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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"השלום," "HaShalom," "The Peace" Isn't True Peace

My ear is very sensitive to linguistic choices.  Regular readers will remember that one of my pet peeves is the use of the word "rackettot" for the deadly missiles the Arabs launch at Israel.  Qassam is a better word, sounding more like a violent punch in the gut, while from the sound of it  you can use rackettot to decorate a birthday cake.

Israeli TV has been promoting a program for which they ask something like:
"Are Israelis afraid of "השלום," "HaShalom," "The Peace?"  

To my mind and ear, when you add "the" to a word like "peace" you've changed its meaning to something new and very specific.

For instance if you go someplace on Wednesdays, you mean on a number of Wednesdays, but if you refer to "the Wednesday," it's a one time event on a very specific date, which happens to be a Wednesday.

So, when I hear of "השלום," "HaShalom," "The Peace," it's clear to me that we're not talking about actual peace.  Peace means:
1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.
5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

"The Peace" must mean something else.

By the way, this "peace" they're talking about refers to making an agreement with Syria. Now, considering all the violence in Syria right now, it's beyond dangerous for any Israeli to think that we can have any sort of  peace treaty with them.
The U.N. estimates that Syria's crackdown has killed more than 7,500 people so far. The killings add to the pressure on U.N. Security Council members who are meeting to decide what to do next to stop the violence. The international community's current effort – a peacemaking mission by Annan – is faltering, with both the Syrian government and the opposition refusing to talk to one another... (complete article)

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