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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘language’

Rumor: AIPAC Meddling in GOP Platform to Tone-Down Pro-Israel Language

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Alan Clemmons, a member of the GOP Platform committee, who on Monday wrote on his Facebook page that he was “honored to propose a strong Israel Plank of the GOP Platform” (See Lori Lowenthal Marcus’s report in today’s Jewish Press), also mentioned that “unfortunately, the saga is not over. The rumor is that AIPAC is trying to recruit surrogates on the Committee to oppose and weaken our strong Israel Plank language tomorrow when it comes before the full committee for approval.”

Last week, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that “AIPAC pursued a quiet campaign to weaken pro-Israel language in the Republican Party’s 2012 platform.” According to the WFB, “AIPAC-backed changes to the 2012 platform included the removal of support for an ‘undivided’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the removal of language calling for the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” ostensibly to insure a balance on Israel between the Democratic and the Republican platforms.

AIPAC’s success in weakening the 2012 pro-Israel language left some Republicans angry, according to sources who told the Free Beacon that the fight over the platform’s Israel language is likely to renew next week in Cleveland.

AIPAC denied working to cool down the pro-Israel language in the 2012 GOP platform.

But Jeff Dunetz, writing for The Lid, reported Monday that he “was able to contact another person involved with the committee who [confirmed] that they too heard that AIPAC is working on a full court press to roll back the 2016 GOP language.”

Jeff Ballabon, chairman of Iron Dome Alliance, who told the Jewish Press‘ Lori Lowenthal Marcus on Monday evening that AIPAC “is amongst the most firmly pro-Two States,” and that “Republican pro-Israel legislators have grown increasingly less enthusiastic about AIPAC,” also told Jeff Dunetz that he is “personally familiar with a number of instances where AIPAC lobbied against Israel’s clear interests and stated policies in pursuit of their own agenda.”

Clemmons, who posted a link to the Dunetz story on his Facebook page, called on his fellow registered Republican Jews: “If you know any Platform Delegates please send them a note to STAND STRONG FOR ISRAEL!!!”

At this point, these are only rumors based on last week’s story about AIPAC and the 2012 GOP platform language. It should be said that, even if AIPAC denies the new rumor, which they probably will, their involvement in preventing a war between the GOP and DNC over who is more pro-Israel is understandable. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have attempted to make Israel the battlefield where the two sides in this election would fight each other, and no one in their right mind would want this — especially not a political PAC investing in ongoing, day in and day out pro-Israel lobbying.

David Israel

In Hebrew: ‘Intelligence Agency’

Friday, May 31st, 2013

סוֹכְנוּת בִּיּוּן Yesterday we saw some information about הַמּוֹסָדthe Mossad.

Today we’ll look at the general term for intelligence agencyסוֹכְנוּת בִּיּוּן.

The Hebrew word for agency is סוכנות, most recognizably in the Hebrew name of The Jewish Agencyהַסּוֹכְנוּת הַיְּהוּדִית, or simply הסוכנותThe Agency. A סוֹכֵן(male) or סוֹכֶנֶת(female) is an agent, so סוכנותmeans agency. This term comes from Biblical Hebrew.

The word for intelligence in the context of an intelligence agency is בִּיּוּן. This word comes from the Biblical root ב.ו.נ (b.w.n) or ב.י.נ (b.y.n), internalization.

You may recognize this root in the word for to understandלְהָבִין. But whereas in להבין, the root is plugged into the active-causative הִפְעִיל verb form, in ביון, the root is plugged into the active-intensive פִּעֵל form yielding the verb לְבַיֵּןand its noun form ביון.

So what do לבייןand ביון mean, specifically? In mathematics there is a concept called interpolation, which involves estimating the location of various data points within a range – a precise, sophisticated game of connect the dots. Which is exactly what an intelligence agency – a סוכנות ביון– does – it “connects the dots” in a real-life political, often international scenario to create a plan of action.

You may be familiar with the word מוֹדִיעִין, also referring to intelligence (as well as to a city situated between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem), as in חֵיל הַמּוֹדִיעִין– the IDF’s Intelligence Corps. In that phrase, intelligence refers to gathering information rather than interpoling, so מודיעין, of the root י.ד.ע meaning knowledge, is used.

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Ami Steinberger

In Hebrew: ‘Institution’

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

מוֹסָד

The Mossad – Israel’s premier intelligence agency – is famous for conducting some of the most daring and surprising undercover missions in the world.

The word Mossad in Hebrew – מוֹסָד– means institution or institute.

Referring to the intelligence agency, we say literally, The Institute – הַמּוֹסָד.

For example, educational institutions are מוֹסְדוֹת חִנּוּכִיִּם(though מוסד is a masculine noun, it takes on a feminine suffix when used in the plural).

מוסד comes from the root י.ס.ד (y.s.d) meaning foundation – an institution has been instituted or founded.

To institute is לְמַסֵּד, an active-intensive פִּעֵל verb.

For example:

בַּמֶּמֶשָׁלָה מִשְׁתַּדְּלִים לְמַסֵּד גִּיּוּס חוֹבָה לְכֻלָּם.

In the government (people are) trying to institute a mandatory draft for everyone.

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Ami Steinberger

In Hebrew: The Many Ways to Say ‘Of Course’

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

בֶּטַח, בָּרוּר, כַּמּוּבָן! In monday’s dose of Hebrew, we touched on the Hebrew word for securityבִּטָּחוֹן. The root of בטחון is ב.ט.ח meaning sureness and security.

To say, for sure! or of course! in Hebrew, you’d use one of several terms. Here are three of them:

בטח! A less formal way of expressing of course or for sure is to say !בֶּטַח. This word means, literally, securely! To strengthen the tone of agreement, some say !בֶּטַח שֶׁכֵּן– literally, of course that yes!

Take this short dialogue for example:

אַתָּה בָּא אִתָּנוּ לַסֶּרֶט? בֶּטַח שֶׁכֵּן! Are you (a male) coming with us to the movie? Of course I am!

ברור! Another informal way of saying of course uses the word for clearlyבָּרוּר.

כמובן! The more formal word for of course is כַּמּוּבָן. It means, literally, as that which is understood, with כַּmeaning as that which or as the, and מוּבָןmeaning understood. מובן is an adjective deriving from the passive-causative הֻפְעַל verb form, the opposite of the active-causative verb,לְהָבִיןto understand.

Take another short dialogue for example:

הַאִם הֵם מֻזְמָנִים לַמְּסִבָּה?
כַּמּוּבָן!
Are they invited to the party?
Of course!
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Ami Steinberger

In Hebrew: ‘To Carry’

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

לָשֵׂאת One Torah portion recently read on Shabbat by Jews around the world is called נָשֹא (nah-SOH), which, literally, means lift up or carry (in the Biblical context, it meanstake a census or lift up the heads of children of Gershon, so that they can be counted).

The infinitive form of that word is לָשֵׂאת (lah-SET). In Modern Hebrew, לשאת means to carry. However, unlike the word carry in English, a very common word, לשאת is most often used to refer to carrying in a non-literal sense.

For example:

הִיא נוֹשֵׂאת אֶת הַתִּינוֹק. She is carrying the baby. (hee noh-SET et hah-tee-NOHK).

הֵם נוֹשְׂאִים בְּאַחְרָיוּת הָאֵרוּעַ. They are taking responsibility (literally, carrying the responsibility) for the event. The more common, literal word in Hebrew for to carry is לִסְחוֹב (lees-KHOHV), meaning literally, to drag or to carry with difficulty… or just to schlep.
For example:

הוּא סוֹחֵב הַרְבֵּה דְּבָרִים בַּיָדָיו.
He is carrying lots of things in his hands.
(hoo soh-KHEV hahr-BEH deh-vah-REEM beh-yah-DAHV).
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Ami Steinberger

In Hebrew: ‘Security Check’

Monday, May 27th, 2013

בִּדּוּק בִּטְחוֹנִי I’ve had guests visiting from Europe the last few days. For both of them it’s the first time in Israel, and therefore the first time encountering the psychologically-astute Israeli security team at the airport.

A security check is a בִּדּוּק בִּטְחוֹנִי.

Let’s break that down.

בידוק The verb for to check is לִבְדּוֹקof the active-simple פָּעַל form and the root ב.ד.ק (b.d.k). And a check or a checkup is a בְּדִיקָה.

But since a security check is a more involved process than a simple checkup, we invoke the noun form of an intensive verb, yielding the word בידוק.

בטחוני בטחוניcomes from the word בִּטָּחוֹןsecurity. בטחוני is an adjective, so we add a י (y) to the end of the word בטחון.

Putting these two pieces together, we get a security checkבידוק בטחוני.

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Ami Steinberger

In Hebrew: ‘To Complain’

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

לְהִתְלוֹנֵן, לְקַטֵּר

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Ami Steinberger

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ktzat-ivrit/in-hebrew-to-complain/2013/05/23/

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