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After London Terror Attack, Defining Terrorism In Israel
Israel News Agency ^ | July 8, 2005 | Joel Leyden

Posted on 07/08/2005 2:35:18 AM PDT by IsraelBeach

After London Terror Bombing Attack, Defining Terrorism In Israel

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem----July 8......The people of London suffered their worst terror attack yesterday since being bombed by the Nazis in World War Two. At least six powerful explosions ripped through buses and subway cars murdering over 50 innocent civilians.

The Islamic terror group al Qaeda, responsible for destroying 4 US passenger aircraft, crumbling New York's World Trade Center and attacking Washington's Pentagon on September 11, 2001, has claimed responsibility. Over 2,000 innocent civilians were murdered in those attacks.

The Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair, has described yesterday's atrocities as terrorism. Mr. Blair said the attacks were barbaric and said that the people of Britain were more determined to defend the values they hold dear than the terrorists were to destroy them.

Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev Rt. Hon Richard Chartres said that "This is a grave day for London. We have never known such terrorism."

Terrorism expert Professor Paul Wilkinson, of St Andrews University, says it is clear "a major terrorist attack" has taken place with "all the trademarks of the Al Qaida".

Asked if this was the terrorist attack on London Scotland Yard had long feared, Sir Ian Blair said: "It may be, it probably is and we are very concerned about it.

G8 leaders, in a joint statement, condemn the "barbaric terrorist attacks" on London.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone who called Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a "war criminal" for defending Israel against terrorist attacks, said that London was the target of a "cowardly terrorist attack".

Shadow Home Secretary David Advice said the British people would not be "cowed" by terrorists.

The Queen of England says she was deeply shocked by the terrorist attacks and sent her sympathy to those affected.

The president of the European Parliament said that London had suffered a coordinated series of attacks and blamed terrorism for the blasts on public transport, which he said caused many deaths. Every newspaper headline in England this morning cries out "terrorism", but yet Reuters and the BBC still use the terminology "militants", "gunmen", and "freedom fighters!"

Rudi Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who led his city through the 9/11 terror attack, was in London yesterday and near Liverpool Street Station when the explosions took place. "It was remarkable how the people of London responded to this terrorism, calmly, bravely. Our hearts go out to them, we feel a tremendous empathy with them," he said. "I think every New Yorker would probably join me in saying that we understand what you're going through."

Dominique de Villepin, the recently-appointed French prime minister, said that these odious acts of terrorism were a tragedy not just for Britain, but for all of Europe.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, invoked memories of Chechen terror attacks in Moscow. "Wherever such inhuman crimes occur - in London, in New York or in Moscow - we must unconditionally condemn them," he said.

Abdullah Gul, Turkey's foreign minister, urged greater international cooperation against terrorism, hinting at his country's struggles with Kurdish separatists. It would be a mistake "if we make a distinction between my terrorist and his terrorist", he said. Israel developed a similar theme - comparing the attacks with its struggle against Palestinian militants who have used suicide bombings. Silvan Shalom, the Israeli foreign minister, said: "This attack shows us once again that terrorism is not Israel's problem only."

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's ambassador in London, said his country is facing the same enemy. "We have also suffered at the hands of terrorists and we stand by the UK in every effort to bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice," he said. "Saudi Arabia has always, and continues, to condemn all terrorism wherever it may be and whatever its cause."

In his first major political interjection, Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement from the Vatican condemning the terror blasts in London as barbaric acts against humanity.

Every newspaper headline in England this morning cries out "terrorism", but yet Reuters and the BBC still use the terminology "militants", "gunmen", and "freedom fighters!"

What are we missing? What is Reuters and the BBC missing?

"The statement 'One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,' has become not only a cliche', but also one of the most difficult obstacles in coping with terrorism," says by Boaz Ganor, Director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel.

"The matter of definition and conceptualization is usually a purely theoretical issue—a mechanism for scholars to work out the appropriate set of parameters for the research they intend to undertake. However, when dealing with terrorism and guerrilla warfare, implications of defining our terms tend to transcend the boundaries of theoretical discussions. In the struggle against terrorism, the problem of definition is a crucial element in the attempt to coordinate international collaboration, based on the currently accepted rules of traditional warfare."

Ganor continues: "The struggle to define terrorism is sometimes as hard as the struggle against terrorism itself. The present view, claiming it is unnecessary and well-nigh impossible to agree on an objective definition of terrorism, has long established itself as the “politically correct” one.

Exactly what is terrorism? Can one man be both hero and terrorist?

Consider Ireland's Michael Collins. In the fall of 1920, Collins' band of "Twelve Apostles" assassinated 14 British officers in an effort to win independence. Many say Collins was a patriot. But was he a terrorist? Telling the difference between violent struggle for freedom and terrorist activity can be difficult. But the Bush Doctrine - the "with us or with the terrorists" foreign policy that followed Sept. 11 - requires that it be done. So what is terrorism? Some people define terrorism the way a US Supreme Court Justice defined obscenity: "I know it when I see it." But when we break it down into its components - its tactics and aims - the grays of moral relativism are clarified into sharper hues.

What is terrorism? Consensus has been elusive. But now that the United States, England, Spain, Turkey, France, Denmark, Norway, Israel, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia are officially at war with terrorism, definition is crucial. The term has been applied promiscuously to all forms of violence. But to get beyond propaganda, terrorism must be defined according to the quality of the act itself, not the identity of the perpetrators or the nature of their cause. An act is not terrorism simply because one opposes the cause, or because someone labeled "terrorist" carries it out. Nor is an act not terrorism because a cause is deemed noble. Ends do not justify means.

Terrorists or "militants"? According to Reuters and the BBC, this was not terrorism. Photo: Reuters

That said, what are the qualities of terrorism? All terrorist acts involve violence or the threat of violence. A terrorist act ordinarily would be considered a crime – murder, kidnapping, arson. Most terrorist acts would also violate the rules of war. Ordinary criminals may terrify, but they are not terrorists. A single perpetrator pursuing his own cause may be a terrorist, but lone wolves often turn out to be lonely crackpots. The Unabomber was not a terrorist. Wars may involve acts of terror, but every act of extreme violence is not terrorism.

The Nazi's "final solution," the London Blitz, the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki fall in the categories of genocide, war crimes, or simply elements of brutal, total war, but are not necessarily terrorism. Hitler wanted to physically eliminate all Jews, not terrorize them. Aerial bombardment, until recently, was imprecise. Do collateral casualties constitute terrorism if not the product of deliberate strategy? Probably not. But to say that an act fits better in the category of war crimes than terrorism does not lessen our need to condemn it. What sets terrorism apart from other violence is this: terrorism consists of acts carried out in a dramatic way to attract publicity and create an atmosphere of alarm that goes far beyond the actual victims. Indeed, the identity of the victims is often secondary or irrelevant to the terrorists who aim their violence at the people watching. This distinction between actual victims and a target audience is the hallmark of terrorism and separates it from other modes of armed conflict. Terrorism is theater.

World leaders may struggle to define terrorism, but at least by identifying and outlawing specific tactics and targets, countries can cooperate to limit the tools terrorists use. For example, international agreements already address airline hijacking, sabotage, and other crimes aboard airliners, attacks at airports, and at sea. Not surprisingly, the world's diplomats have agreed that diplomats and diplomatic facilities ought not to be targets. Another agreement outlaws hostage-taking; other agreements deal with nuclear material, plastic explosives, terrorist bombings, and the financing of terrorism. Together, these comprise a piecemeal approach to outlawing terrorism. Inevitably, the new war on terrorism will provoke further debate on the definition.

Some governments may conveniently relabel their foes to obtain US support, while others will justify crackdowns in the name of the war on terrorism. American ideals may inform the US approach to defining terrorism. But so does American security. For pragmatic reasons, the US may assist in some conflicts; in others, it may go along with dubious assertions to obtain cooperation needed elsewhere. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but wars are not won with dictionaries.

Israel has been on the front line of Islamic terrorism for countless years. Civilians in Israel being blown up or shot merely because they were on the wrong bus, sitting at the wrong restaurant, entering the wrong shopping center or driving on the wrong road.

And Reuters and the BBC clearly define those who murder innocent civilians as militants or gunmen. No terrorism was involved.

What is the reason? As journalists we must remain professional by creating a balance, being objective. But is calling al Qaeda a "militant" organization being objective?

Perhaps for the few media out there who wish to establish contact with terrorist organizations. After all you can't hope to gain the respect of a terrorist organization if you actually call them terrorists.

But that is not the objective of Reuters or the BBC. It comes down to something much more simple. Both the management of Reuters and the BBC are cowards. And in their own fear they confuse us by providing shreds of credibility to al Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and every terror organization which murders innocent civilians to gain a political goal.

HonestReporting, a media watchdog organization for Israel, has repeatedly denounced media outlets' categorical refusal to call terrorists 'terrorists' in news reports. As Islamic terror continues to spread worldwide, with buses in London and Israel being blown to pieces, one major news outlet decided that enough is enough -- it's time to call terrorism by its name.

CanWest, owners of Canada's largest newspaper chain, recently implemented a new editorial policy to use the 'T-word' in reports on brutal terrorist acts and groups. So when CanWest's National Post published a Reuters report on Sept. 14, they exercised their right to change this Reuters line that whitewashes Palestinian terror: ... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which has been involved in a four-year-old revolt against Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank. (Jeffrey Heller, 9/13 'Sharon Faces Netanyahu Challenge') to this, more accurate line: ... the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terrorist group that has been involved in a four-year-old campaign of violence against Israel.

Reuters didn't like the adjustment, and took the unusual step of officially informing CanWest that if it intended to continue this practice, CanWest should remove Reuters' name from the byline. Why? The New York Times reported (emphasis added): "Our editorial policy is that we don't use emotive words when labeling someone," said David A. Schlesinger, Reuters' global managing editor. "Any paper can change copy and do whatever they want. But if a paper wants to change our copy that way, we would be more comfortable if they remove the byline." Mr. Schlesinger said he was concerned that changes like those made at CanWest could lead to "confusion" about what Reuters is reporting and possibly endanger its reporters in volatile areas or situations. "My goal is to protect our reporters and protect our editorial integrity," he said.

This is a stunning admission - Reuters' top international editor openly acknowledges that one of the main reasons his agency refuses to call terrorists 'terrorists' has nothing to do with editorial pursuit of objectivity, but rather is a response to intimidation from thugs and their supporters. In every other news arena, western journalists pride themselves on bravely 'telling it as is,' regardless of their subjects' (potentially hostile) reactions.

Try to find the words "terrorists" or "terrorism" in anything Reuters or the BBC touches. All you will find is the word "bombers". There was no terrorism in London yesterday!

So why do editors at Reuters, the BBC - and, presumably, other news outlets - bend over backwards to appease Islamic terrorists, using 'safe' language that deliberately minimizes their inhuman acts?

Scott Anderson, editor-in-chief of CanWest Publications, said that Reuters' policy 'undermine[s] journalistic principles,' and raised the key question: 'If you're couching language to protect people, are you telling the truth?' An editorial in the Ottawa Citizen, one of CanWest's newspapers, spells out the issue in black and white: Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlour are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such.

Ironically, it is supposedly neutral terms like 'militant' that betray a bias, insofar as they have a sanitizing effect. Activists for various political causes can be 'militant,' but they don't take children hostage. The CanWest/Reuters affair is remarkably similar to CNN's Iraqi cover-up from last year, when CNN's top news executive admitted that CNN's knowledge of murder, torture, and planned assassinations in Saddam's Iraq was suppressed in order to maintain CNN's Baghdad bureau.

HonestReporting asked back then: Now that this senior CNN executive has come clean, it leaves us wondering: In what other regions ruled by terrorist dictators do the media toe the party line so as to remain in good stead? We now have our answer in the Palestinian region. Reuters admits to regulating their language to appease the terrorists -- and that's an open admission of pro-Palestinian bias.

Now Reuters appears to be appeaseing those terrorists who attacked innocent civilians in London. If you appease a terrorist, then you actually assist the terrorist. You encourage them to perform more acts of barbarism against every innocent civilian who rides a bus, drinks coffee in a restaurant, takes an aircraft or a train for business or holiday. To attack innocent civilians in their shopping centers and in their homes.

By appeasing terrorists, you give them a green light to strike all of our children - from the schools of Chechnya to the beaches of Tel Aviv.

The threat posed by Islamist fanaticism is to the very fabric that keeps the international system together. If it is up to the terrorists, incumbent, democratic governments will cease to rule, secular laws will cease to be obeyed, and trade and dialogue will grind to a halt. There is no way the international community can, or will, agree to any of this.

If we do not define this as terrorism, then we deserve more of the same. For if this is not terror, then it must be justified by some logical, rational reason or excuse.

The next time you see the word "militants", "bombers" or "gunmen" appear in Reuters copy or coming from a presenter at the BBC, copy it, tape it and ask your Congressman, Senator, MP or MK if this constitutes freedom of the press or incitement?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Israel; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New York; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; bbc; blair; bombings; buses; cia; civilians; defense; england; fatah; fbi; hamas; incitement; islamicjihad; israel; jihad; jihadists; joelleyden; london; media; mossad; publicrelations; reuters; sharon; terror; terrorism; trains; uk; war; waronterror; worldtradecenter; wot; wwiv

1 posted on 07/08/2005 2:35:20 AM PDT by IsraelBeach
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To: IsraelBeach

Terrorism is simply power struggle under any name or shape.

But since socialites, for political reasons, advocate empowerment and taking the neighbor's wealth via a party, they have to go hypocritical and PC and dally around about definitions.

Communists who employ useful idiots in paranoia and power struggle have the ability with muslim power hungries to blackmail socialite countries which are prudish puritan about it.

Gays have used the same tactics calling anyone who is a homophobe someone who is "gay under"...

I will agree that terrorism is theatrical as per the article, but more precisely because in a Santa Claus replace Jesus society, theatrics prime, paranoia primes, yet, paradoxicaly, we don't want to crash the party either, revealing the true identity of Muslim Santa Claus charlatans, pedophile swines under red and golden garments.

2 posted on 07/08/2005 2:58:46 AM PDT by JudgemAll (Condemn me, make me naked and kill me, or be silent for ever on my gun ownership and law enforcement)
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To: IsraelBeach
"The statement 'One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,' has become not only a cliche', but also one of the most difficult obstacles in coping with terrorism,"

I am a direct descendant of one of Americas terrorists, John Brown. He too was referred to as a "Freedom fighter" by some people. I once heard Lewis Farrakan refer to him as such. It made me ill to hear it. Anyone who murders innocents in the name of God or religion is a terrorist plain and simple. No matter their goal.

The abortion clinic bombers and those who would assassinate abortion doctors are no different. They too are terrorists.

The terrorists of the world have clearly stated why they are killing innocents. They do so in the name of their god. They are defining it as a "holy war". President Bush and leaders of the civilized world need to publicly recognize this and condemn it as such in no uncertain terms.

With the terms thusly defined it is time to attack the source and stop being so politically correct. Bomb their Mosques, assassinate their leaders, the ones who are teaching and preaching these murderous tactics.

3 posted on 07/08/2005 3:10:52 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: IsraelBeach

It's terrorism in the minds of politicos and the MSM when "nice", civilized, white, christian, European folk are attacked.

Whether it's Jews in Israel or Blacks in Rwanda, it's summed up as their "eye for an eye" thinking and their own fault. Nothing will fundamentally change as long as the powers that be have this mindset, and as long as the U.N. exists.

4 posted on 07/08/2005 4:16:11 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: IsraelBeach
If you appease a terrorist, then you actually assist the terrorist.

And so Tony Blair just a few minutes ago, (nervously) standing in front of the G8 leaders, announced 3 Billion dollars to be unconditionally given to the Palestinians, and much more to Africa.

That ought to cover the cost of many pounds of jihadist explosives.

5 posted on 07/08/2005 5:03:43 AM PDT by flamefront (Not to enforce the borders is to be complicit with those who would destroy the national identity.)
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To: Graybeard58
"With the terms thusly defined it is time to attack the source and stop being so politically correct.Bomb their Mosques, assassinate their leaders"

How would you define... irony? :)
6 posted on 07/08/2005 5:19:19 AM PDT by Neocon Shavuz
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To: Neocon Shavuz

It's called fighting fire with fire. We didn't start this war, they did.

7 posted on 07/08/2005 5:27:53 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.


8 posted on 07/08/2005 5:38:21 AM PDT by SJackson (On the second try, I got that jug off, but then I had a bear tied to a tree)
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To: Graybeard58
"They" - is the keyword. Who are "they"?

The process of separation of innocent from guilty and deciding the punishment for later called justice. What you are proposing is a terrorism by definition.

You can't have it both ways. If you agree that indiscriminate killings for political purpose is OK, that means not only "them" but you and your family. If you consider it terrorism, then stand up to your words.
9 posted on 07/08/2005 6:41:31 AM PDT by Neocon Shavuz
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To: IsraelBeach; Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...

Nailed It!
Moral Clarity BUMP !

    This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately on my page.

       Besides this one, I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Orson Scott Card, David Warren and Lee Harris (sometimes). You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

10 posted on 07/08/2005 7:13:55 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Neocon Shavuz
How would you define...

Ya know, all of this definition stuff is well and good, but right now, today, the only definition that I need for these cats who blow up pizza restaurants and buses and subways and stuff is this:
"Where they at?"

11 posted on 07/08/2005 8:21:23 AM PDT by absalom01 (NRA)
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To: IsraelBeach
"Saudi Arabia has always, and continues, to condemn all terrorism wherever it may be and whatever its cause."

They define "terrorism" as "attempts to undermine the authority of the Gang of Saud "royal" clan. Like Joe Stalin vowing to condemn "all fascism."

12 posted on 07/08/2005 8:30:52 AM PDT by Alouette (The only thing learned from history is that nobody ever learns from history.)
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To: Neocon Shavuz

My point is THEY are already doing it to us. Of course it's terrorism.

13 posted on 07/08/2005 8:54:19 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Neocon Shavuz

Our soldiers do not take refuge in churches. If we bomb mosques and innocents die, it's collateral damage.

Given the chance they will bomb churches and anything else they please. Their object is to kill innocents

14 posted on 07/08/2005 8:58:10 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Spec.4 Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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