Wednesday, January 26th | 25 Shevat 5782

April 12, 2011 12:13 pm

When Terror is Only “Terror”

avatar by Josh Hasten

A wounded child is evacuated after rockets fired from Gaza hit Beer Sheva. Photo: Edi Israel

When is a terror attack not a terror attack but just a “terror attack?”  September 11, of course that’s a terror attack – no dispute there. But when Arabs fire rockets and missiles, detonate bombs, and use knives to stab – trying to wound, maim, and murder innocent Israeli Jewish men, women, and children, apparently a good part of the MSM (main stream media) only considers those incidents to be “terror attacks,” with the obvious difference being those two lousy quotation marks.

While the difference in copy is small, just several characters on a page, the meaning and impact are huge.  Following the bombing in Jerusalem last month which left a British tourist dead and dozens wounded, the Reuters news agency, said the following:

“Police said it was a ‘terrorist attack’ – Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike.”

According to Ynet,,7340,L-4047601,00.html:

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“Many foreign media outlets based their reports on Reuters which described the incident as a ‘Palestinian strike.'”

Reuters not only puts the words terrorist and attack in quotes, but they go a step further by calling the incident a “strike,” thus downplaying the event.

Ynet also said that a CNN website last month reporting on the brutal attack in Itamar, which claimed the lives of five members of the same family, “avoided describing the event as a terror attack, noting that the Israel Defense Forces consider it an act of terrorism.”

A reader might thus assume that the slaying of the Itamar Fogel family might have perhaps been a robbery gone wrong.

And finally last week, when Israel retaliated following an attack in which Hamas deliberately fired an advanced anti-tank Kornet missile at an Israeli school bus critically wounding a student and the bus driver (Arab groups in Gaza also fired at least 45 projectiles at Southern Israel on the very same day), the New York Times reported that:

“The Israeli military immediately returned fire at the areas from which the rockets and mortars were launched, with artillery and tank shells. It also carried out a number of airstrikes against a Hamas training site, an abandoned house and other facilities that the military described as “terror-activity sites” in the Palestinian enclave.”

The article adds that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in regard to the school bus attack, “described the missile strike as a terrorist attack.”

In other words, the New York Times was unwilling to call the incident terror or refer to the rocket launch sites as terror sites, but would only quote an Israeli official, Ehud Barak, as referring to the attack as terror.

These are just several recent examples, but the point is crystal clear: defining terror in the eyes of the main stream media is subjective, especially when it involves spilt Jewish blood. The news agencies have defended their use of quotation marks saying that it is always custom to put “” around third party sources when it reports such incidents.

But in reality the MSM is articulating that in their view, “one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.”  This attitude not only downplays these attacks, but in essence legitimizes them. When media organizations so blatantly fail to condemn but rather leave room for these atrocities to be view as justified, the terrorists become motivated and inspired, knowing that they get away with attacking Jews.

This condoning also adds insult to the victims: the woman murdered in Jerusalem and the five members of one family butchered in Itamar, in addition to the student fighting for his life from the Gaza border region.

It’s time for the MSM to stop leaving its readers with any doubts – anti-Israel terror is terror and not “terror,” plain and simple.

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