Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Your sense of outrage is restored when the bombing is in your neighborhood. The current toll from the #32 bus bombing is 19 killed and 50 wounded, many of them kids and teenagers on their way to school. The Pat Junction where the bombing took place is about a 5 minute drive from where I live - I used to pass by there everyday until I found a better route to take T. to work.

This AM I didn't check the news (I was busy with a technician who was trying to install Cable Modem service). When I left for work and turned on the radio, I could tell that something happened, but the coverage had already left the scene of the bombing and switched into "introspective" mode - so it wasn't immediately clear what had happened. T. then called me and told me that there had been 18 people killed just a few minutes away. The #32 bus had been going towards downtown - so it hadn't yet passed through neighborhoods where T. and I know people.

The bomber boarded at Beit Tzafafa - an Arab village in southern Jerusalem. One teenager saw him and backed away a few moments before the blast and escaped with minor injuries.

Gil has some links to newswire photos from the attack.

The EU "condemns" the bombing, but urges "Palestinians and Israelis" to not let it "hinder attempts to bring peace to the region". Thank you, Chris Patten and Hubert Vedrine, for urging the Palestinians not let this bombing hamper their attempts to get a state without a peace agreement or any other committments.

I can only say that Patten and Vedrine are two of the foulest human beings that I can remember coming across - that's the only reaction that I can evoke. If Patten went ahead and restored funding to the PA tomorrow as promised, it would show the extent to which it bothers him not a wink that Arafat and co. are murdering innocents. He'll now delay the restoration of funding for a few days, but noone here is fooled.

Afterthought: Often when I write things like the above, I receive emails from people who say things like "Don't you realize that Arafat is really trying to hold these people back?" or "Don't you realize that if you just did X (freeze settlements, clear checkpoints etc.) , they wouldn't be so angry anymore and would stop launching attacks?".

I appreciate and try to respond to most email, and, in my daily entries, I provide plenty of documentation that these views are not correct. But today my most basic reaction is: "Do you really think that seeing this on the BBC or hearing it on NPR enables you to understand things better than the people who actually live here - day in and day out?"

No comments: