The latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, now raging for several weeks, has gripped the world’s attention. And as it is often the case in any high-profile conflict, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation whirling around, starting with the terminology that is commonly used in various discussions of the current clash in Gaza, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general. Unfortunately, a lot of terms used to describe the conflict are somewhat misunderstood, and don’t necessarily mean what we think they mean. Here are 10 of these terms with their correct definitions.
1) “Hamas”: an imaginary organization which, according to Israeli claims, rules Gaza and allegedly shoots crude homemade rockets into Israel. If this mythical “Hamas” were actually real, then among thousands of photos of violence and devastation caused by Israel in Gaza there would have been at least a couple of pictures of “Hamas” fighters that Israel is supposedly fighting there.
2) “Crude homemade rocket”: Any self-propelled projectile weapon with flight range up to 100 miles and/or warhead containing less than 250 pounds of explosive, and approved by the United Nations for use against any civilian population outside Europe and North America. May contain homemade white phosphorus.
3) “Iron Dome”: a malicious system built by Israel to viciously demolish the homemade rockets that artisans in Gaza have spent countless hours patiently and lovingly assembling.
4) “Pro-Israeli propaganda”: Any internet or print article, or TV report that deviates from reporting the cold hard facts of brutal Israeli massacre of innocent civilians and mentions the existence of so-called “Hamas” as proven fact – especially if those stories in any way insinuate that alleged Hamas’ actions are in any way responsible for provoking Israel.
5) “Freedom fighters”: a courageous organization which is fighting against the established power by any means necessary. This term is often mixed up with “terrorist organization”, defined as a “cowardly organization which is fighting against established power by any means necessary”. I realize this is still confusing, so here are some examples of terrorist organizations: Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS in Iraq, Kurdish resistance in Turkey, Libyan militias which attacked American consulate in Benghazi. And here are the examples of freedom fighters: Kurdish resistance in Iraq, ISIS in Syria, Libyan militias which attacked Muammar Gaddafi. (Hamas isn’t a part of either list because it isn’t real.)
6) “Apartheid”: a dehumanizing system of racial discrimination and segregation that Israel has established to ensure that Palestinian Arabs living in West Bank have incomparably fewer human rights than Palestinian Arabs living in Israel.
7) “Occupation”: Jewish presence anywhere within 500 miles of Palestine.
8) “Disproportionate response”: any retaliatory action by Israel that unfairly exploits Israeli military superiority. In contrast, a “proportionate response” requires Israel to execute and injure exactly the same number of randomly picked Palestinians for each Jew killed or injured by “crude homemade rockets”.
9) “Peaceful Muslims”: Muslims who do not want to kill Jews and other infidels, but wouldn’t mind if someone else would do that for them.
10) “Genocide”: An act of ruthless and systematic annihilation of ethnic group A by group B which over 60 years leads to quadrupling in size of the ethnic group A.