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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


More air we breathe

In yesterday's post I talked about the talk about "Hamas attacks and Israeli reprisals" (also sometimes referred to as Israeli "retaliation"). Today, Islamic Jihad fired rockets from Gaza into Israel, which the headline tells us "broke the truce." But why were those rockets fired? Because, as the article admits, they "occurred hours after Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in a West Bank raid." So the cycle was started by Israel, clearly. And did Islamic Jihad "retaliate" or launch a "reprisal"? Hardly - the attack, we're told, was carried out to "avenge" the earlier attack. Which, no doubt, it was. It's just a word you'll never see used to describe Israeli actions.

Incidentally, if Islamic Jihad had not launched these rockets and generated the "truce broken" headline, chances that you would have even read about those two Palestinians killed in the West Bank were slim and none.

Quick update: The AP article cited above uses the word "avenge" in an indirect quote with the implication that this was the word chosen by Islamic Jihad. But Ha'aretz actually gives us a direct quote, in which the word is "reprisal," not "avenge." Now this may be a translation issue; it's quite possible the Arabic word can be translated in multiple ways. Nevertheless, it's interesting, and not surprising, that AP chose the word that sounds the most bloodthirsty and the least "civilized."

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