29 June '11
In Palestinian parlance, use of violence to injure or kill Israelis is not portrayed as an act of terrorism, or even as a violent attack. Instead, Palestinians call such bloody aggression by the pleasant-sounding euphemism of "resistance."
Hamas propaganda maintains that its entire agenda is based on "resistance" to Israel -- not to kill as many Israelis as possible. Ditto for Mahmoud Abbas, who celebrates Palestinian suicide bombers as "martyrs" in the cause of "resistance."
But to unwary readers in the West, including many subscribers to the Washington Post, "resistance" doesn't convey deliberate spilling of blood, but as my old dictionary has it, merely an act of "active opposition."
In this real sense of the word," the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. can be said to have led a non-violent campaign of "resistance" against racial discrimination. But as becomes immediately obvious, Palestinian "resistance" is sharply at odds with the basic precepts of Martin Luther King, Jr. Palestinian-style "resistance" was not King's practice.
Still, since in Western minds and eyes, "resistance" has no pejorative connotation, Palestinians find it a useful propaganda tactic to cloak brutal attacks and acts of terrorism as perfectly acceptable acts of "resistance."
It's one thing, however, for Palestinians to invent a new vocabulary to make violent tactics more palatable to Western observers and newspaper readers. But it's quite another thing for a national newspaper like the Washington Post to engage in the same semantic trickery.
Yet, this is exactly what Joel Greenberg, the Post's Jerusalem correspondent, does in a June 29 article about the run-up to the sailing of a pro-Palestinian, Gaza-bound flotilla. ("Israel ramps up its campaign to prevent Gaza aid flotilla" page A9).
In recounting what happened when a similar flotilla tried to breach Israel's blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza, Greenberg writes the following:
"Israeli commandos who boarded a Turkish ship in a similar flotilla 13 months ago encountered resistance and killed nine people."
Ah, those trigger-happy Israeli commandos opened fire on "people" (not radical, violence-bent activists) who merely put up some "resistance." There's not the slightest intimation in Goldberg's piece that when the commandos rappelled from a hovering helicopter onto the top deck of a Turkish vessel, they were brutally attacked by some of these "people" with iron bars and other lethal weapons. Nine commandos were injured, some severely. The commandos fired in self-defense after some of their own were beaten to within an inch of their lives.
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But as far as Greenberg -- and Palestinian propaganda -- is concerned, the commandos merely encountered "resistance" (perhaps refusal to move away from the top deck) and grossly over-reacted by killing nine "people."
Words still have meaning, however distorted by the Washington Post in the service of Palestinian propaganda.
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