Within a short amount of time, the ruthless terrorist organization ISIS has changed its name to ISIL and then IS. It is most commonly still referred to as ISIS by Americans (including myself), but the leader of our country and his administration now stress the usage of the acronym ISIL. Before media coverage and immense concern of ISIS escalated in the United States, and even a period of time after ISIS had changed its name to ISIL, President Obama had still referred to the terrorist group as ISIS. ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, while ISIL stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Levant is a geographic region in the Middle East that consists of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. By addressing the organization as ISIL, President Obama is acknowledging a much more extensive area and it isn’t without a purpose. Obama’s simple swap of letters has great importance behind it and many theories have been established in decoding his hidden message. I myself have been led to believe that through his international microphone, Obama and his administration have been purposely denigrating and showing hostility towards Israel.
Many people believe that Obama began to refer to ISIS as ISIL to show respect to the many women named after the goddess Isis or that it was to express the sheer magnitude of this terrorist group. I don’t believe this to be true because the Obama administration would have began calling the organization ISIL much earlier on if this was the case. I began thinking of why Obama would maybe do it to personally benefit himself and I wondered whether if it was to stray any attention away from his failure of success in Syria and Iraq. By calling it ISIL instead of ISIS, Obama is putting less attention on those two countries and spreading the focus to a bigger region, which distracts people from his own deficiency of success. I thought this was the case until I carefully analyzed his press speech at the White House. Within the first 20 seconds, Obama overtly spells out I-S-I-L, but then does something contradictory to what I thought he would. He states that the organization operates in Iraq and Syria without mentioning the Levant, which means he’s not trying to cover something up, but instead he’s making an effort to covertly send subtle but serious implications.
Even though Israel is presumed to be our nation’s strongest ally, the Obama administration has indicated their support for a future Palestinian state. During a speech in 2011, Obama explained, “We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.” This was extremely insulting to Israel and caused great commotion, and I believe Obama is using the term ISIL to infer something similar again. By using the acronym ISIL, Obama is trying to reach an audience in the Middle East and not in the United States. Obama is seeming to redraw the map of the Middle East depicting the Islamic State extending from Iran to Egypt, which excludes the existence of Israel because it is not apart of the Islamic State. He is once again condemning the territory that belongs to Israel by recognizing it as territory belonging to the Islamic State.