Zionism: The word “Zionism” has a lot of connotations to it that go beyond that simple definition. Those connotations mainly revolve around the Jewish religion and ethnic culture. The term “Zionist” has become almost synonymous with the word “Jew” in our culture, making it difficult to oppose political Zionism without being labeled an anti-Semite. This disconnect has added an emotional tag to the purely political movement that is Zionism. Whether that tag was inserted on purpose, conspiratorially, or as an uncontrolled social phenomenon is a matter of debate as well, but is not the point here. Regardless, Zionism is a political movement that happens to be centered around a specific culture. That does not make Zionism equal to that culture, however. No one would claim that all Republicans are fascists, for instance, just because a subset of them advocate fascist concepts—and be serious about the claim, anyway. There are two aspects to Zionism that are important to include in any conversation on the subject. The first, of course, is the political movement that started before the turn of the century and culminated in the creation of the State of Israel in Palestine. That political subject now (aka “Modern Zionism”) has evolved into a discussion of the policies of the State of Israel. The other aspect is the cultural phenomena that surround Zionism itself. Besides the political creation of Israel and the ethnic connections the word has, there are also the highly-charged emotional and almost fanatical religious beliefs that surround the idea of Zionism as well. All of these things come together to define Zionism as we see it today, much of it driven by several of the factors mentioned herein. On the flip side of that coin, many people who are anti-Zionists are also fanatically obsessed with anti-Semitic thought. These people feed directly into the notion that Zionism is equal to Judaism.


In the United States, Zionism takes on a whole new set of baggage. Christian fundamentalists in America have a large group following that believes that Zionism (the creation of a Jewish State or Israel) is not only prophesied in the Bible, but that it must happen in order for Armageddon and the rapture to come to pass. This has led to a large corps of unexpected support for the Zionist cause. On another front, the Israeli lobby (aka AIPAC) is extremely strong and well-funded in the U.S. The United States government gives unprecedented and, to most people, unquestioning support to the State of Israel. This support is a bone of contention in all U.S. foreign policy, but is never changed. Currently, the U.S. government gives about 1/3 of its total foreign aid to Israel. Through direct cash handouts to military supplies and information to loans that are later written off as grants, the United States gives more to Israel than we do to the entire continent of Africa, the whole of South America, and more. Finally, the world seems to almost entirely oppose the State of Israel and its actions on both military and political foreign relations fronts. Israel is accused of war crimes, genocide, theft and bribery, ignorance of diplomacy, breaking treaties, and more. Without wavering, the United States backs up Israel in every argument. Even to the point of using our special veto power in the United Nations to shut down anti-Israeli measures. Almost all politicians of any size in the U.S. receive funding, donations, and support from AIPAC. None dare oppose them for fear of political ruination and being labeled “anti-semitic.” All of this adds up to an unprecedented amount of control over politics, political discussion, cultural aspects (as related to Zion), and more in the name of Zionism (Truth-It, 2010).

In the parlance of criminal justice, a suspect is a known person suspected of committing a crime.

Police and reporters often incorrectly use the word suspect when referring to the perpetrator of the offense (perp for short). The perpetrator is the robber, assailant, counterfeiter, etc. --the person who actually committed the crime. The distinction between suspect and perpetrator recognizes that the suspect is not known to have committed the offense, while the perpetrator -- who may not yet have been suspected of the crime, and is thus not necessarily a suspect -- is the one who actually did. The suspect may be a different person from the perpetrator, or there may have been no actual crime, which would mean there is no perpetrator.

A common error in police reports is a witness description of the suspect (as a witness generally describes the perpetrator, while a mug shot is of the suspect). Frequently it is stated that police are looking for the suspect, when there is no suspect; the police may be looking for a suspect, but they are surely looking for the perpetrator, and very often it is impossible to tell from such a police report whether there is a suspect or not.

Possibly because of the misuse of suspect to mean perpetrator, police have begun to use person of interest, possible suspect, and even possible person of interest, to mean suspect.

Under the judicial systems of the U.S., once a decision is approved to arrest a suspect, or bind him over for trial, either by a prosecutor issuing an information, a grand jury issuing a true bill or indictment, or a judge issuing an arrest warrant, the suspect can then be properly called a defendant, or the accused. Only after being convicted is the suspect properly called the perpetrator (Wikipedia, 2011).