« boobies | Main | we have a winner »

semantics lesson, part 245

semantics lesson, part 245

Maybe you are sick of hearing this, but I swear I am going to do this every single time a terrorist attack happens in Israel and I fail to find the word terrorist anywhere in the story.

What do you call it when a group of people on their way to a prayer service are gunned down - killing eleven of them and wounding twenty at last count? If you are CNN, you say:

A group of Palestinian militants opened fire on a group of Jews on their way to prayer services in the West Bank city of Hebron, killing at least 11 and wounding 20 others, according to a statement issued by the Israeli Consulate in New York.

If you are MSNBC you say:

The militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the shooting attack, Israeli TV reported.

Fox News:

HEBRON, West Bank — At least 11 Israelis were killed and about 20 others were wounded Friday when Palestinian militants opened fire on Jewish
worshippers as they walked toward a disputed shrine after sundown.

Washington Post/AP:

Palestinian militants opened fire on Jewish worshippers as they walked toward a disputed shrine after sundown Friday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 others, the Israeli military said.

[all emphasis added]

They are terrorists. T-E-R-R-O-R-I-S-T-S. What part of this do they not understand?

ter·ror·ist
n.
One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism

ter·ror·ism
n.
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.


If it looks like a terrorist, acts like a terrorist.....

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference semantics lesson, part 245:

» Militant != Terrorist from aka cooties
I've decided to join Michele in pointing out the inaccuracy of headlines like 'Militants Kill Top Colonel in Hebron Ambush', and sentences like 'The hardline militant group Islamic Jihad took responsibility...' (emphasis mine) to describe the work of a... [Read More]

» Militant != Terrorist from aka cooties
I've decided to join Michele in pointing out the inaccuracy of headlines like 'Militants Kill Top Colonel in Hebron Ambush', and sentences like 'The hardline militant group Islamic Jihad took responsibility...' (emphasis mine) to describe the work of a... [Read More]

Comments

...Does it taste like a terrorist?
I'll have mine Well Done, please.
No.. let's make that Fried To A Crisp.

I was home watching the 6:30 news tonight as the anchor described the Palestinians as 'gunmen', explained how they opened fire on the settlers walking home from synagogue, and then, in a carefully executed plan, on the soldiers who arrived to defend them. Cut to the scene of CHEERING Palestinians, ecstatic about the successful attack.

I was beyond furious. I actually wrote a letter to NBC, asking them to explain their use of the word terrorist, and why it is applied to those who attack American civilians, but not to those who attack Israeli civilians.

There's no point in targetting NBC: all the other stations do the same thing. But it was better than nothing.

What if every one of us, every time we hear 'militant' or 'gunmen' used when 'terrorist' should be used, send off an email to the offending station/newspaper? (At least commit to doing it (max) once a day.)

Incidentally, I am always scrupulously polite in my emails, no matter how angry I might be, because I want the person reading it to get past the first sentence.

Just a suggestion. I am not convinced that this has any effect whatsoever, but it beats hurling my shoes at the TV screen, an impulse that was particularly difficult to resist tonight.

I was home watching the 6:30 news tonight as the anchor described the Palestinians as 'gunmen', explained how they opened fire on the settlers walking home from synagogue, and then, in a carefully executed plan, on the soldiers who arrived to defend them. Cut to the scene of CHEERING Palestinians, ecstatic about the successful attack.

I was beyond furious. I actually wrote a letter to NBC, asking them to explain their use of the word terrorist, and why it is applied to those who attack American civilians, but not to those who attack Israeli civilians.

There's no point in targetting NBC: all the other stations do the same thing. But it was better than nothing.

What if every one of us, every time we hear 'militant' or 'gunmen' used when 'terrorist' should be used, send off an email to the offending station/newspaper? (At least commit to doing it (max) once a day.)

Incidentally, I am always scrupulously polite in my emails, no matter how angry I might be, because I want the person reading it to get past the first sentence.

Just a suggestion. I am not convinced that this has any effect whatsoever, but it beats hurling my shoes at the TV screen, an impulse that was particularly difficult to resist tonight.

Um, please stop spelling out terrorist like that.

For some reason it really disturbs me when I'm drunk.

Unless of course, it's a sublimal reference to the freak outiness of terrorism itself, in which case carry on.

'Now, Mr Cow, for our first session i want to get to the bottom of your phobia for capitalised slow-motion spelling...'

Hmm, that. Ah yes...

I have to agree with you that there is something slightly off about them using the word mililtant instead of terrorist.

You make a good point about how it seems terrorist only seem to attack U.S. citizens, while attacks against Israeli's are carried out by militants.

Perhaps there is a some distinctions that can be made at least in the eyes of some people. I don't think killing is right no matter how the killers are handled semanticly. But, how many times has the Israeli Army killed dozens of unarmed Palestinians civilians and it doesn't even make the news? Why aren't the Israeli's called terrorists? Because they wear a uniforms?

The whole situation of there stinks and there is whole bunch of bad blood and dirty deals over the last 150 years that have caused it. The most radical elements on both sides are tearing the whole place apart. There needs to be understanding, trust, negotiation and finally peace.

So militants instead of terrorists? The distinction, in my mind, is slim, but I guess it is being made because there is some legitimacy to Palestinian's case in the minds of the author. They are fighting for a cause, independance from Israel. In my mind, terrorists don't have an immediate specific or realistically attainable goal other than to cause terror.

Do I think any more blood shed by either side for any reason is good thing, absolutely not. The conflict needs to be resolved.

The problem I have is by advocating the use of the word terrorist to label Palestinians because they are Muslim and attacking civilians promotes the idea that all Muslims are terrorists and that there is no validity to Palestinian side of the argument.

Again I compliment you for bringing up an interesting point and making this estute observation but I believe there is some reason for the distinction. Agree or disagree?

Respecfully,

Deech

I understand your point, but I believe 'militant' is an adequate word to use in this situation. See http://dictionary.reference.com/search?db=*&q=militANT for a definition. Combative nature for a political cause? That seems to be the motivation of these terrorists.

Think about it.

I understand your point, but I believe 'militant' is an adequate word to use in this situation. See dictionary.com's entry for militant for a definition. Combative nature for a political cause? That seems to be the motivation of these terrorists.

Think about it.

I understand your point, but I believe 'militant' is an adequate word to use in this situation. See dictionary.com's entry for militant for a definition. Combative nature for a political cause? That seems to be the motivation of these terrorists.

Think about it.