In fact, Terrorism: How the West Can Win is a book about contemporary American policy on only one level. It is equally a book about contemporary Israel, as represented by its most unyielding and unattractive voices. An attentive reader will surely be alerted to the book’s agenda from the outset, when Netanyahu, an obsessive if there ever was one, asserts that modern terrorism emanates from “two movements that have assumed international prominence in the second half of the twentieth century, communist totalitarianism and Islamic (and Arab) radicalism.” Later this is interpreted to mean, essentially, the K.G.B. and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the former much less than the latter, which Netanyahu connects with all nonwhite, non-European anticolonial movements, whose barbarism is in stark contrast to the nobility and purity of the Judeo-Christian freedom fighters he supports.
Unlike the wimps who have merely condemned terrorism without defining it, Netanyahu bravely ventures a definition: “terrorism” he says, “is the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming, and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political purposes.” But this powerful philosophic formulation is as flawed as all the other definitions, not only because it is vague about exceptions and limits but because its application and interpretation in Netanyahu’s book depend a priori on a single axiom: “we’ are never terrorists; it’s the Moslems, Arabs and Communists who are.
The view is as simple as that, and it goes back in time to the fundamental and inaugurating denial in Israeli history: the buried fact that Israel came to exist as a state in 1948 as a result of the dispossession of the Palestinians. In the early 1970s there was, I believe, a subliminal recognition on the part of Israel’s leaders that no conventional military option existed against the Palestinians, who number 650,000 inside Israel, 1.3 million in Gaza and the West Bank and 2 million in exile, and that therefore they would have to be done away with by other means. That recognition was certainly the result of the emergence of post-1967 Palestinian nationalism as a force resisting Israel’s occupation of historical Palestine in its entirety.
Edward Sa’id, The Essential Terrorist
This is must read, and a great response to this ad, where it differentiates the “savage”, being the Arabs and the civilized man being the “Westerners”. We all know Sa’id’s Orientalism is a fine classic to understand western imperialism over the Orient, but it is important to realize that Orientalism isn’t something in the past—it is something that is happening in the future (which Sa’id talks about Israel later in the book). The eradication of Palestinian/Arab identity is still happening now—and leaders like Bibi are aiding it with blatant racism and stereotypes with this whole notion of ‘terrorism’.
Pew Pew Orientalist