Sunday, November 20, 2005

Do you speak Peretzenglish?

Israel’s newly elected
Labor Party Chairman, Amir Peretz, delivered his first speech in English. Recipients were donors of the Rabin Center.
Peretz fumbled his way through the speech, unable to pronounce several words.
In the end, he skipped complicated sentences.

For his lack of English, Peretz has been harshly attacked in the media.
In itself, this is grossly unfair.
Union leader (yes, only in Israel can you be the leader of one of the biggest political parties and potentially prime minister and still serve as the powerful chairman of the Union) worked his way up from a poor immigrant background to the powerhouse he is today.
I definitely do not agree with his views (I strongly believe that he will be disastrous as a PM), but I give him a lot of credit for that.

“How can a guy like that talk to the President of the USA?” his critics asked.
Well, easily, I would think.

Let's face it -
George W. Bush makes a habit of slaughtering his native tongue.
They even coined a phrase for his many gaffes: Bushlexia.

A loyal Bush Watcher coined this phrase describing it as “a combination of dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, apraxia, illiteracy, ignorance, laziness, passive-aggressiveness, inappropriate humor, and an arrogant attitude of privilege.”
So I don’t see why Amir and Georgie cannot communicate in simple basic English sentences.

So what if Amir misuses a word or doesn’t know how to pronounce it?
Just look at the following quote of the current Prez:
"Israel has got responsibilities," Mr. Bush said.
"Israel must deal with the settlements.
Israel must make sure there's a continuous territory that Palestinians call home."
(The White House, which late in the day produced a transcript of Mr. Bush's remarks, put the word "contiguous" in parentheses after "continuous," to indicate that "contiguous" was what Mr. Bush had meant.) --
New York Times, 06.04.03

This is not the only "
misquote" of GWB - what to think of the following?
"Too many good docs are getting out of the business.
Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

You see my point? Let’s first wait for a US president with proper language skills before we criticize non-Anglo politicians….
And at least Peretz is fluent in two languages (Hebrew and Moroccan Arabic), in contrast to the
43rd President of the USA who personifies the old joke: “what do you call someone who only speaks one language? American!”

No comments: