Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hamas-Speak, Translated Into English !

With Hamas now pounding southern Israel with "dozens of rockets and mortar bombs" (which the AP calls, ahem, a "flare-up"), it might be a good time to review the phrases that Hamas uses when addressing English-speaking media, and what they really mean. J.G. Thayer helpfully provides a translation guide:

Truce: A period during which Hamas limits its offensive actions to rockets and mortar shells, smuggles in more and more weapons, and Israel is not allowed to hit back.

Resumption of hostilities: Hamas increases the rocket and mortar attacks, resumes suicide bombings, and other attacks. Israel is still not allowed to hit back.

War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Atrocities: Israel hits back.

Innocent Civilians: Anyone killed or wounded by Israel.

Legitimate Military Targets: Anyone within Israel. Also, any thing within Israel, including pizza parlors, buses, and Passover celebrations.

Occupation: What Hamas is resisting, even though there is not a single Israeli within the Gaza Strip.

Humanitarian Relief: Bombs, explosives, and other weapons

Next lesson: AP-speak to English translations! For instance, did you know a "flare-up" that is "dampening prospects for a renewed ceasefire", really means that Hamas fired 30 rockets and 30 mortar shells into Israel, without a response? See lexicon above to be able to describe what will happen when Israel decides to fight back...

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