Hey, who said Israel had the only intelligence services capable of launching psyops against its enemies? Apparently, Palestine does as well. I’ve learned from an Israeli source that the PA recruited a Palestinian working for the Jerusalem light rail system to program a bit of psychological warfare into the system’s signage. When a train approaches, a flashing sign says in English: “Approaching.”
Not in Arabic. In that language, the electronic sign flashes: “Returning” and uses the Arabic word awda which refers obliquely to the Right of “Return.” Further, if you combine the Hebrew word mitkarevet (“approaching”) the sign appears to promise: “[Right of] Return is approaching.” For a full year now, my informant tells me, the Right of Return has been flashing across Jerusalem – east and west. Israelis Jews, even those who are Arabic-speakers, didn’t notice it at all. Palestinians see it and smile at this small, secret victory.
Hey, it may not solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or stop Israel from building a settlement, but we have to settle for small victories.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.