Terrorist Terminology

The major Swedish News agency feeder is TT, who most certainly deserves a chapter of its own as they, to a large extent, bears the responsibility for the biased information flow in Sweden against Israel. Compared to other conflicts one is struck by the absurdity of choices made with regards to terminology. TT is the agency most other journalists in Swedish media use for daily updates, mainly because they have a news subscription feeding service as well as monopoly. When it comes to Israel the actual word “terror” seems to be have been banned in most cases, at least when the victims are Israeli Jews. On the other hand, Israel is often portrayed with subtle insinuations, or quoted by Arab leaders and others to use “state terrorism”. It’s hard to keep track on which of the journalists write what, since they almost never sign their names, and TT only is given credit.

And what seems even stranger, but fact remains that depending on which country TT is writing about, there is a clear and visible difference in the reporting. Perhaps the most obvious example was just a week before Spain became the scene of the largest terrorist attack in post-war European history, and terrorist bombs once again were set off in Israel. What can be read below is from the Yahoo Swedish news site (now shut down), TT news feed. Five telegrams about this were headlined as follows:

“Several dead in suspected suicide deed” Sunday March 14, 2004 16:45
“Several dead in suicide deed” Sunday March 14, 2004 17:21
“Teen dead in double suicide deed” Sunday March 14, 2004 17:43
“Double suicide deeds in Israel” Sunday March 14, 2004 19:23
“Top meeting canceled after bomb deed” Sunday March 14, 2004 20:55

None of these headlines contains any words describing the attack as being a terrorist attack. This is an observed pattern especially designed for Europe. They all talk of “suicide bombs” and “explosions” but not one of the five news telegrams contained the word “terror” or anything similar to it. 10 Israeli civilian workers in the harbor of Ashdod were not “killed” as stated in the telegrams; they were actually murdered by two 17-year-old Arab homicide bombers, who just performed a terrorist attack resulting in mass murder. But this is a language that seems forbidden to use by TT. But for some reason only with regards to Israel, because when the bombings in Madrid, Spain occurred only a week later, all the telegrams instantly used other adjectives when describing what had happened, and now they also clearly spoke of “terrorism”, “terrorist acts” and “terrorist attacks”. It’s also a charade of absurd terms being applied when the story concerns Israel. And there is a clear and visible pattern:

1. Humane (Muslim) Arabs, and anonymous (Jewish) Israelis
2. Obvious pairs in rhetoric
3. Violence against Israelis described as spectacular events, and sometimes the deed is romanticized
4. One-sided reporting
5. Facts tuned down

Just one, of many recurring, example of the previous stated points 1-5 above
“Friday February 27, 2004, 21:49
Two civilian Israelis shot dead
JERUSALEM. Two civilian Israelis was shot dead late Friday evening by Palestinians who opened fire from a car near the so called green line which separates Israel from the West Bank. The event happened not far from the Jewish settlement Eshkolot, two miles southwest of Hebron in the southern part of the West Bank.”
There are two major changes from the usual TT modus operandi with this news report, the first one being that it’s mentioned at all, since “smaller incidents” like this one, when Israelis are the victims sometimes aren’t mentioned at all (only the later Israeli response, where the Israelis are then being described as “instigating the spiral of violence”), secondly that it actually states that the victims (even though they aren’t explicitly called exactly that; murder victims) actually were civilians. But apart from that, this is all the news consumers are told. No names, no gender or age of the victims, the usual “settler” insinuation, but apart from that, nothing. However, the murder victims were noticed all over the Israeli media, just a computer click away, where it immediately was clear that the murdered couple had been traveling in their car when the car was sprayed with machine gun bullets, which at first stopped the car, whereupon the attackers rushed forward and shot the driver dead as well as the passenger at point blank range, in the heads – execution style. The couple, 29 and 30 years old respectively, was murdered at the roadside. They left a 2-year-old child orphaned. The slaughtered mother was five months pregnant.

When someone deliberately uses some kind of weapon (in this case a machine gun) and runs amok assaulting innocent traveling civilians who happen to be passing by, the (domestic) press usually tends to write, “act of insanity”, “terror attack”, or “massacre” in large letters all over the tabloids, at least the few times something like this has happened in Sweden. Then imagine having to live in a society where one is afraid of taking the children to school with the car, or just to go shopping at the mall or the supermarket for fear of being killed by some fundamental maniac shouting Allah akhbar (God is great) just before pulling the trigger. This is what the average Israelis have to endure as they go on with their daily life, a life in terror. Lets compare it with the news just the day after (the Israeli response) and how the news is presented when the Arab terrorists behind such atrocities get eliminated.

“Palestinians die in helicopter attack” March 28, 2004, 19:52
“The identity of the victims wasn’t instantly known” March 28, 2004, 18:40

“Saturday February 28, 2004, 20:47
Palestinian leader killed in air attack
GAZA. Three Palestinians were killed Saturday when an Israeli attack helicopter discharged three robots against a car near Gaza city. It was Israel’s first targeted liquidation of militant Palestinians in nearly two months. One of the victims was the 30-year-old Mahmud Jhouda, one of the top leaders of the Al-Quds brigades. Another member of Islamic Jihad was killed as well as third Palestinian who had no connection.
According to Palestinian sources the helicopter, supported by a fighter-bomber, discharged its rockets in the urban part of Saftawi. The car that was the target was completely demolished. Several cars and houses in the area were also damaged. According to medical sources eight persons were also injured in the attack.
There were no immediate comments to the event from the Israeli military power.”
From this news message alone, one can curiously enough, find the following:

• 1 – It’s obvious is that the al-Quds (TT just renamed Al-Aqua martyrs brigade) terrorists (already proven beyond reasonable doubt that they were governed directly by Arafat, even if the Swedish press had repeatedly claimed them to be “loosely affiliated”) are working together with the Islamic Jihad terrorists.
• 2 – The eliminated terrorists are not called terrorists anywhere, but instead (militant) “leaders”.
• 3 – The name (Mahmoud Jhouda) and age (30) of the eliminated terrorist is published only two hours after the event – it’s in other words almost immediately known who the “victim” was.
• 4 – The sources of this news are Arab sources only.
• 5 – The Israeli Defense Forces, IDF, are renamed and labeled as a “military power” who with “attack helicopters” supported by “fighter bombers” in an “air attack” “kill” the “leaders” of whom “one not connected” and further “injures eight” and also damage civilian property.

The previous two, now dead, Israeli civilians, by TT’s reporting anonymous victims, were murdered by the same organization, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, who on Friday proudly claimed responsibility for the double homicide, which a day later was reported by TT in several telegrams as “Israel’s first targeted liquidation in two months”.

Stefan Hjertén

The journalist Stefan Hjertén, who has during these years been in charge of the Swedish Middle East desk at the time at TT, was 1982 already in various ways defending the French Holocaust denier and revisionist Robert Faurisson. This was also a testimonial part of Bachner’s book “The Return, anti-Semitism in Sweden after 1945” p. 360-361 (1999). A Swede used a website trying to keep track of some of the recurring patterns of the biased telegrams, between December 2001 and June 2002 and then continued in 2004 and many examples are shown of the clear bias.

Another person well worth mentioning regarding the ongoing TT bias and news falsifications is the authorized Israeli guide Richard Haas, who on a weekly basis for some time now has been producing his own newsletter. As an acknowledged guide in Israel, he of all people surely has some first hand experience and credibility regarding the state of affairs in the land of Israel. Added to that, he also has a background as a Swedish journalist, and has written for DN as one of the first Jerusalem correspondents in Israel. This is one (of many) of his conclusive findings regarding the Swedish TT coverage of the country of Israel :
“In the mistaken belief that Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT) sticks to facts in its news coverage from Israel and the occupied territories, DN and several other Swedish papers reissued a TT-telegram on Sunday morning, a telegram that can be described as a test map on TT’s most practiced ways of distorting news texts. The methodology is largely almost identical with the Soviet propaganda, both during and after the Stalin era. It’s a well know fact that in those days they consequently put together so called cleaned up versions of reality, so that the version fit nicely with the ruling communist party’s so called interests and ‘’momentary truths’”
On one very rare occasion, DN publicly protested when the main editorial columnist Peter Wolodarski obviously felt compelled to publicly ask in the paper:
What does TT mean? TT usually publishes edited telegrams from foreign news agencies. Nothing wrong with that. But the other day TT sent out a re-written text on the former chess player Bobby Fisher, which is so notable that it demands an explanation. Fisher is infamous for his hate against America and his anti-Semitism. After September 11 2001 he said, for example, on a Philippine radio station that the attack on the USA was “fantastic news”, and that he hoped for “the country to be overtaken by the military, and that they would close all synagogues and arrest all Jews”. Fisher has also said that “dirty, crook-nosed, circumcised Jew pigs” control the USA. AFP completes this story correctly by concluding that Fisher has insulted his old fans by his militant anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. But when will TT translate that into Swedish – because then – not surprisingly the former chess champion is suddenly not questioned with regards to his Jew hate. Oh no, the Swedish readers are told that “Fisher, himself Jewish on his mother’s side, has signed on for his critical stance against Israel” What does TT mean?
This of course prompted TT, in a very rare case I might add, to send out a rather political clarification.
“TT is sorry about the formulation
Peter Wolodarski wondered in Tuesday’s edition of DN why TT has written that the chess player Bobby Fisher has for his critical stance against Israel” In original texts from the news agencies Reuters and AFP however it says that Fisher had spoken in an “anti-Semitic” respectively “anti-Jewish” manner. Our wording was built on uncertainty of what Fisher had actually said, rather than to choose a more vague expression, we reasoned. We shouldn’t have done that.
Mats Johansson.
Editor in Chief, TT”
Or as the Israeli DN journalist veteran Richard Haas concluded at the time in his newsletter:
“Let us look closer at this correction: TT lied to its readers knowingly straight to their faces, and then says, when they have been exposed, that they should not have done that.
But they did.
And they have done it before, and they will do it again in all probability. The summary is then, that they [TT] devote themselves to insidious propaganda alongside the regular news reporting. And if someone at TT is uncertain of facts, they don’t strike these facts, instead they c h a n g e those facts, so that they become a bit more “vague”. In other words, to tamper with facts is OK, as long as the final impression is vague. This is rather serious actually. This has to be brought up in parliament sooner or later. TT angles their news, i.e. some of the editorial staff members sit there, adding and revoking, as they see fit for the moment. They also pretend that TT is an untouchable holy cow in Swedish society. But the product only smells like common cow manure and TT craps all over the society and their consumers. It’s definitely not about normal news delivery any longer.
Just for the TT Middle East desk record, the US state info government had published a list for April , a list about foreign terrorist groups; the third name on that list is the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

Continue to chapter, Aftonbladet

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