Gaza and the Definition of “Terror”

A brief morning thought: when the Mumbai attacks commenced last month British news networks linked the atrocities to Islamists and terror within seconds.

Without a doubt, bombings and incidents involving the mass slaughter of innocent civilians can be classified as “terrorism”.

In the past 24 hours more than 225 – and rising – men, women, and children have been killed in Gaza.


Watching Italian news – for British news networks show only broken houses and ambulances – the carnage, human devastation, and screams of family members evoke the zenith of terror.

Type “terror attack” into Google news, however, and Gaza does not appear.

While the word “terror” is bounded about wantonly, there is no sharp definition of what constitutes an act of terror, aside from that it is a violent incident “not believed to be state-sponsored”.

The events we are witnessing in Gaza require the definition of terror to be expanded to comprise state-sponsored terrorism – “defence” just does not cut it.

For those who are pro-Israeli, the argument follows the need to defend Israel from attacks: after all, “an eye for an eye” is practically the maxim of Israeli defence policy.

It is, nevertheless, the opposing view – espoused by Gandhi – that rings truest: an eye for eye makes the whole world blind.

But then, the blindness of the world would doubtless suit Israel very well at this point.

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This entry was posted on December 28, 2008 by in Conflict Zones, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Politics and tagged , , , , , , .
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