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August 29, 2008

Firing 40 Rockets Still Qualifies as Ceasefire

Palestinian militants observe truce
Palestinian militants observing the truce-2.JPG

The media's attempt to be "evenhanded" or sympathetic in its coverage of the Palestinians has often been complicated by the failure of the Palestinians to abide by agreements. This has required the media to engage, at times in verbal gymnastics, redefining terms to suit existing circumstances. The term " truce" is an example. By most definitions, a truce requires both parties to cease attacks. Since Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce on June 19, rocket and mortar fire continues to fall upon Israeli territory from the Gaza strip, albeit at a much reduced rate. But since Israel has refrained from any military response, the truce, according to some in the media, remains intact. This creates a situation where only Israel can effectively breach it, or alternatively, truce compliance is defined in such a manner as to allow the Palestinians to continue acts of violence against Israel as long as these attacks remain below some indeterminate level.

A recent example of this redefining of terms appeared in an otherwise unobjectionable article in the Economist on Aug. 28 :

Since the truce began, militants have launched some 40 rockets and mortars into southern Israel. Though the makeshift Qassam rockets are seldom lethal, and have caused few injuries, they enrage the Israelis. But Israel has so far refrained from firing back, so the truce is more or less holding.

Posted by SS at August 29, 2008 02:51 PM


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