Words are a very powerful thing, especially in politics. The choice of sympathetic versus tough language alone can make the difference in how a political situation is perceived, especially in a situation as contentious as that in Palestine. Our very own contributing RP, Artur Davis, wrote an op-ed on the power of words for the Montgomery Advertiser:
Words matter in politics to the point that they often have equal weight with ideas.
That is why Republicans religiously describe the 2010 health care reform as “Obamacare.” It is why much of the Latino community cringes at the term “illegal aliens” and why Newt Gingrich almost self-immolated his campaign when he described a Republican Medicare proposal as “right-wing social engineering.”
It should be no surprise then, that President Obama’s recent endorsement of an Israeli-Palestinian border drawn along the “1967 lines” has proved so contentious. It is possible to blunt the literal value of the words with diplomatic minutiae: the White House was swift to italicize the portion of Obama’s speech that referred to additional “swaps” of land on both sides of the 1967 lines as necessary additional elements of a permanent accord.