It has long been my opinion that what we call things makes a difference in the way we see them. The Arab world has long understood this and has taken the liberty of establishing a vocabulary that has been adopted by US and western news media, and even many if not most American Jews. In my view we need to be careful of how we use this vocabulary.
West Bank: This is the name the King of Transjordan gave to Judea and Samaria when he conquered the territory in 1948. It has no historical meaning but the world continues to use it. The proper terms are Judea and Samaria referring to the biblical names of the territories.
Palestinians or Palestinian people: This term was first used to describe Jewish volunteers in the British army during WW I. It was co-opted by Yasir Arafat in 1964 and used to describe a fictitious lineage between the ancient Canaanites and the modern Arabs who live in the disputed territories. The proper terms is the Arabs of Judea and Samaria.
Occupied territory: This term is often used by the Arabs to describe Judea and Samaria. The proper term is disputed territory or more recently liberated territory. This territory was conquered by the Transjordanians and Egyptians in 1948 with the help of the Syrians, the Saudis and the Iraqis. It was made completely Judenrein, i.e. free of Jews during the period from 1949 -1967 and was liberated by the IDF in 1967. Any compromise over the ownership of the disputed territory must be by mutual agreement, not by Arab fiat.
Al Quds: Although this hasn’t caught on in America it is the Arab name for Jerusalem, which they also think they own.
Settlers: This generic term used to mean people willing to sink roots in virgin land. Now it is a pejorative for Jews who have built towns and villages on disputed land. The connotation is of grasping Jews who take what isn’t theirs.
Apartheid: The term used in South Africa to describe the forced separation of black and whites according to race. The Arabs of Israel including those of Judea and Samaria enjoy freedoms unheard anywhere in the Arab world and are not separated by race or religion. The separation barriers are to keep bombers out, not for any racial purpose. To be accused of racial segregation by people who will not permit Jews to live among them is pure hypocrisy. The penalty for an Arab to sell land to a Jew in Judea is death by order of the PA.
When Jews build communities in Judea or Samaria the Arabs claim that they own the land and it must be part of their state to come. Therefore any Jewish use of the land is to divide it, hence the apartheid reference. This also gave rise to the phrase “viable and contiguous” state. This implies that anything less that all of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district would be unviable. Contiguous is interesting since it implies a road from Gaza to Judea, cutting Israel in half.
By the way, complaints have been registered because the extension of Jewish activities east from Jerusalem makes travel from Samaria into Judea time consuming and inconvenient. To this I would ask, has anyone ever driven from Tiberias to Jerusalem in rush hour? The time it takes to avoid the disputed territory is enormous, so I have no patience for Arab complaints about traffic patterns in Judea and Samaria.
That’s my vocabulary. Feel free to add names or phrases I’ve forgotten, and try to get used to the terms that are respectful of Jewish interests in the region.