Sunday, June 23, 2002

Last week, Israel was reeling from some of the most horrific atrocities that it has seen in a while (ie. since April). The sentiments that I saw included a lot of resignation and denial, as well as some inarticulate rage (particularly on the radio).

The Friday IHT, my window on the West, missed all that I think. It had an editorial disingenuously headlined "More Palestinian Suicides", and it put on its front page a "concerned" treatment of the disagreement between Peres and Sharon regarding the extent of the Israeli response.

On this second point, Zeev Schiff has a good summary of what's likely (demolishing homes and deporting the families of bombers to Gaza) and what's unclear (how long the IDF will actually stay and what the American response will be).

Schiff also notes that the IDF is continuing to stay out of Jericho, since no attacks have been originating from there; also there is intelligence that indicates that Fatah and other groups are now attempting to execute "group bombings", in which up to 6 Islamikazes would detonate themselves simultaneously.

I haven't heard anyone here - even on the left - attempt to draw any kind of moral equivalence between the 4 Palestinians killed in Jenin on Friday and the 33 civilian Israelis murdered in 3 separate attacks earlier in the week.

If I went to places like the blue-collar neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv, or the more ideological West Bank settlements, I could probably hear views similar to the more extreme ones on my comments forum (these latter usually from Americans). But as I said, most of what I hear is denial, resignation, and inarticulate anger. It's hard to see that our government's latest steps will make a significant difference; increasingly it seems that what's needed is to cure Palestinian society of its deepening radicalism and obsession with martyrdom.

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