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When is Terror Not Terror?

Commentary by Michael A. Hoffman II

"Netanyahu ...lauded Israeli agents who do Israel's 'secret work."

--New York Times, Oct. 7, 1997

There's an old joke about the president of the United States. Waiting outside his office to greet him is the pope of Rome and the chief rabbi of the Israelis. "Which one should I send in first?" an aide asks. "Send the pope in first," the president replies. "I'll only have to kiss his ring."

Even when Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is caught red-handed ordering the murder of Arab leader Khaled Mashaal in Jordan, the U.S. media will not describe it as a terrorist act, but rather part of the "fight against terrorism."

This is how Netanyahu's spin-doctor, "image advisor" Arthur Finkelstein wants the American news agencies to report the attempted assassination and U.S. media executives have complied. It's not just presidents who must kiss Jewish posteriors. The Fourth Estate's fearless feature-writers must pucker up too.

A government which rules by assassination is generally regarded as barbaric. But even when Jewish secret agents squirt poison in the ear of an Arab in Amman the way their forebears in Murder, Inc. rammed ice-picks into wise guys in Brooklyn, somehow it still doesn't qualify as terrorism. Said James Rubin of the U.S. State Department, "We are not in the habit of second-guessing Israel when it comes to her security."

Squirting poison (Zyklon B perhaps?) in the ear of an Arab leader is not going to enhance Jewish security. In the eyes of everyone not dwelling in Zionist Wonderland, government assassination is gangsterism, not statesmanship.

While the American media seek to transmute the naked truth about the Mossad's attemted murder into something palatable, the rest of the world, including 800 million Muslims, will take it for what it is--proof that the Israelis are the same bunch of bomb-throwing cutthroats who founded the country in 1948. That the tactics of the Irgun and the Stern gang continue unabated under the present Israeli administration is patent.

When is terror not terror then? Why, when the Jews do it, of course. The Israelis are not only masters of the double-cross, but the double-standard. Perhaps we should call their murders, (if the phrase has not already been coined by some ambitious pundit with an eye on a Pulitzer), "deterent retribution."

It's too bad King Hussein released the Mossad agents responsible for the assassination attempt. What a trial their prosecution would have made. The victim's account, the strange weapon, their high-level orders--the whole testimony might even have awakened some Americans.

But instead the American people, the ones with the chapped lips, must continue to apply them to Bibi's backside and chant as they do so, "Terror is not terror when your Lordship commits it."

There was a time, not so long ago, when Americans objected to the deference the pope required.

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Copyright©1997 by Michael A. Hoffman II