RAMALLAH, WEST BANK—The Israelis are clear. They call it “terrorism.” Yet after five months of near-daily attacks against Israelis, Palestinian society struggles with how to describe the wave of knife, gun and vehicular attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Is it an “uprising” or “upheaval” or “awakening” — or personal “despair?” Are the assailants “martyrs” or “victims” or both? Are the teens wielding kitchen knives “heroes” or “children” — and after they are shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during their attacks, should they be celebrated as “warriors” for the Palestinian cause or pitied as unstable individuals who “snapped?”
If Palestinians on the street are uncertain what to call the ongoing violence, the Palestinian leadership appears paralyzed over word choices.