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How I Learned to Speak Israel: An American's Guide to a Foreign Policy Language

How I Learned to Speak Israel: An American's Guide to a Foreign Policy Language

by Alex McDonald
How I Learned to Speak Israel: An American's Guide to a Foreign Policy Language

How I Learned to Speak Israel: An American's Guide to a Foreign Policy Language

by Alex McDonald


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How I Learned to Speak Israel is a guide for Americans wanting to better understand the Israel/Palestine situation. It is the author's story of how he thought he knew about the situation and history only to learn that a lot of mythology was mixed in. This book provides tools and approaches for discerning what is fact from fiction. How I Learned to Speak Israel emphasizes the importance of the language used to create the understandings we have of the situation and how the language used by the media and politicians affects domestic US policy and our rights as Americans.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781954221048
Publisher: Great Tree Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 05/26/2021
Pages: 426
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Alex McDonald is a Quaker committed to the values of freedom and equality. He is a co-founder of the Texas Coalition for Human Rights, has been a presenter to the Texas Council for Social Studies, was part of an interfaith delegation to Palestine and Israel, and was on the crew of one of the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla boats that brought international attention to the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Table of Contents


The Israeli Narrative

The American Narrative

1 Israel Is Also a Language

How to Use This Book

Bias and Balance on Israel/Palestine

2 The "Security Fence"/Barrier/Wall

The Barrier and Arab Israeli Citizens

3 Home Demolitions

4 It's Not Just about Israel; It's about Us

I The United States-Israel Relationship

II The American Jewish-Israel Relationship

III Israel: The Terrorism Excuse

IV Israeli Policies: Dividing Israel Supporters from Other Americans

5 Zionism and the "Jewish State"

The Balfour Declaration

The Mandate of Palestine

The United Nations Partition Plan

6 Israel's "War of Independence" and "Defensive Wars"

"Stages 1 and 2"

"Stages 3 Plus"

Israel's Primary Opponent

The "Defensive" "War of Independence"

When Did the War of Independence Start?

US Language in the War

"Population Transfer"

The Palestinian Refugee Problem

Jewish Expulsions from Arab Countries

"Defensive Wars"

"Defensive" Summary

The United States Is Not Defensive

7 Stepping Back: Why Is Israel Different?

What about Palestinian Crimes?

8 "The Only Democracy in the Middle East"

Democracy versus Republic

Democracy: Available in Many Shades of Gray

Democracy and Citizenship

Does Israel Want to Be a Democracy?

9 "The Palestinian Authority"

10 "People" in Israel

"There Is No Such Thing as a Palestinian People"

God's "Chosen People"

11 Gaza and "Gaza Wars"

Gaza Occupation versus "Disengagement"

Gilad Shalit

Palestinian Segregation

The Gaza Blockade

Egypt and Its Border with Gaza

"Gaza Wars": Operations Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, and Protective Edge

12 Terrorism

What Is Terrorism?

Relative Terrorism

Normalizing Terrorism

"Settlements" and "Settlers"


Terrorism in the News

13 Hamas: A Terrorist Organization

The First Intifada

The Hamas Organization

Hamas as a Terrorist Organization

The Hamas Charter

Hamas and Relative Terrorism

14 Christians and the Holy Land

"Christian" Zionism

Palestinian Christians' Struggle

15 "America's Greatest Ally"

Israel in the US Government

Israelspeak from the US Government to Americans

16 A Call to Action

A Palestinian Narrative

The Ball Is in Our Court


Appendix: "The Promised Land"


Israel-English Dictionary


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