“Terrorism” defined

Tim Dunlop is a blogging friend and runs Road to Surfdom. A few days ago he took me to task for placing quotation marks around the word “terrorism”, when referring to Palestinian actions. My response follows:

Let me try and explain, briefly. Suicide bombing is terrorism, sure thing. But so are Israeli jet fighters dropping bombs on Gaza refugee camps. My point in placing terrorism in quotes was simply to suggest – and perhaps I should have explained this much better – the Israelis, Americans and indeed far too many “friends” of the US post 9/11 are classifying any behaviour they don’t like as terrorism. There is such a thing as legitimate resistance to an illegal occupation, and many Palestinians are doing just that on a daily basis.

Besides, as I’m currently reading Robert Fisk’s Pity the Nation, a fascinating insight into Lebanon at war since the 1970s, he explains the ways in which the Israelis use the word “terrorism” to describe any kind of Palestinian action they don’t like. I’d rather exercise caution.

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