Don't Call Them "Settlements"

Michael Medved

3/17/2011 3:52:24 PM - Michael Medved

Media outlets in the United States habitually distort a key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by using the term “settlements” to identify Jewish communities on the West Bank.

Actually, most of the so-called “settlers” live in well-established, middle-class suburban communities just minutes from Jerusalem. Maale Adumim, for instance, is a well-established bedroom community of Jerusalem, founded more than 36 years ago and now with 35,000 middle class inhabitants.

Families in Maale Adumim have seen children and grandchildren raised in the town. Insistence on identifying even life-long residents as “settlers” conveys the mistaken idea of hostile colonists in lonely, tentative outposts. A recent New York Times headline described victims of a Palestinian terror raid as “5 West Bank Settlers”—though three of those so-called settlers were tiny children as young as three months, hardly aggressive intruders.