Words like "terrorist" have meaning, and their use must be analyzed as a symptom. Sometimes as a weak signal: in Mali, the whole strategy of the Bamako hawks has been to conflate the Tuareg rebellion with terrorist organizations, with the aim of exploiting the war against terrorism to crush a rebellion that Mali has never been able to manage politically for decades. This led to the replacement of Barkhane by Wagner's mercenaries1 , who accept to militarily crush the Tuaregs, and massacre civilians: this is finally what is happening with the current FAMA and Wagner assault towards Kidal.
Today, with the Hamas terrorist attack, this situation has been reversed. In France, the media have focused on LFI politicians who refuse to describe Hamas as a terrorist movement, but this stance is not isolated: Pierre Barbancey has published several articles on this attack2 , in which Hamas terrorists are systematically described as "Palestinian fighters". This choice of words is not an innocent one. During the UN votes to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, maps revealed the international distribution of stances on Russia's attempted annexation of Ukraine. Today, similar maps3 reveal the postures of states towards Hamas: schematically, the West and India have condemned Hamas and support Israel, Eurasia and most of South America have called for de-escalation, the Shiite crescent and countries like Algeria, Sudan and Venezuela support Hamas, and most of Africa has not reacted.
Henry Kissinger has proposed an analysis that takes the perception dimension into account4 , suggesting that Hamas was targeting Arab opinions, and seeking to build an Arab coalition and draw it into the conflict, thus moving away from a logic of non-military settlement. It is possible to propose a broader analysis, taking perceptions into account on a global scale. Conceptually, instead of considering a global situation composed of actors and prescribing an evolution, it is interesting to consider Israel, and the set of perceptions that other actors have of it, which is somewhat orthogonal to the cindynic notion of situation: this view, or orthogonal situation, can be described as an image, composed of a real image: how each actor perceives Israel, and an ideal image: each actor's estimation of what Israel should be. We can therefore assume that this image is the main target of Hamas and its Iranian backers, on a global scale.
The barbarity of Hamas could thus be aimed at exploiting Israel's psycho-affective and emotional factor to provoke Tsahal into an extreme reaction, and to provoke collateral damage on the civilian populations used as human shields in Gaza. The international community would condemn these actions, which would weaken Israel and minimize its place in a two-state solution. In a more limited way, the impact on the perceptions of Arab populations could lead to an increased rejection of the two-state solution. In terms of cindynic image, this process of perception manipulation seeks to modify Israel's real image by causing collateral damage, in order to modify its ideal image and boost a global transformation pressure against it.