The second Intifada and terrorism

In September 2000, when the second Intifada began, media discourses presented the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as bringing Palestinian civilians, victims of an armed repression or collectively responsible for violent acts, into conflict with Israeli soldiers who were implementing a harsh repression policy. Even if violence, from both sides, was described as illegitimate, terrorism was hardly mentioned, except to question the political capacity of the Palestinian Authority to really get involved in a peace process. Media discourses changed rather clearly in the days following the attacks of September 11, 2001 which defined an international coalition against terrorism, which Palestinians were summoned to join. From then on, while the attackreprisal cycle hardened the Israeli repression, still shown as disproportionate and preventing the Palestinian Authority to crack down on terrorism, a majority of media described Palestinian violence as susceptible to belong to a world terrorism and brought discredit on Palestinian resistance which shattered diplomatic efforts. Beyond the discourses, which try to reflect the extraordinary complexity of the conflict, mixed representations are prevalent : they underline the lack of political legitimacy from which the Palestinian Authority suffers. –Summary AFRI-2003