The Role of Terror in Ethnic Cleansing: Israeli State Violence and Population Movemenb

Frank M. Afflitto, Arizona State University

Elimination of human life is not assigned primacy in the analysis of fatal terrorist acts. On the contrary, intense fear must be generated as at least one result of the violence, and must be directed towards and felt by a particular audience, for the violence to be considered "terrorist". Such audience(s), in turn, are expected to exhibit fear responses desired by the perpetrators themselves. The 'reach' of terrorism, therefore, can be found as much in reactive human behaviors as it can in the bodies of the mortal victims. I will argue that the Israeli state and the violence it systematically generates against the militarily-occupied population is a fertile source of criminological/victimological data in the field of state terror study. Using first-hand accounts and secondary data analyses, I portray population movement of the native population as reactive behavior to Jewish violence, and the concentration and growth of settler populations as related to the state violence itself. The destruction, and driving off of, the land is seen by the native population, Palestinian Arabs, as a central purpose behind the employment of Israeli violence. Such perceptions may be especially prevalent in researching Palestinian and Palestinian-American attitudes on the events characterizing the second, or Al Aqsa, Intifada.

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Updated 05/20/2006