Monday, August 21, 2017

  • Monday, August 21, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Today there was another car ramming attack in Marseille, although police are not calling it a terror attack.

There is as of yet no universal English phrase for these types of attacks. "Vehicle attacks," "vehicular attacks," "ramming attacks" - all are dependent on the still evolving style guides of different news agencies.

But there are well-accepted phrases describig vehicle attacks in Hebrew and in Arabic.

In Hebrew, there is a specific term for these kinds of attacks as well: פיגוע דריסה, "pigua drisa" meaning "ramming attack." But in Hebrew the word "pigua" specifically refers to terror attacks.

I saw the story reported in Arabic but the Google Translate phrase for the type of attack was not accurate. Google Translate has not yet caught up with common usage. In Arabic, the consistent term for vehicle ramming attacks is عملية دهس, "eamaliat dahs" which literally means "ramming operation." 

In Arabic, these are akin to military operations. In Hebrew, they are terror attacks.

The reason, of course, is that Palestinians were the ones who innovated these kinds of attacks, and they were reported in Arabic media in terms of being heroic military operations against Israelis. The phrase stuck even when reporting on Nice or Barcelona, since the shorthand that implicitly finds these attacks to be heroic remains as part of modern Arabic.

The first vehicle attack I am aware of was indeed Palestinian. It was in 2001 when an Arab bus driver aimed his bus at a group of soldiers at the Azor junction, killing seven soldiers and one civilian and injuring 26.

It was the first "heroic ramming operation." It occurred some nine years before Al Qaeda first recommended that tactic in its "Inspire" magazine.

Every time that the media reports on these types of attacks and pretends that they are a new European phenomenon, they are purposefully obscuring the fact that these attacks are yet another gift that Palestinian terrorists have given the world.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)



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