Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Angry and Frustrated

A terrorist bomb just blew up in the heart of Jerusalem apparently at a bus-stop. According to Ha'artez 25 people have been injured. 4 of them seriously. No deaths have been reported so far. It’s been years since an incident like this has happened. Israel’s security seemed to have been working. Somehow someone managed to get by security and plant a bomb (or blow himself up) in a crowded area of Israel’s holiest city.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to hold back my emotions. The emotion I feel here is – once again –anger! I am angry that we are powerless to do anything about this. My gut reaction is to retaliate in kind... to plant a bomb somewhere in a crowded Gaza street.

But as always my head over-rules over my heart and as difficult as an incident like this is for me, I realize that killing innocent people indiscriminately is as much a crime for us as it is for them.

That’s why I feel so powerless. Those who wish to do us in have the upper hand. Their morality sees killing Jews as a Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar. In that cause - martyring oneself guarantees an eternity in heaven. That’s why they say they love death more than we love life.

Israel is truly stuck here. Retaliations where innocent Palestinians are killed or injured as collateral damage to a military strike will be seen as State terror by a supposedly civilized Israeli people. The terrorists who commit these mass murders are seen at worst as uncivilized savages that react to Israeli oppression - and at best as evil but dead (if by suicide bombing) and in any case as not representing the masses of Palestinians. Either way any retaliation will be judged by the world (and possibly even the US) as collective punishment of people that had nothing to do with the terrorist act.

As I keep saying the vast majority of Arabs, not just Palestinians, have been indoctrinated to hate Israel and the Jewish people. The hatred is constantly being reinforced in their mosques, schools, and in all their media. Acts like the one that just happened cause Israel to be hard on the typical Palestinian in the cause of security. That just adds to the hatred as does their view that every new house built anywhere – especially in the West Bank means that the Jews are usurping more ‘Arab land’.

Meanwhile the world sees the conflict through Arab eyes. And the US being our best friend nevertheless sympathizes with that view in some respects. At least as far as building homes in the West Bank is concerned.

Like it or not - Israel needs America. Without it, Israel would have no air force. Which would make the army almost powerless. And no support means there will be nothing to counter a world all too eager to put the kind of boycott and sanctions against it that a would make the sanctions against Iran look like a walk in the park.

I am angry and frustrated. Angry that this kind of thing cannot be fully prevented. And frustrated that I see nothing that can be done about it.

One thing is certain. Israel must be continue to be vigilant and strong. They cannot afford to let up on any of their security measures. If that increases hardship to the Palestinians, that can’t be helped. The number one priority of the Israeli government must be to secure the safety of its people. Whatever that takes. Nothing else comes even remotely close to that.

Update: (11:56 AM CST) I am saddened to report that according to Arutz Sheva, there has been one casualty. They also report the number of people injured at 50 - 2 seriously.