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Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Refuseniks- Bad Use of a Good Word- I had been seeing pieces on Israeli reservists not wanting to serve in Palestinian areas, thinking the current policy unjust, but my dander got raised this morning by an NPR piece that referred to them as "refuseniks." A quick Google shows that other articles have also used the term. For those with a quarter-century worth of memory, you might recall that refusenik came into the vocabulary in the 70s to describe Soviet Jews (and other oppressed minorities) refused exit visas to leave the country. Former refusenik Natan Sharansky is a leading center-right Israeli politician. That takes an honorable word and places it on some dubious politics. I'm ticked, and in a quick Google, I haven't seen anyone make this connection yet.

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