Sunday, July 24, 2005

Will they learn from Jean?

I prepared a non-terror related post for the KICblog last Thursday, only to have it placed on the backburner while the world continues its terrifying spiral towards who knows what. The families of Jean Charles de Menenez and 88 people in Sinai will tell you all about the spiral.

Jean became the lastest victim of terror on Friday morning when UK police shot him dead after he bolted and rushed for a train, having been followed from the residence he left in the morning. He was not the suicide bomber that they had assumed.

All this leaves me sad but still extremely frustrated! You see I can fully understand the pressure that UK security services are under right now. Terrorists roaming London and any number of others working on future attacks. It does not excuse or justify the killing of the innocent in any way but it helps us to sympathize and understand.

What frustrates me is the world's inability or unwillingness to understand the constant pressure and threats that Israeli forces face. Take the case of Mohammed al-Dura, shot dead by either the IDF or Palestinians early in this 5-year conflict. The world assumed Israel shot him purposely and abused us without ever taking a breath to consider other possibilities.
Then there's the foreign cameraman who darted out of an alley in the middle of a battle between IDF forces and Palestinian terrorists. The IDF shot him dead thinking that the camera he held at his shoulder was in fact a grenade launcher or similar. Sounds very Jean-like to me. What about countless such cases in Iraq? What then with Rachel Corrie?

The death of Jean in London can be and should be equated with the countless instances of IDF mistakes under pressure and stress that have occurred over the years. In addition, when Israel tries to eliminate terror heads by helicopter etc, there should be an understanding on the part of the world that Israel makes mistakes and that some innocents are sadly injured in error. Though we arrest rather than kill when we can, walking in to Jenin or Gaza to arrest terrorists is not particularly easy or safe. The suburbs of London or Leeds are not quite the havens of terror and warfare that we face. Had they been, the UK Royal Airforce would also be adopting helicopter tactics to stop 'ticking bombs', like they have done in Falluja or Baghdad at the cost of thousands of lives. What about Egypt's response to this weekend's atrocities in Sinai? What human rights rules will they be following?

None of this means Israel shouldn't take all steps to avoid civilian loss and this does not condone reckless or illegal actions, but the five bullets fired at Jean should help the world to see our situation in a different light. We don't always have to compare ourselves to the good and bad that exists elsewhere, but it would be nice to be treated equally for once.

Lastly, I can not expect media miracles overnight but when 2 Jerusalem residents were murdered by terrorists last night while driving home from Shabbat with family in Gush Katif, I wonder why that is not covered fully on the world news. Besides, that terror attack killed 200% more people than Thursday's failed attempts in London and caused 500% more injuries. What about the subsequent attack on emergency services who responded to the attack? Maybe I'm kidding myself...

Kidding? You have got to be kidding! Check out the ridiculous (are they serious?) statement by Fatah's al-Aqsa Brigades and Islamic Jihad after last night's murders. "We are still committed to the calm". (Shaking my head in disbelief). Well someone sees the humor in it all...


Kach said...

Dear Sir,

I'm going to have to disagree with you that the death of Jean was inexcusable. I would certainly rather killin one innocent person in an aim to save the innocent.

It was unfortunate that Jean had to leave this world, but up in heaven I hope he knows that he sacrificed his life in the war against terrorism and Islam.


Michael Lawrence said...

Kahane Tzadak (interesting!) - The truth is we should be trying to avoid any loss of innocent life. His death didn't actually result in the saving of anyone else's life and there lies the problem.

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