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Jerusalem attack: Resistance or Terrorism?

Does it matter? 

Today we have seen an attack just outside the Old City in Jerusalem, an attack which has shaken many Israelis. An attack that has been widely condemned by the international community, an act that has been described as “terrorism”. But is it terrorism? Given the target was soldiers, there’s an argument that it was not.

Arguing that it is not terrorism may be controversial, but it shouldn’t be. Saying this was not terrorism is not the same as saying it was right. It is about being mindful of how we define such attacks. Simply throwing around the terrorism label doesn’t help the victims and it certainly doesn’t help in the fight against such acts. It is merely a politicised term.

In a 2006 interview (Here) political philosopher Michael Walzer argued – 

This distinction is important and in no way, condones such acts of violence. It is not about arguing the rights and wrongs of such acts of violence (defined as resistance or terrorism depending on which “side” you fall on), but about being clear in how we define them.

Acts of violence in Israel/Palestine, are very different to similar acts of violence carried out in Europe and the United States. Palestinian violence and the subsequent Israeli response is a result of the occupation, a notion supported by the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo (Here).

My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the departed and the wounded. I pray that the wounded recover and that HaShem welcomes the deceased. However we may feel about this act of violence, we must remember that we are all G-d’s children and that 4 of His children lay dead. 


Ariel is a student at Sheffield University and a part-time political activist. 
Born in the Jewish community of Salford, Manchester, he has been interested in a number of issues both religious and political, and hence writes about topics both related and not related to Judaism.