This is a basic introduction to terrorism.
It is the general parameters that are an accepted definiation of the word "Terrorism".
Please notice that this was released on CNNs Website.
The activities of the Palestinians fit into ALL of the criteria you will read below. There is no whitewashing here.
The activities of the IDF and State of Israel fit into absolutley NONE of the criteria of terrorism (not even thier weak argument of "State Terrorism").
Is terrorism just brutal, unthinking violence?
No. Experts agree that there is almost always a strategy behind terrorist actions. Whether it takes the form of bombings, shootings, hijackings, or assassinations, terrorism is neither random, spontaneous, nor blind; it is a deliberate use of violence against civilians for political or religious ends.
Is there a definition of terrorism?
Even though most people can recognize terrorism when they see it, experts have had difficulty coming up with an ironclad definition. The State Department defines terrorism as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience."
In another useful attempt to produce a definition, Paul Pillar, a former deputy chief of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, argues that there are four key elements of terrorism:
It is premeditatedâ€”planned in advance, rather than an impulsive act of rage.
It is politicalâ€”not criminal, like the violence that groups such as the mafia use to get money, but designed to change the existing political order.
It is aimed at civiliansâ€”not at military targets or combat-ready troops.
It is carried out by subnational groupsâ€”not by the army of a country.
Where does the word "terrorism" come from?
It was coined during France's Reign of Terror in 1793-94. Originally, the leaders of this systematized attempt to weed out "traitors" among the revolutionary ranks praised terror as the best way to defend liberty, but as the French Revolution soured, the word soon took on grim echoes of state violence and guillotines. Today, most terrorists dislike the label, according to Bruce Hoffman of the RAND think tank.
Is terrorism a new phenomenon?
No. The oldest terrorists were holy warriors who killed civilians; in seventh-century India, the Thuggee cult would ritually strangle passersby as sacrifices to the Hindu deity Kali; and in the eleventh-century Middle East, the Shiite sect known as the Assassins would eat hashish before murdering civilian foes. Historians can trace recognizably modern forms of terrorism back to such late-nineteenth-century organizations as Narodnaya Volya (â€œPeopleâ€™s Willâ€), an anti-tsarist group in Russia. One particularly successful early case of terrorism was the 1914 assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb extremist, an event that helped trigger World War I. Even more familiar forms of terrorismâ€”often custom-made for TV camerasâ€”first appeared on July 22, 1968, when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine undertook the first terrorist hijacking of a commercial airplane.
Is terrorism aimed at an audience?
Usually, yes. Terrorist acts are often deliberately spectacular, designed to rattle and influence a wide audience, beyond the victims of the violence itself. The point is to use the psychological impact of violence or of the threat of violence to effect political change. As the terrorism expert Brian Jenkins bluntly put it in 1974, "Terrorism is theatre."