Kapitan, Tomis; Schulte, Erich
June 2002
Journal of Political & Military Sociology;Summer2002, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p172
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and argues that the rhetoric of terrorism ought to be curtailed. The term "terrorism" and "terrorist" are selectively used by governments and media to describe those who resort to force in opposing governmental policies. There is a definite political purpose in so doing. Because of its, negative connotation, the "terrorist" label automatically discredits any individuals or groups to which it is affixed; it dehumanizes them, places them outside the norms of acceptable social and political behavior, and portrays them as people who cannot be reasoned with. The net effect is that the "terrorist" rhetoric effectively shuts down all meaningful debate on policy or tactics, and leaves only the path of violence to solve differences. It is suggested that this rhetoric must be abandoned by the nations. Instead a more rational and pragmatic approach towards solving the problem must be adopted. In the course of developing and pursuing a rational response to terrorism, it is imperative that the rhetoric of "terrorism" be recognized for what it is.


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