Huwaida Arraf today sent an email that can be said to constitute the ISM's official reaction to last Tuesday's bus bombing in Jerusalem.
Let's try to step inside her mind and see things "the ISM way" - if we dare:
Friends,These are good questions. The messages on the ISM mailing list agonize daily over Palestinian suffering (both real and otherwise) but made no mention at all of the Jerusalem bombing. The ISM's "actions" interfere with the IDF's operations against terrorists, which leaves the impression that the internationals tacitly support such actions. So I look forward to hear Arraf's responses to these questions even as she sneers at them.
After the August 19 bus bombing in Jerusalem, the ISM received a number of emails asking if the ISM was going to make a statement and we received some of the usual, "why isn't the ISM riding Israeli busses?" comments. One email suggested that if we don't speak out against this bombing, we are "party to it".
Hmm. "Blaming it on The Occupation". But she's supposed to make a ritual condemnation first .. You know, like, "We condemn these attacks, but ..."
Again our response is that we are working to stop all violence in the region, not by issuing statements, but by working to end the root cause of the violence against Israelis and Palestinians - the ongoing, brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and lives ......
In the few short weeks after the hudna was announced on June 29, 2003, up until August 9, 10 days before the bus bombing in Jerusalem, the Israeli military killed 10 Palestinians, 5 of them children, wounded 348 Palestinians, 65 of them children, arrested 435 Palestinians, damaged or completely demolished/destroyed 211 Palestinian homes, and uprooted or destroyed over 10,050 Palestinian fruit and olive trees. This is not to mention the vehicles and businesses damaged and/or destroyed, the thousands of dunams of Palestinian land confiscated or isolated from its owners, the number of new settlement structures that were built, the bypass roads created, the Israeli military outposts erected, the continued work on the apartheid wall, the continued denial of access to Palestinians to their land, and the ongoing daily abuse at checkpointsCBBTFTP = "Can''t be bothered to fisk that part....
We are not going to issue statements.She said that already, but OK.
We stand against the killing of all civilians and are saddened for the families of the victims of that bus bombing.If Arraf had said "We stand against the killing of civilians under all circumstances", I would understand her to be expressing an objection (and taking a moral stand) against the Islamikazes. But she's taking pains to say that she's not "making a statement", so I can only understand her to be saying that the ISM opposes killing civilians "in principle" - the same way that she's for peace on earth.
At the same time we're frustrated with the politics of governments and the complacency that is allowing this to continue. Without a check on the Israeli government and military, this will continue. There can be no hudna or "road map" without restraints put on the Israeli military and government.I thought you just said that you guys weren't going to issue statements. To me this sure sounds like a statement to the effect that the ISM thinks that the suicide bombings should continue until "The Occupation" ends.