The one word Israel is desperate you not define – terrorism

Oct 14, 2023
Bricked wall with stop terrorism sign.

Terrorism:(adjective) unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims.” Has any term more fully captured what the state of Israel inflicts on Palestinians?

The descriptive of ‘terrorist’ is bandied about regularly and without consideration of the ramifications on the individual, group or country. The average reader of any news outlet doesn’t have time to investigate what this term means and to whom it should apply. They absorb and accept front-page news. And who can blame them?

The dictionary definition of terrorism is, (adjective) unlawfully using violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political aims. But it’s hard to unhear the cowboy, George W. Bush, using terrorist to describe Arabs – no matter how many times he added that it wasn’t personal against Muslims. The President doth protest too much, me thinks. Who is in authority to deem anyone a terrorist as opposed to a freedom fighter?

9/11 gave free range for any Western politician to use the descriptive of terrorist to plaster over the 380+ million Middle Eastern inhabitants without care for what it meant for the lives of peaceful, moderate Muslims the world over. I have been told, “Arabs! They’re all a bunch of hot heads”. This was from someone who has never stepped foot in the Middle East, so what hope has the average Australian got of dicerning who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter? The word terrorist is subjective, at least and pejorative at worst.

Different regions of the world laud freedom fighters from Nelson Mandela to WWII soldiers to Australians in Gallipoli and Che Guevara. Why are Palestinians any different to fight for freedom from their prison in Gaza? Why is Islam generalised as a religion of terror yet Judaism is viewed as noble and upright? And don’t bother with the tedious threadbare accusation of this being anti-Semitic. It’s anti-injustice.

With the current tragedy in Palestine-Israel we are again bombarded with the word terrorism to describe a prison break. The people of Gaza have been imprisoned without trial, without representation and without a definitive sentence. They are under the terrorising control of Israel’s brutal military occupation while the world turns away in ignorance which allows apartheid Israel to carry on terrorising, killing, intimidating and oppressing men, women and children for generations to come.

In all my years living in different Western countries, I realised that one form of racism is perfectly acceptable, and that is racism against Arabs. The word ‘terrorist’ often followed in a sentence. Naming anyone a terrorist gives carte blanche to deal with them in any way a State sees fit. The wanton destruction by the U.S. of Iraq and Afghanistan and the continued U.S. support of Jews over Muslims (Judaism over Islam) is evidence that racism and terrorism is alive and well; and ironically perpetrated by those who know only too well what terrorism and racism feels like – the Jews.

It is important for Israel to keep blurring the lines between motivation and action. They want the world to believe the Palestinians are motivated by terrorism while Israel humbly needs to resort to regrettable military action. It helps their cause to come out looking like the victim because the truth of Occupation is so ghastly. Israel does not want the world to look too closely as to why the Palestinians are freedom fighters, rather they want the media to keep playing reels of Israelis being killed for no good reason. There’s an obsessional focus from the West to demand from Palestinian leaders the condemnation of violence perpetrated against Israelis. Do news anchors demand from Jewish/Israeli leaders a denouncement of violence against the Palestinians. Jamais!

A terrorist frightens people in many different ways. Israel has been terrifying Palestinians for over seven decades. If we are going to view the footage (on loop) of beautiful young Israeli women being taken hostage or killed, why aren’t we seeing (on loop) the regular murder of beautiful young Palestinians at the hands of the IDF, or the ripping of a child from a mother’s arms and then thrown in jail indefinitely. Why aren’t we seeing (on loop) the terrorising of Palestinians as they watch Israeli tanks and bulldozers demolish their entire village in collective punishment? Why aren’t we seeing Israeli settlements getting built in Palestinian territory – illegal under international law. Why aren’t we seeing (on loop) three dead children as their parents stare at the headless bodies of their babies because an Israeli bomb was dropped on their house in Gaza? If that is not terror, I don’t know what is. I don’t condone violence at any time, one any side, but we do need to see the full picture of how this horror in both Palestine and Israel came about.

To label Arabs as terrorists is to conveniently dehumanise and demonise them and it has a surreptitious effect on the average person who doesn’t have time to distinguish if their government or media is exaggerating or lying. The demonising is usually aimed at Muslims…and…well… no one else really, regardless of what governments get up to in Jewish, Hindu or Christian countries. All religions have terrorised others at some point, but Muslims have been burdened with this epitaph for the last hundred years since Britain gave away Palestine to the Jews.

Why is Israel not a terrorist state or Netanyahu or Ben-Gvir labelled as terrorists? They’re not fighting for their freedom since 1948, they are fighting for more land and less Palestinians. Apparently no political ruminations as to the rights and wrongs of “bombing the shit out of Gaza” are needed. It seems perfectly acceptable and needs no discussion, no thought and no moral or ethical conundrum. It’s not labelled as terrorism what Israel is inflicting on those poor civilians, it’s Israeli justice, don’t you know. Israel chooses not to define the way they treat the Palestinians as Occupation, terrorism and apartheid and prefers ‘the right to defend themselves’ with ‘security operations’. As the Irish MP, Richard Boyd, said to the sheepish Israeli Ambassador at the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, “are you taking us for idiots?”

It is so horribly tragic as we watch our world fall into an abyss of hatred, racism and terror due to a few people at the top making decisions that don’t affect them. It’s those on the ground who bleed. Let Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir don IDF kit and march into Gaza instead of getting young, brainwashed Israelis to do their dirty work. As tried and true terrorists they should be more than capable of venting their loathsome hatred onto strangers. They are not opposed to bombing Palestinian hospitals and schools, so a stroll through Gaza with a machine gun aimed at civilians should be a walk in the park for such heinous men.

To young Israelis – if you want this cycle of violence to end and if you want to live in peace without terrorism, then vote out your far-right, murderous and hate filled leaders. Your religion is suffocating your humanity and the terror your leaders inflict not only on the Palestinians but on you, needs to end. There’s enough land to share, water and future prospects if only you would redefine the word terrorist and look to your leaders for answers as to why they haven’t been able to find it in their hearts to share their brief time on this planet with the Palestinians. Terrorism grows like bacteria when it is fed by hatred and oppression. Learn to love a little more and you may get peace instead of the hell that Netanyahu and his ilk are leading you into.


For more on this topic, P&I recommends:

“Terrorism:” the Indefinable Word

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