an ultra orthodox community that lies between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.  It is 2.3 miles from the Green Line and is north of Modi'in.  It's the largest of the 4 cities. 

"The green line is commonly referred to as the "pre-1967 borders", the "1967 borders" or the "1967 lines" by the American president Obama, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu and by the United Nations in informal texts and in the text of UN GA Resolutions." Areas A,B,and C denote who can live there.  C is for Jews.  Obama wants Israel to return to pre-1967 borders. That would be going back to 1948.  After all the aggressive wars that Israel had to defend itself from,  this is unacceptable and unrealistic.   While it is known that the USA has been arming and instructing people of the very nations who had attacked them, it's more important than ever to have secure borders.  

As of 2012:
1. Jerusalem:  780,517 population created by King David 1010 BCE-970 BCE  lost in 70 CE after 1070 years of being in Jewish hands as capital of Israel and then capital of Judah.  Unified capital of Israel-adding another 66 years, making 1,136 years of being a Jewish capital.  

2. Tel Aviv:     404,037 population, founded in 1909, 105 years old
3. Haifa           266,975 population, founded in 1st century CE.  2014 years old.  Modern Haifa began in 2nd half of 19th century (1850 CE) with returning Jewish  immigration working with Jewish population.  

The size that describes a city versus other titles is relative.  
1. Mexico City as of 2010 had 8.851 million people.  Now 9 million
2. New York City as of 2012 had 8.377 million people.  
Israel is a very very small state.  It has 8.7 million people.  The state is as populated as the world's well known cities.  It must be understood that it's towns and cities are scaled down to size.  
3. Portland, Oregon, USA founded on February 8, 1851 is 163 years old-population 609,456 (2013).  

A settlement by its very definition is a newly founded group of a few homes.  
It seems as if the world community would still like to refer to Tel Aviv as a new settlement out of their own prejudice.  Lets all drop the term and use the words that other groups of people use.  Settlements went by the wayside in the Wild West of North America.  Leave it there.  Remember that Jews were kept from entering Palestine from 1939 till 1945 by the British and their White Paper, who encouraged Arabs to enter during that period.  Britain was going against the mandate they were given.  

References: Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary'ale_Adumim

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