Israeli army official speakers misinform their readers on Twitter

I am getting sick of the idea that the Israeli army spokespersons are allowed to tweet wrong information, mock dead people, tweet outdated footage claiming it’s recent, and use terms like “Terror” carelessly, without them ever being punished. I am going to lay out one aspect of this, the spokespersons’ use of the word “Terror” to describe events that shouldn’t be labeled as “Terror”.

As those spokespersons tweet from their official capacity, one expects their tweets to be reliable. Well, they have proven that they are the least reliable, less reliable than amateur twitter users. A while ago, a spokesperson was asked by Yousef Munayyer to give exact data on Israeli air strikes over Gaza, army spokesperson kept trying to derail from original question and ended up not giving any clear answer.

Until today, there hasn’t been any universally accepted definition of the word “terror”, but there are a few lines that are agreed upon by the Council of Foreign Relations during their discussion of terrorism, quoting CFR:

In another useful attempt to produce a definition, Paul Pillar, a former deputy chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, argues that there are four key elements of terrorism:

  • It is premeditated—planned in advance, rather than an impulsive act of rage.
  • It is political—not criminal, like the violence that groups such as the mafia use to get money, but designed to change the existing political order.
  • It is aimed at civilians—not at military targets or combat-ready troops.
  • It is carried out by sub-national groups—not by the army of a country.

While certainly emphasizing on all points mentioned above, I’d like to place more emphasis on the certain fact that any attack against a Military target or combat-ready troops does not constitute terrorism. I am not here to talk about the example of the capture of Gilad Shalit from a tank and Israeli government calling it an “act of terror”, I’m here to talk about recent examples that I’ve extracted from twitter since February. Here are a few examples: (Notice hashtag #Terror)

I know it has been long acknowledged that the Israeli government would label any act against a military target as “terror”, but I’m sick of seeing those army officials tweeting misinformation and getting away with it. I am frustrated as I see my friend Khulood Badawi under fire from the Israeli government and Israeli media for sharing an outdated photo on twitter, even though she has tweeted a correction explaining her personal account, Israeli UN mission has called upon the UN to fire her from her job at UNOCHA. If Israelis are not being held accountable for their actions, can’t they be held accountable for their words? We demand only justice, those attacking Khulood need to address their hypocrisy first.




It is important to mention that resisting against foreign occupation and colonialist and racist regimes with an armed struggle is legal, as long as it's not targeting civilians.

Jalal Abukhater

Jalal Abukhater's picture

Jalal Abukhater is a Jerusalemite, he is a graduate MA(hons) International Relations and Politics from the University of Dundee, Scotland.