The Word You Are Looking For is Terrorist

I hate mosquitoes. They are blood sucking, disease carrying, irritating nuisances that should be eradicated. Yes, it’s a harsh opinion, but look at all of the damage they have caused people over the millennia. I know that I am not alone in this opinion and there are entire governments that have been working for years to rid the earth of this scourge. There are also groups of highly educated people who not only blame mosquitoes for plagues on humanity, but also endorse the notion that the removal of every last mosquito would have zero impact on our world. Now, replace the word “Mosquito” in the previous paragraph with the word “Jew” and see if it doesn’t sound vaguely familiar.

Unfortunately for me and my fellow Jews, global media outlets like MSNBC, CNN, BBC, etc., seemingly hold Jews in the same regard as mosquitoes – as if the killing of Jews is as insignificant as swatting the life out of a few mosquitoes.

The manner in which these media outlets (most recently CNN and MSNBC) report on terrorism against Jews brings me to a frightening assumption. They must consider Jewish lives to be less valuable than any other race, religion or nationality – Jews are mosquitoes, the others are butterflies. No one wants to see butterflies eradicated, they have redeeming, aesthetic value. But mosquitoes, kill as many as you like. Additionally, the inability of the media to call terror against Jews for what it is – terrorism – places it in a culpable position. The media is emboldening future terrorist by not condemning the murder of Jews in a similar vein as the murder of any other group. This is tantamount to an endorsement of terrorism against Jews by the press.

When armed assailants attack a hotel in Mumbai or the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, they are terrorists. When men belonging to a radical survivalist militia bomb the Murah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, they are terrorists. Yet, when two seemingly well dressed Palestinians visit a trendy Tel Aviv shopping mall and indiscriminately open fire on Jews…they are clearly, in the eyes of the media, something other than terrorists. These murderers are called gunmen, assailants, perpetrators, and every other word other than what they truly are – terrorists.

Throughout our bizarre president election process, we’ve heard the talking heads on these media outlets screaming about the fact that words matter. They march out on camera every pseudo-intellectual with a college degree and a slim fitting suit (from both sides of the isle) who scream over their soy vanilla half cafe mocha chino about holding candidates accountable for the words they use. They are right, words, when misused, can be misconstrued and can actually insight bad behavior. But as they ride on to camera on their righteous high horse, they fail to see how the use of the word terrorist is no different and potentially even more dangerous.

If the global media does not label terrorists for what they are – terrorists – others are allowed to fill in the blank for themselves. If they weren’t terrorists, then what were they; freedom fighters, part of the resistance, martyrs for a noble cause? No, they were terrorists and the global media should say it. It is time for the global media to end it’s hypocrisy and label terrorism against Jews what it truly is – Terrorism.

About the Author
Todd Polikoff is the President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, an avid writer, and die-hard Philadelphia Eagles Fan.
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