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Sorry about the delay. I was offline and listening to a cd instead of the radio.

By now you have probably heard about the attack in Tel Aviv, at a small restaurant outside the old Bus Station. This is the second time this restaurant was hit – there were no fatalities the first time. Today, however, 9 were killed, about 15 injured hard and another 45 injured lightly.

The bomber? Now we’re told he’s a 21 year old (although he looks a tad younger which may have helped him get through checkpoints).

Who took responsibility? As is their custom, the Palestinians had two groups accept responsibility, thus confusing the issue for the media and slowing down Israeli reaction somewhat. Today’s lucky groups were Fatah’s Al Aqsa Brigades and, of course, Islamic Jihad. Somebody should chime in right now and tell us all that we don’t understand the meaning of jihad.

Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, as is his custom, but of course he did not address the fact that he is the titular head of the Al Aqsa Brigades. Hamas, the democratically elected terror group leading the Palestinian people who voted them into power, did not condemn the attack because they are more honest than Abbas.

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They proclaimed that it was done in “self-defense.” That’s right, their cult of death that teaches and promotes having people and even kids go off to kill themselves and as many Jewish Israelis as possible, claims that it does so in “self-defense.”

The Israelis have been anticipating an attack because they have stopped a number in recent weeks and have noted that terror activity is up. Forces were stationed around the country and while they had some success, one got through. I guess sending teenagers to go off and kill themselves and others can be effective. But let’s be clear that whereas before, the international community allowed the ruse the Palestinians were playing wherein they would attack and fight a war on the one hand while claiming to be pursuing peace, now Hamas has eliminated any pretense.

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This is a war. They want this war and they will continue with it for as long as they can. Unlike in the past when Israel had some difficulty convincing the international community that the Palestinian leadership was the address to approach regarding these attacks, now it is clear as day that they are the address.

(photos from the BBC but now available at NYtimes.com)

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themiddle

22 Comments

  • My heart and prayers are with the Israeli people. they have acted with a restraint not other people would had.

  • You said it “N.”

    It always blows my mind when I hear people getting all ticked when Israel finally acts on these things.

    And then I ask them what would happen to ANYONE who did that to our country. Can you imagine what would happen to Mexico if people have been launching rockets into Texas for the past twenty years? Or if Scotland was firing into the UK? Germany into France?

    Yeetgadal v’ yeetkadash sh’mey rabbah (

  • Yeah, I’m noting the ad up here for a conference/ academic program called ‘Beyond Trauma’, where else but Israel? Me, I think the most dangerous thing Hamas ever did was to win that election. It’s hard to go after disorganized terrorists. It’s much less so to go after terroristic States or ‘state like governmental entities’. There you’ve got more leverage, and a larger panoply of targets that can be affected. Slowly they’ll be strangled I suspect, both from within & without. It’ll take some time though. Here’s hoping that day comes sooner than we can dream of it. ‘VJ’

  • Now that we have, in a moment of clarity, realized that “it’s a war” and “they will continue as long as they can” – we can ask:

    Why is Israel not allowed to finish this war – to win decisively?

    During the (blood-spattered!) Oslo decade, Israel proved itself willing to compromise – it is the Palis who have turned this into an Us-or-Them situation (and it was us “right wing extremists” who accurately predicted all this…)

    So why are well-meaning supporters of Israel still unable to pry themselves free of the pious notion that Israel cannot fight this “fight to the finish” to the finish – including deporting the Palis – and choose Us over Them?

    One of the lessons of WWII and other conflicts is that groups caught up in violent extremism must suffer clear, uncontrovertible defeat before they will begin the hard work of social and cultural change.

    Why is Israel still prevented from WINNING?

    Where is perpetual self-flagellation part of “Jewish values” – we satisfied Judaism’s demand to seek peace over the past 17 bloody years.

    Now we have a moral right to defend ourselves.

    To fight to win.

  • I agree Ben-David. No one, least of all the Palestinian leadership are going to put a stop to this lunacy. Isralis are going to have to do it on their own. Anyway my heart goes out to all the victims of the latest attack.

  • Yes but they never do. Israel allows this to continue because they always stop their work.

    They must immediatly remove the hamas headquarters and every little office and base.

    They should also destroy the village where this sub human animal came from.

  • Don’t worry Jobber, the Israeli military is taking action as we speak. Over 2000 artillery shells have fallen on the Gaza strip in the last two weeks. The 19 confirmed fatalities, including children, are Israel’s form of self-defence.

    I fail to see how risking everything and giving your own life is more disgusting than sitting comfortably behind a high-tech, high-powered military force.

  • Barney, I think giving up your own life is just fine, as long as you don’t take the lives of innocent civilians with you.

    Nobody in Israel sits comfortably, that is the point of the Palestinian terror. You get on a bus, go to school, dine at a restaurant, go to the grocery store or just drive home and there is the distinct possibility that you might be blown up or shot. Of course, statistically, these are uncommon occurrences, but their randomness is what makes them so prominent in people’s minds.

    Now you would have the Israelis not sit comfortably behind a high-powered, high-tech military force. Hmmmm. Why? Are you unaware of the history of the conflict when the Israelis were weaker? There were wars on a regular basis, just to remind you. Would you prefer that the Israelis use less sophisticated targeting methods in their attacks? I would guess that if you shot 2000 artillery shells without high-tech equipment, you’d have more than 19 fatalities. Also, out of those 19 fatalities, you wouldn’t have 14-16 who are militants or terrorists, which happens to be the case here. Most of these terrorists were involved in shooting the Qassem rockets that have become more than a nuisance, but a danger to Israeli civilian installations. In other words, they want war and they want to play by these rules where they involve Israeli civilians and put Palestinian civilians at risk as well because even if they lose, they get a media victory.

    I fail to see how you can say that this form of careful targeting is as disgusting as someone walking into a crowd with a bomb and letting loose. In fact, I would say your viewpoint is unconscionable.

  • Big bloody difference in AIMING at civilian targets, and “casualities.” It’s unfortunate, but it’s a distinction.

    If the terrorists didn’t HIDE behind their families and their villages, their would not much in the way of civilian casualities on the Palestinian side. They choose this. I don’t care what their rationale is, they choose it.

    Nothing sickens me more than when someone tries to equate a terrorist tying dynamite to themselves, getting on a civilian bus and taking out a load of men, women and children and then saying it is somehow the same thing as shelling a location someone has been launching rockets from. If the Palestinians limited themselves to military targets, it’d be a COMPLETLEY different animal. But they don’t. And until they do, it’s nothing but terrorism.

  • Barney, we understand that the Palestinians consider themselves underdogs, and have allowed their dictators to allow their situation to become intolerable, and we also understand that the other rich arabs nations could have alleviated their poverty and provided them w/ an economic infrastructure. But we are past this. The situation is an all out war, and I am defining my plan for Israel to win this war. After the terrorist are gone then we can go back again to all the peace parties, the flowers, the beach parties we used to have.
    My point is, that this Palestinians government wants to fight and destroy, I say, do it now.

  • Sorry, I know this place isn’t meant as a hotspot for debate.

    My main issue is that the Palestinians have nothing to defend them. While you might say the same of Israeli civilians… Of course it isn’t a wonderful position to be in what with the looming threat of suicide bombings and rocket attacks, however infrequent… The Palestinians have no army to defend them. I’m sure nobody here takes great comfort in the fact that the Israeli army retaliates, but the Palestinians have no real defence. They live like prisoners in their own land and have no power except martyrdom to make anything approaching a difference.

  • Barney, on the contrary, we debate all the time and, frankly, it’s much more fun to debate somebody other than a fellow Jewlicious poster.

    Even if the Palestinians have no army to defend them, which is arguable, why should that matter? They wouldn’t be under attack if they weren’t attacking. Israel was completely out of Areas A in 2000 when they made the offer of a Palestinian state at Camp David. This war that ensued was a Palestinian decision to attack and they have not relented for a day. As I point out in the post, the supposed moderate, Abbas, is essentially the head of one of the terror groups that claimed responsibility yesterday. So on the one hand, he cleanses his hands while with the other we get an attack.

    Israel is out of Gaza. Yet, the Palestinians are firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. Why? Why do you then speak as if they need defending? From what? From an army that isn’t there? They are seeking to engage the army and the Israeli population.

    As for the martyrdom excuse, please remember that any explanation you provide has to stand up to the scrutiny of explaining away all the other places in the world where we have and have had suicide bombings by people who are not Palestinian.

  • Stuff it, Barney. The paleos aren’t defending themselves, unless you agree with them that “defending themselves” means “destroying Israel”. Of course, you may agree that this is a noble goal. If so, you know where you can go and what you can do when you get there.

    If they want to martyr themselves, let them. Since that seems to be what they want, they can hardly complain when Israel helps them along. Indeed, Israel’s inexplicable refusal to give the paleostinians what they want could be seen as a kind of cultural genocide, since the dastardly Jews are not allowing the palostinians to act upon their apparently deep-seated desire for self-destruction.

    Israel should adopt Mao’s old slogan, with a little twist:

    “Let a Thousand Martyrs Go BLOOM!!!!!”

    I’ve said all along that at some point Israel will have to engage in all-out war with the pals. I just cannot for the life of me understand why they are not going after them with everything they’ve got.

    Perhaps they’re waiting for the US strike on Iran or some other good opportunity. I hope so, anyway.

  • Barney, the only reason the attacks are “infrequent,” as you put it, is because Israeli intelligence and security are such that the vast majority of these bastards get caught before they have the chance to hurt anyone. That, incidentally, is a good example of self-defense, since you seem to be having trouble with the concept.

  • Barney’s is an extreme example of the view that victim status trumps all other moral considerations. Well, the Palestinians’ victim status got a lot more attenuated after the elections which made Hamas their duly-constituted gov’t. There’s no doubt now that suicide bombing is an officially-sanctioned Palestinian policy. I hope Israel responds forcefully. As events in Gaza suggest, anything approaching a display of weakness will simply elicit more P violence.

  • ‘Victim status tumps all’ is an interesting one… I’m not attempting to justify the bombing, I must make that clear. However I must confess to seeing Israel’s occupation as justifiable only under that very eternal-victim white card.

    Bear in mind, all of you, that Israel is constantly militarily attacking Palestine, causing far more casualties, regardless of the inhumane conditions Palestinians are forced to live in.

    To an extent, I have sympathy with the Israeli who sees his compatriots murdered and injured out of the blue while going about their own business, and thinks ‘We have to define this enemy and fight it in the most literal sense’. It’s just that I have more sympathy with the man whose parents and parents’ parents have lived without electricity, draining, employment, a carpet or real roof, the ability to travel, who then sees a soldier shoot down his fellow man, or a shell land in his house. That kind of oppression is closer to the justification of violent reaction in my eyes.

    Imagine if a Palestinian were able to sit and drink tea in a restaurant in their own city, or if an Israeli were despairing and oppressed enough to see fit to abandon his own life to strike back. It’s a terrible image, but the reasons for that must be looked at.

  • Well, Barney, maybe we should give peace a chance, to coin a phrase. And whatever criticisms one may have about the occupation, the Palestinian powers-that-be, Fatah and Hamas, have stubbornly resisted negotiation.

    The conflict may not lack for moral complexity. But the last clear chance to avoid suicide bombings, and the proverbial cycle of violence, rests with the Palestinians, who have endorsed violent aggression against civilians.

    To ask who’s more entitled to use violence, strikes me as a singularly unproductive and morally vacuous way of viewing the conflict. Where does that get us? Where does it get the Palestinians?

  • Barney, Palestinian poverty is not caused by Israel and neither is their lack of infrastructure. On the contrary, Palestinian per capita standard of living was among the highest in the Arab world – for those Palestinians in the territories – for many years following 1967. In fact, it were the suicide bombings of the Oslo years and the subsequent war of 2000 that have caused the biggest damage to Palestinian quality of life and standard of living.

    As for poverty and coffee shops. I’m afraid they do have coffee shops and can use them. They have electricity as well. Israel provides it. In fact, Israel provided it for free because the PA wasn’t paying its bill. Right now, some of the Qassem rockets being launched out of Gaza are targeting a power station that provides power both to Israel and to the Palestinians. Palestinians have roofs over their heads and they have carpets as well. Their poverty is caused primarily by their terror groups which have prevented Israel from being able to continue to use Palestinian labor. By the way, the old complaint used to be that Israel was using the Palestinians for cheap labor. Now that the terror groups have ensured that Palestinian labor is used far less, the complaint is that Israel is causing poverty. Funny how that works.

    As for drainage, I would like to remind you that Israel was founded in 1948. It acquired the territories in 1967. Prior to that, there was no drainage provided by the Egyptians in Gaza or the Jordanians in the West Bank. Also, since 1948, the Arab states have had ample opportunity to help the refugees. They didn’t do it before the Israelis came along or after. It was UNWRA, supported by UN money, that provided a great deal of help. The most interesting or disturbing aspect of all of this, however, is that since Oslo began in 1994, the Palestinians have received billions of dollars in aid from the West and Japan. That money has not been used for drainage or sewage or planting trees. Ask yourself why that is. Ask yourself why you hold Israel responsible for the actions of the Palestinians’ democratically elected governments?

  • so barney check this out .After the Allied victory in WW2 there were a few poorly documented cases of Nazi” partisans” engaging in some guerrila activity againt the “occupation” forces. They were weaker, they saw their whole country destroyed,millions of their contrymen killed and their country was of course under a harsh military occupation.SO of course in your point of view those Nazis were freedom fighters.

  • Barney – could you please cite the evidence that Palestinians are subjected to regular, indiscriminate bombings by Israelis?

    I’ll make it easier for you: can you cite ONE instance in the past 15 years of unprovoked Israeli aggression that explicitly targeted civilians in the way Pali belt-bombers and Kassams lobbed into kibbutzes in the Negev do – that is, not collatteral damage while going after a combatant, but premeditated targeting of civilians?

    You won’t find it – because it hasn’t happened.

    That you operate under that assumption that this “occupation” scenario is true indicates that you are either well-meaning but misinformed, or actively anti-Israel (again, perhaps due to misinformation).

    There hasn’t been any “occupation” for over a decade – Israel withdrew from almost all of the West Bank years ago, and had also withdrawn from Gaza.

    The notion that the Palis are still ‘victims’ is not supported by facts – often it flows from blind assertion of left-wing ideology, which casts every conflict in terms of oppressor and oppressed.

    The facts of the Arab-Israeli conflict shatter a lot of those assumptions. In this case, it’s the brown-skinned “noble native” 3rd worlders who are the aggressors, and the “white colonial occupiers” (none of those terms really fits Israelis, so it’s already a stretch to fit the facts to the ideology) who offered peace, were answered with a bloodbath of terror, and now have a right to *defend* themselves.

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