Segal is right in saying that the term terrorism is "notoriously hard to define." He correctly refers to the activities of the Stern Gang, the incidents at Der Yassein and Sabra and Chatilla, but does not explain why such activities are not declared as terrorism, pure and simple, by the American and Israeli press. If we were to use his definition ("Purposeful targetting or putting at risk of civilian populations"), then can all those incidents as well as the continuing massacre of Palestinians by Israelis be considered as anything but terrorism?
But even as Segal is trying to clarify the issue, the Israeli government has added more wrinkles to it by announcing that it has authorized its citizens to shoot and kill the unarmed Palestinians (Part I, March 23). This brings into question even the validity of Segal's distinction between legitimate struggle and terrorism (attacking Israeli soldiers is not terrorism but attacking Israeli athletes is). While I wish to agree with this, the March 23 announcement tells me otherwise.