“Why Is It That When The Powerful Use Force It Is Called “Self-Defense” And When The Weak Use Force It Is Called “Terrorism”?” (Quora)
The question is built incorrectly from the beginning. Terrorism involves the use of violence toward the peaceful population, which is in essence not guilty of anything. Terrorism is used precisely to kill innocent people. On the other hand, the force that a government uses is used against the army of the opponent, i.e. an army against an army. In our egoistic world, even this is considered “ethical” and correct. It differs from cases when terror organizations use force against citizens who are guilty of nothing besides the fact that they are ordinary people.
That is why, unquestionably, terrorism has no place and no justification in human society. The issue here is not power or weakness, but against whom the force is directed. If it is directed against citizens, this is called “terrorism,” whereas if it is directed against an army, then it is called “war.” War has its own forces and laws. Of course, it is undesirable, but one way or another, we consider these to be lawful and fitting into specific boundaries. The tragedy is that terrorist groups make it their goal to hurt the civilian population, and in this regard they should receive a warning from humanity. Terrorism should disappear from the map of the world.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.