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Terrorism in Mumbai
When will the media show some consistency in defining terror? Read the latest HonestReporting communique: Terrorism in Mumbai
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While this is a very important issue, one that influences public opinion against Israel, it would be better backed by a non-Israeli citation (i.e. not the Jerusalem Post).
Although it seems that the Jerusalem Post often contains appropriate citations, Honest Reporting would gain much more credibility if it were to find academic papers and non-Israeli news articles to cite, rather than the typical Jerusalem Post or Ynet text.
You are too kind to the NY Times. Their front page article on Sunday covering the Mumbai terror attacks might use the word "terror" in the headline, but references to the terrorists themselves consistently and repeatedly use "gunmen", "attackers" and "militants". Once in the article there is a reference to "three terrorists", but it is used as a quote from an Indian official. There is but one instance where the Times slips and writes "bodies of four other terrorist suspects" were in the morgue. I suppose compared to the BBC the NY Times article may seem even-handed. But it really is not.
WHAT CAN BE DONE AGAINST TERRORISM, BESIDES OFFERING OUR CONDOLENCES, AND WRINGING OUR HANDS AND CRYING OUT IN HORROR?"NEVER AGAIN HAS NOW BECOME, NEVER AGAIN UNTIL NEXT TIME".
The New York Times has for days suggested that the attack on Chabad House was "accidental." They downgraded Rabbi Holtzberg, of blessed memory (may G-d avenge his blood!, into a "manager" and called Chabad House a "Jewish center."
They too need to account for their attempts to minimize the anti-Semitic and anti-Western motivation of these ruthless radical Islamic killers--who tied up women at Chabad House before massacring them.
In the NY Times Op-Ed today (Sunday), the solution offered is economics: help the downtrodden!
What a disgrace.
Write to NY Times firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
You only deal with half the problem i.e. terrorists or what.
Equally important is the need to identify the terrorist as "Islamist".
Thus we should read "Islamic terrorists". No less.
Call them what they are...ISLAMIC TERRORIST!
Isn't your article kind of nitpicky as to whether the media refers to the killers as "terrorists" or "gunmen"? Everyone knows what the deal is.
Another thought: perhaps President Bush and all that has been justified following 9/11 based on "fighting terror" (Iraq, Guantanamo, Patriot Act, color threat levels, TSA security theatre, etc. etc.) has already debased the concept of "terrorist" as uber-villain?
History will judge those people that are supporting the killings by not saying what it is terror
ps they think it wont touch them.....the papers here in canada were mentionning that there might be a link between the attack and Great Britan.....
You are not quite right telling that terrorists do not discriminate between civil and military targets. They discriminate such targets very well and concentrate their efforts on civil population where killing is easier and chances to get resistance are much less. Not only Israel, but England, USA and India gave us enough evidence of such tactics based on a hope fear and losses will destroy the will of a suffering side. Terrorists are naming themselves martyrs?- well, help them: not only kill them during the battle, but also reinstall the death penalty for those who was caught at killing hostages and civil population. Do not keep them in prisons and do not exchange them- it only increases the number of future victims.
In your analysis you write:
"Terrorism" is the correct term to describe politically motivated attacks that do not differentiate between civilian and military targets and are designed to create a sense of terror in the minds of the general public. The term has been correctly used by much of the world media to describe attacks such as the September 11, Al-Qaeda attack on the United States, the London bombings, the Madrid train attacks, and many more.
I would caution against legitimizing attacks against military targets. Terrorism may prefer to target civilian targets since it enhances the effect of "Terror" on the general population, but it is equally as effective - and at times more - against so-called "military targets."
A plane aimed at the Pentagon or a kidnapping mission that results in Gilad Shalit being taken hostage from within a sovereign state (Israel) [and preventing even the Red Cross from having any access to the hostage] or similarly the Hizbollah entering Israel and kidnapping Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev (later to return their remains in exchange for a very dear price paid by Israel) are no less effective and are still TERRORISM.
Terrorism is perpetrated by terrorists, those who do not value human life and will engage in whatever means they can to force their dominance, whether the victims are civilians or military.
We err gravely when we allow a distinction to take place, saying one is quasi legitimate. It is then repeated by professors and other "peace lovers" in the academia and elsewhere. (As an example, a head of a department at UCLA, in comments why none of the faculty showed up to urge the return of the kidnapped soldiers in a noon-time event at UCLA, stated that the act was a legitimate act against the military might of Israel.
Add Ha'aretz to the list of those allow the word "terrorist" in a direct quotation (of the head of India's security) to "militant" when indirectly quoting the same statement -- in the same paragraph!
I noticed that the Wall Street Journal also called them militants, not terrorists. Shame!
This was an excellent and informative article. You are really on the ball -- taking an event that didn't involve Israel and using it to reinformce the importance of correct terminology. Thank you!
Re: Terrorism in Mumbai
Some days ago I wrote a letter to The Globe and Mail regarding just this subject. I deleted the letter in error however the feedback I rcvd from everyone was fantastic. I have asked some to email the letter back to me and as soon as I get it I shall forward to you. To the point, no, the Globe and Mail did NOT publish the letter.. needless to say, who's surprised??
The BBC is inconsistent over the T word. In a short paper I sent to the Impartiality Review 2 years ago, I pointed out, "I am sure you have had representations from others about the use of skewed or emotionally toned language by the BBC, eg the refusal to describe Palestinian violence as terrorism. The BBC supposedly avoids the use of the word because “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter”. Yet as I pointed out in a letter of 29 June 2002 to Mr Fraser Steel of the Programme Complaints Unit, on Radio 4 News, on 20 June 2002, the murder of a British banker in Saudi Arabia was said to be possibly the work of “terrorists” (not militants or activists). The T word was used the next day in connection with the same incident. Again, in the Radio Times, an organ of the BBC, on 26 November, on p 118 in an otherwise unexceptionable piece one reads, “Tonight’story concerns Palestine in the late 1940s where Jewish groups such as Irgun and the Stern gang adopted what we would now call terrorism”."
Interestingly the Foreign & Commonwealth Office do sometimes call a spade a spade. In the piece on Israel on their website they warn about "Palestinian terrorism". Maybe they feel they have to do this as part of their responsibility to Brits visiting the country.
Avoiding to call terrorists by their correct name is equivalent to providing them cover while battling them.
The irony of it all is that they looked for British subjects (as well as US and Israelis) to kill, which seems not to bother British media
The terrorists are murderers and both terms should be used. Any nation that does not condemn them is a terrorist and murderous state. I wonder what were them responses of each of the Islamic countries.This was clearly an attack by Muslims directed at Israel, Jews and the West.
Please don't stop to show how tendencious media's are. We have to fight for self respect.
I was shocked, yet again, by the CNN and Sky reports that referred to 2 Americans 'killed' in Mumbai as against referring to Jews and Israelis as having 'died'.
In addition Bet Chabad was given minimum coverage.
You observe that "BBC website started off headlined as 'Terror tactic switch' and later changed to 'Method amid madness.'" but failed to mention why the switch. I would submit that it changed when they found out that some of the victims were Israeli....but I could be wrong.
Words are critical in accurate reports;true meaning without your opinion/twist or the content is trashed by all decent ,honorable,intelligent humans of concience anywhere in our world reading /viewing the event. Civilian murder without cause is murder/war on the innocent & evil,"terrosism" not some bland act.
Max Planck already said, the true will never prevail but the people who are against it die our. I am happy the we still have media in support of naming what should be named. Terror is a criminal act and all means to expose it fight against it MUST be taken. Keep on doing your good work
Let's not leave out CNN in this discussion. In its reports of casualties, they kept on referring to the dead as including 2 Americans - the Scherrs. There was a differentiation as to those who were killed at Chabad. The Rabbi and at least one of those killed were also Americans but somehow not included as such. It was as if to say they were Jews and not to be included in any nationality. At least they interviewed the gentleman in Vancouver who escaped and told it like he clearly saw it. He said he was Jewish and, without doubt in his mind, would have been killed if he had identified himself as a Jew. To his ever lasting credit, he told the world that this would not deter the Jewish people from surviving and that they would continue to go on about their lives and flourish in doing so.
Not all islamic militants are terrorists but the vast majority of terrorists are islamic militants. I wonder how many British nationals need to die for the BBC to free itself from its moral relativisim.
When Jews are killed, the people who killed them are "militants" or "gunmen" or "freedom fighters."
When anyone else is killed they are killed by TERRORISTS.
One could say that it is a matter of being anti-semantic. (Pun intended)
It's revolting, of course, but it is a fact and I'm happy that they show themselves for what they are: The final result of digestion. Why happy? So we can smell them coming.