The following were provided by Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh and Maad
It is a handy dictionary/rules book for anyone writing on the Middle
East issues in the mainstream western media.
Crossfire: (n.) When Israeli gunmen target innocent Palestinian civilians.
Caught in the Crossfire: 45 minutes worth of bullets fired by a sniper at a cowering, defenseless child.
Retaliation: (n.) When Israeli army or settlers kill Palestinians.
Escalation (synonym/can be used interchangeably with Provocation):
act of violence or resistance by the Palestinians.
Terrorism: (n.) Any act of resistance by the Palestinians.
Self-defense: Any act of violence by Israelis.
Siege: (n.) You are under siege when you blockade a civilian
and bombard them with anti-tank missiles.
Under siege: Again terms for use by the Israelis as in Palestinians have put Israelis under siege. Exact meaning depends on the circumstances. Never use for Palestinian towns or villages. In order to be truly under siege, your own population must be virtually isolated from any violence, and must continue to work and play as normal while the population that is besieging you must be cut off from all phones, electricity, gas and other amenities, and have their population picked off one by one by snipers (the snipers thereby being "under siege").
Reservist: (n.) A person who is paid to infiltrate civilian populations
and execute individuals in cold blood...as long as he is not dressed
Gunman: (n.) a 10 year old boy walking to school.
Settler: (n.) a person who steals land, kills it's occupants
their olive trees...all in the name of God.
Clash: (v.) encounters in which sniper shoot at children who retaliate by attacking the bullets with their bodies.
Murdered: When Israeli Civilians are killed.
Attacker: (n.) Any Palestinian engaging in any form of resistance (violent or not). Also, see terrorist.
Brutal / cowardly / ghastly: adjectives describing attacks
(see below for nouns to attach it to)
Attack/bombing/murder: Acts the Palestinians commit when
Victims: (n.) Any Jewish Israeli.
Targets: Palestinian buildings, homes, offices, ambulances or any vehicle operated by a Palestinian (Always carries a Blue license Plate) - What the Israeli military designates as military targets.
Measures (e.g. Economic measures, security measures): Any acts
Israelis commit (blockades, collective punishment, shelling
neighborhoods, starving a population etc.)
Security: Anything the Israeli government chooses to do. This can include land confiscation, extra-judicial killings, home demolitions, destruction of groves, uprooting trees, blockades etc. (The term security is reserved for use only with the word Israel or Israeli and must never be applied to Palestinians.)
Civilians: Armed Israeli settlers are civilians when killed. Try to avoid using this term for Palestinians.
Neighborhoods: Areas inhabited by Israeli settlers especially if targeted by shooting (light guns)
Positions: Any Palestinian towns and villages especially
when bombed by
Middle East Expert: (n.) Israeli who can speak English without an accent.
Israeli Right: (n.) Israelis who want all Arabs to fly away.
Israeli Left: (n.) Israelis who want Arabs to stay and do the dishes.
Headline: (n.) Anything uttered by an Israeli official, (e.g. Three Lost Israeli Reservists Lynched by Palestinian Mob)
Opposition Leader: (n.) War criminal.
Arab Governments: (n.) Chicken feed.
U.S. Media: (n.) Material considered too hawkish for Israeli media.
Footnote: (n.) Anything stated by eyewitnesses, usually appearing in the last paragraph of a long article, e.g. "...Palestinians claim that the reservists were actually part of a death squad and claim that it would be impossible for a person to end up in the middle of Ramallah by accident since that would require crossing an Israeli checkpoint, a Palestinian checkpoint, and traversing about 20 cross streets."
Honest Broker: (n.) A country that provides $4.5 Billion
in aide to one
side, and admits having a "special relationship" with that side.
When to use Passive voice:
If the violent action is committed by Israelis (e.g. 2 Palestinians were killed, one of them a 9 year old).
When to use active voice:
If the action is committed by Palestinians, (e.g. Palestinians killed
a Jewish child -give name-, Palestinians kills teenager -give name-).
Names must be included for any Jewish victims. Try to avoid
Muslim or Christian victims but use numbers instead (remember in the
passive voice, e.g. 2 Palestinians died in clashes).
When an Israeli is killed, it is important to note his or her profession, where he/she is from and was going, whether or not he/she is religious, and whether or not he/she is an immigrant from the U.S. or Russia. If the dead person is survived by a spouse and children, this should be noted. If the victim is a youngster, the school they attended should be mentioned, and their friends' feelings should be noted. In general, people who knew the dead person should testify to their humanity.
When a Palestinian is killed, they should not be personalized in any way.
When an Israeli is killed, it is useful to include graphic descriptions
of the death scene - the covered body, the fragments of flesh, the path
of flowing blood, etc.