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August 22, 2017's Unfortunate Choice of Usage


The popular online dictionary,, has become a valuable online resource since its inception more than 20 years ago -- which makes it all the more regrettable that the single example of "contemporary usage" for the word "venerate" is taken from a 4-year-old, politically biased opinion piece. The offending sentence is:

How else to explain what just happened: An Israeli government decided to venerate land over justice, and over life itself.

Without the context that this is simply one person's negative and controversial anti-Israeli government viewpoint, readers see only a defamatory statement that may be construed as a statement of fact, representing common contemporary usage. It is hardly the sort of neutral example one might expect from an academic resource like a dictionary, and leaves one to wonder whether this was just an unfortunate oversight or whether the editor responsible for the choice harbors some anti-Israel bias him or herself.

CAMERA has contacted the dictionary to suggest that the offensive example be replaced with a more neutral one.

Readers can fill out a form here about the problematic content at

Posted by RH at August 22, 2017 02:25 PM


Here's what I wrote the Dictionary:

I thought I was beyond shock, reading media propaganda distorting history re: Israel vs. the (alleged) Palestinians.
But your entry for "venerate" is so wildly off the mark, and so culturally inaccurate, that you dishonor your reputation by using it. For shame!

Outraged members call upon you to replace this blatantly propagandistic entry with a fair example, or examples, of this word's rich heritage.

You might note, BTW, that it is the ARABS who worship death (suicide bombers) and the JEWS who value life most highly. Try reading some of the original Hebrew Bible to establish the truth.

Posted by: Sara Meric at August 24, 2017 12:40 PM

Outrageous. I sent the following message to

Editor: Why on earth do you have a totally anti-Israel sentence as your one example to define the word "venerate"? There are many neutral sentences you could use instead, such as "In many cultures, people venerate their elders and ancestors." I urge you to change this highly politicized anti-Israel sentence to a normal one.

Posted by: Sara Miller at August 24, 2017 10:19 PM

Under the British Mandate the territory was 70% Crown or "waste" The Arabs held 24% in private property and the Jews 6% as private freehold - all... "bought in coin current with the merchant."
Further Beer Sheba Sub -District boundaries - about 50% of the total country - were carefully drawn to exclude cultivated land in Gaza and Hebron (sub) Districts.
By 1947inc at least 90 000 Arabs in Palestine were officially registered immigrants and count in their children and the whole nonsense of dispossessed natives evaporates.

Posted by: Frank Adam at August 25, 2017 06:01 AM

I used your link to complain to about their use of a DailyBeast (Extremist Left Wing site) inciting quote to describe the word venerate. Thank you for providing the link.

Posted by: Ross at August 28, 2017 11:45 AM

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