The Myth of the Islamic ‘Militant’
Vol: 21 Issue: 22 Sunday, June 22, 2003
This morning s top news headlines were all about Israel killing another top leader of Hamas. Aworthy gentleman by the name of Abdullah Qawasameh that Israel said was the mastermind behind the latest Jerusalem bus bombing.
That makes him as legitimate a target as any leader of any terrorist group who is sworn to the destruction of women and children as a tool to effect political change. Or so one might think.
But if you were to read the way the Voice of America phrased it, you d think the Israelis ambushed and gunned down a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving or something. According to most news accounts Qawasameh was a member of a militant group.
The word militant doesn t mean the same thing as terrorist someone who is a militant is, (a) engaged in warfare or combat, ( combat requiring two fighters from opposite sides engaging on the field of battle, like say, US and Iraqi forces that clashed during the Gulf War), or, (b) aggressively active (as in a cause), like Mothers Against Drunk Driving or the National Organization For Women.
On the other hand, a terrorist is one applies the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion to effect political change. That s what the dictionary says.
So, did Israel shoot a militant or a terrorist ?
It is impossible to accurately use the word militant to describe Hamas. They don t engage in combat by sneaking up on a bunch of civilians and killing them without warning. That is murder. When one murders the innocent for a political purpose — that is terrorism.
If you look closely, the only place where you will find the word terrorist and militant used interchangeably is when the victims are Israelis.
The Taleban were never called militants they were called terrorists . We aren t fighting a war against the al-Qaeda militant group they are terrorists
When Eric Rudolph blew up an abortion clinic, the papers didn t call it a militant act it was called what it was; an act of terrorism.
Heck, the papers even call the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals a ‘terrorist’ organization, but Hamas is a ‘militant’ group.
The Voice of America, in covering the killing of Qawasameh did not use the word terrorist or terrorism one single time. He was a leading Hamas official and Hamas itself is a militant group. Almost makes them sound respectable. Let s try a substitute and see how it sounds.
Would you quibble with referring to the National Organization for Women as a ‘militant feminist organization’? (They don’t.)
Now substitute terrorist. I think you get the point. While one could certainly call elements of NOW militants , calling them terrorists doesn t fit.
The two words are NOT the same. But to the global press corps, killing innocent Jews by bus bombing is the semantic equivalent to burning your bra and marching on Washington.
What is even more intriguing is the way the press corps framed Hamas response to the death of one of their top terrorists. Take this quote, again from today s VOA. A leading Hamas official, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, says the killing will not go unpunished.
Another interesting choice of words, unpunished. VOA didn t see fit to set off the word in quotation marks, but it DID think that Sharon s description of the operation as important was suspect enough to include in quotes, to show that was Sharon s opinion, rather than fact.
The subliminal message is that Israel deserves to be punished, whereas it s Sharon s OPINION that the operation to kill this terrorist was important.
This stuff is subtle, but that is why I spend so much time debunking it. Because if you aren t looking for it, you come away thinking that Israel is the one that is the aggressor.
Not one time did any of the stories I read this morning about the killing of Qawasameh mention anything about the fact Israel has already begun implementing the terms of the road map to peace, like dismantling settlements, unfreezing Palestinian funds, withdrawing troops and lifting the closure that kept Palestinians out of Israel.
Neither was there any reference to the fact that the Palestinians have not undertaken the first step, which was to outlaw terrorism. Hamas remains a legal organization in the Palestinian controlled territories and enjoys both political and logistical support from the PA, even as it blames Israel for undermining a peace that does not exist.
The Palestinians deplored the killing, saying it undermines their efforts to negotiate a truce with Hamas, according to the press accounts.
Hamas refused a truce. So there is nothing to undermine. Since Qawasameh had just blew up a bus filled with ISRAELI civilians, and not Palestinians, what sense does this make? But to follow the press accounts, Israel was the aggressor in taking out Qawasameh.
Stay with me on this. Terrorists who target Israel are militants because the Big Lie works. The Big Lie is that Israel stole the land from the Palestinians. I won t prove the lie here, I ve done it elsewhere. See Who Really Owns the Land in our archives.
Militants fight for a cause, where terrorists don t fight, they terrorize and run.
One sounds noble, the other cowardly. The myth of the Palestinian militant is only slightly less bogus than the myth of the Palestinian race. But both myths serve to dilute Israel s legitimacy in the eyes of the world. That s something the world is predisposed to believe, anyway, so it is an easy lie to sell.
The Bible says that the antichrist will also have his version of the Big Lie, and that God will allow people to believe it, because that is what they wanted to believe anyway. (See 2nd Thessalonians 2)
And people will believe it as quickly as they believe that Hamas is a militant group engaged in open combat with an Israeli occupying force.
Take heed that no man deceive you. (Matthew 24:4)