Friday, October 27, 2023

Israel’s Violence is Terrorism – Stop Calling it ‘Clashes’

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The media’s use of the term “clashes” to describe the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine obscures the reality of Israel’s overwhelming use of force and its long-standing policy of ethnic cleansing and occupation. The recent violence, sparked by Israeli police attacking Palestinian worshippers during Ramadan, has resulted in hundreds of Palestinian casualties and arrests, while Israeli police have suffered minimal injuries. Israel has also launched air strikes on Gaza and southern Lebanon, further escalating the violence.

The media’s use of “clashes” serves to whitewash Israel’s role in the violence and portray it as a fair competition between two sides. This is despite the fact that Israel has a history of military assaults, including Operation Protective Edge in 2014, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, and Operation Cast Lead in 2008, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians. In 2018, the Israeli military killed hundreds of Palestinians in response to Gaza border protests, and in May 2021, Operation Guardian of the Walls killed over 260 Palestinians, including many children.

The media’s language also reflects a bias towards the Israeli narrative, which casts victimisers as victims and slaughter as self-defence. This bias is driven in part by the US’s fervent backing of Israel, which has long conflated Palestinians with terrorism. Even progressive media outlets are often unable to place Palestinians on the same level of humanity as Israelis.

The recent three-day assault by the Israeli army on Gaza in August 2022 resulted in at least 44 Palestinian deaths, including 16 children, with zero Israeli casualties. Yet, the media continued to use the term “clashes” to describe the violence.

It is important to recognize that Israel’s actions constitute terrorism, defined as “threats of violent action for political purposes.” By acknowledging this reality, we can put an end to the misleading language of “clashes” and work towards a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict.

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