Ohad Zwigenberg Associated Press An Israeli soldier taking position in Kfar Aza, Israel, Tuesday
On the battlefield, words are also contested. Even the terms “war” and “conflict” are rejected by some analysts, since the adversaries are not fighting on equal strength. The struggle, on both sides, is therefore transferred into language. Some ideas to better understand the lexical puzzle.
This is the acronym of the Arabic name Harakat al-Muqawama al- Islamiya, meaning “Islamic resistance movement.” This group comes from the radical fringe of the Muslim Brotherhood and has existed since 1987.
The movement is considered a terrorist organization by the international community, including Canada and the United States. Its objective is to destroy Israel and establish an Islamic state.
The organization has controlled the territory of Gaza since 2007 and is more active there than elsewhere in Palestine, from where rockets are regularly fired towards Israel. It has two branches: one political; the other army, often called the al-Qassam brigades.
The Gaza Strip is a territory of 365 km2, smaller than the island of Montreal, where more than 2 million people live. This Palestinian enclave has been subject to an Israeli blockade since the takeover by Hamas in 2007. Gazans therefore live with restrictions on the movement of people and goods, including humanitarian aid.
Israel has just imposed a complete siege of the enclave in response to Hamas attacks. The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, has already warned that the situation in Gaza, already “disastrous”, will “deteriorate exponentially”.
Palestine and Palestinian Territories
Some use the two terms as synonyms, but the former has today taken on a state connotation.
Palestine was first, through the centuries, a historical region of the Middle East, then a province of the Ottoman Empire, which then came under British mandate.
The United Nations only granted non-member state status to Palestine in 2012; it therefore has observer status with the UN. Canada voted against this historic resolution and still refuses to recognize Palestine as a state. Official Canadian documents do not use the term and indicate that the country supports the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state, implying that there currently is none.
The federal government insists that it is rather the Palestinian Authority that is the real governing entity on the ground, not Hamas, which controls Gaza.
This is the name of the Israel Defense Forces, but it is mainly used by the Israeli camp. Some media, including Le Monde, tell us that we must use it with caution, since it shows a certain affection and is loaded with “ideological meaning”.
Colonization most often refers to the construction of new Jewish settlements. “Settlements” for Israelis and “illegal settlements” for Palestinians have existed since 1967, when Israel annexed the territories of Palestine. Canada does not recognize the permanent control exercised by Israel over the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
While some colonies have been dismantled over time, others have been added. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has made their expansion a priority, a measure denounced by the international community. The UN envoy to the Middle East noted in September that “demolitions and seizures of structures belonging to Palestinians” continue and that this expansion is taking place “against a backdrop of violence, uninterrupted provocations, and retreat of financing aid to the Palestinian population.”
Villages where life takes place in a community, the kibbutz have long been a symbol of a certain community and socialist utopia. The Jewish Agency for Israel, a Zionist organization which organizes the immigration of Jews to the country, specifies in particular that “all income generated by a kibbutz and its members is paid into a common fund.”
Founded by the beginning of the 20th century, they had spread throughout the territory, but represented only a small percentage of the total population. Several kibbutzim located near the border of the Gaza Strip were the scene of massacres perpetrated by Hamas on Saturday.
This political movement advocates the formation of a Jewish national home in the Land of Israel, which corresponds to the region of Palestine. The ideas of this national movement are not shared by all Jewish people and have also evolved over time. Starting from a movement with a revolutionary social project, Zionism is sometimes called into question today, including by Jews in Israel and all over the world.