Murder and resistance

Note; Haaretz has premium status for some articles, meaning that material will not be available to viewers unless they pay a subscription fee. This is why I may paraphrase a lot so as to respect their material. 

Amos Harel of Haaretz has published an article in the newspaper talking about the recent killing of an abducted Israeli soldier in the West Bank.

The article was titled: Murder in the West Bank: A thin line between terror and crime  

21/09/2013 – IDF soldiers carry the body of the Israeli soldier recently killed. Credit: Haaretz

The most important detail to have before launching into any discussion is the official motive for the killing. A suspect by the name of Nidal Amar was interrogated, and he admitted to the killing of the soldier in hoping to exchange the soldier’s body for his brother who is in an Israeli security prison and who is affiliated with Fatah – the ruling party of the West Bank. Amos Harel, the author of the article, described this motive as “nationalistic” as well.

The headline is the main focus of any news article because that is the thing that people see. And whether you agree or not, it betrays the view that Amos Harel and many Israelis that probably agree with him, of the West Bank and it’s status. There is no mention or possibility that this attack will ever be mentioned as a form of resistance against a military occupation – to expect that from an Israeli author in an Israeli news paper is quite unrealistic. The range that we are given as to how this attack can be interpreted is either terrorism or a crime.

Before describing any attack as terrorism, we must remind ourselves of the definition because the “war on terror” has skewed that to nothing but an ideological weapon; something we scream when we don’t agree with someone. It is simply the use of terror to achieve a political aim. The motive described does not seem to fit this definition. Yes, whether it is a crime or not is still up for a debate, but terrorism it is not. Because there is no terror in receiving a dead body – only grief for the soldier’s family, and a strategic nuisance for the IDF.

Describing the incident as a crime, and not say, a casualty of a war/conflict, is acknowledging that not only is Israel occupying the West Bank, but it is right to do so and that from a moral point of view it shouldn’t expect resistance of any sort.

The article does not deny that the Israeli Shin Bet intelligence, combined with the security of the Palestinian Authority, has a strangle hold on the West Bank. Yet it does not lend context or the background it deserves for why there is conflict. A person reading this article without knowing anything about the history will see that Palestinians kill Israelis because they are arrested by them, or because they hate them – and that’s it. It briefly mentions the second Intifada/revolution that happened from 2000 – 2005/6 and several murder cases of Israelis in the West Bank. Yet no mention is given to the Palestinian who was shot in the face by a settler, or the countless Palestinians forced out of their homes in Hebron by the settlers there.

There is no mention of any military occupation, settlements, the creation of refugees – some of which reside in the West Bank until now from 1948 or even the so called security fence (it’s a wall, come on) being built.

Do you want an example of using terror? How about Israeli soldiers that raid homes in the early hours of the morning to arrest children? How about the fact that they are made to sign confessions in a language they do not understand? That they are interrogated harshly by the IDF? The goal for that is to discourage peaceful protests, and encourage resistance – a political and strategic aim fulfilled by the use of fear. That is a true act of terror.


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