Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Jewish terrorism?

There have been a series of "price tag" attacks by Jewish militants against Muslim and Christian targets, consisting of spray painting of slogans with the term "price tag" in Hebrew and sometimes fires and/or property damage such as tire slashing.  The latest incident took place at the Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem, but most of the attacks occurred at night in Arab villages in the West Bank.  In an attempt to be even-handed Finance Minster and Yesh Atid Party Head Yair Lapid and Justice Minister and Hatnuah Party Head Tzipi Livni have suggested labelling these attacks as "Jewish terrorism."  However, this would be a serious error and would devalue the term "terrorism" itself, that we often criticize the media for not using correctly.
In these "price tag" attacks there has been no loss of life, not even any injury and no attempt to harm anyone.  Yes, property has been defaced, but the absence of any intention to harm people is so opposite to that of Islamic terrorism that specifically targets civilians in order to kill and maim and to cause "terror" that it is important not to conflate the two.  You could call these "price tag" attacks hooliganism or vandalism, but it is definitely NOT terrorism.  While the media usually uses words like "militant" to describe outright terrorists, when the terror is closer to home they bend the rule and for example described Adebolajo in the UK as a "terrorist" and the Tsarnaev brothers in the USA as "terrorists."  It depends on whose ox is being gored, when Arab terrorists kill Israeli citizens then they revert to "militant."
This is bad for both the credibility of the media and for the war on terrorism.  If you can't recognize what is really terrorism, the murder of civilians for political means, then you cannot fight it effectively.  If the same type of action elicits different descriptions and responses by the media then who can clearly see the similarity of the acts, the presence of an overall Islamist plan against all western targets.  Let's get real, Islamic terrorism is terrorism whether its carried out in Nigeria, the UK, USA, Kenya or Israel.  The acts of these Jewish "price tag" militants hardly compares.


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