One of the most shocking moments of Jordi Évole’s interview with Josu Ternera (Don’t call me calf, on Netflix) occurs when the ETA leader expresses his horror at the 11-M jihadist attacks in Madrid, or those in Paris, London or Syria. This is terrorism, he says. “They are going bravely!” Because Al Qaeda or ISIS wanted there to be civilian victims, the more the better, while what ETA did defines it as “the consequence of an analysis”, as if they were the ones who measure cholesterol. The fact that ETA also killed indiscriminately (in Hipercor or Zaragoza) does not discourage José Antonio Urrutikoetxea from his speech. In the documentary he doesn’t say it (disturbing, enlightening, precious), but it is clear: the brutality of the Islamist crimes of the first two thousand years influenced the surrender of the ETA members, already cornered and without support. Some terrorists did not like to see themselves in the mirror of others.
In the years of lead, when ETA often killed, no one thought of defining street revolts as terrorism, however frequent they were in times of industrial reconversion. There were some really bad ones: Hunosa miners threw sticks of dynamite at riot police; The protests in the shipyards and steel industry were no longer peaceful. This wasn’t called terrorism (although there were other crimes that could be prosecuted) because we knew what terrorism was and it hurt. Now that our memory has worsened, they insist on looking for traces of terrorism in the processeswhich was an attack on the law and a deception against it, yes, but killing did not kill.
Pretending that all violence is terrorism, distorting the concept for political purposes, may not guarantee the respect due to the victims of authentic terrorism, which kills deliberately, according to the expression of those who commanded the armed men.
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