Quote: “They are just terrorists in suits.” Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, after the Israeli military arrested the Palestinian education minister along with two mayors and 30 other officials.
Figure of Speech: tapinosis (tap-in-O-sis), the abusive shrinking figure. From the Greek, meaning “demeaning.”
The officials in question are members of Hamas, a group that believes Israel should not exist. The awkward thing is that these officials were duly elected. Israel’s No. 2 military man takes care of that problem rhetorically, with a tapinosis. A form of meiosis, the tapinosis abuses a person or thing by making it seem smaller. These aren’t statesmen and women, they’re terrorists in statesmen’s clothing.
It’s a powerful figure, that tapinosis — a kind of shrinking gun. Be careful where you aim it.
Snappy Answer: “And you’re just a suit.”