Monday, March 17, 2003
Construction equipment 1, homo sapiens 0It's a tragedy, of course, and yet I can't manage to muster much sympathy for the woman run over by a bulldozer when she lay down in front of it. The bulldozer was there to demolish a building in Gaza; the woman, a representative of the Bored College Students Who Think They're Still In the 1960s movement, was there to stand with Hamas et al. against Israel.
Here's the quote that was puzzling to me:
The Israeli troops "have shot over our heads, and shot near our feet — they have fired tear gas at us," said Michael Shaik, media coordinator for the group. "But we thought we had an understanding. We didn't think they would kill us."Huh? How confused can these people be? There's suffering all over the world, including in the United States. One would presume that if these people choose to come to Israel, it would be because they think the plight of Palestinians is particularly dire. But if they think so, they must think the Israeli government is exceptionally oppressive and evil. If so, why would they be surprised that the Israeli government was willing to kill them? And on the other hand, if they don't think the Israeli government is evil, then (a) why are they in Israel, instead of somewhere where they might do some good, and (b) why do they doubt the Israeli explanation that this was simply a tragic accident?
Have these people thought it through at all, or are they just being trendy and pretentious by going to Israel to Be Activists, as if this were all some sort of game? Yes, I should be sorry for the woman who died, but (as I've noted before) I really can't feel anything for "human shields" until I hear of ones riding Israeli buses to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian homicide bombings. Of course, they don't do that because they know it would be futile to do so; homicide bombers don't care. And that's the problem, in a nutshell: they protest against Israel because they know Israel isn't evil; they don't protest against Palestinian terrorism because they know it is evil.
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