Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Latest Bus Bombing Brings Back Painful Memories and Same Old Response

November 25, 2012 4:25 pm 2 comments

An aerial view of the aftermath of the terror attack this morning in Tel Aviv. Photo: Maayan Uliel, Tazpit News Agency.

The image is forever embedded in the Israeli psyche. The smouldering carcass of a passenger bus. Charred metal, burning glass, the faded colors of once happy branding, now turned pale, flecked with brown and black. The eyewitness accounts are familiar too. Limbs blown clear, bodies mangled beyond recognition, death, destruction, blood and terror. The targets – soft and easy. Unsuspecting commuters pre-occupied with the morning rush. Blind, oblivious, never saw it coming.

Those images have become a reality once more after a bomb was detonated on a Tel Aviv bus last week, injuring twenty-nine civilians.

It is the first serious bomb blast in Tel Aviv since April 2006, when a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people at a sandwich stand near the city’s old central bus station.

The last bus bomb targeting Israelis was carried out on July 18 this year, in the Bulgarian black sea resort of Burgas, as excited holiday makers boarded a bus on the airport tarmac. 7 people including a pregnant woman were killed in that attack.

As Israelis come to terms with the return of bus bombings to their streets, there were scenes of jubilation in Gaza. Sweet cakes were handed out in celebration in Gaza’s main hospital. Gazans fired exuberantly into the air upon hearing news of the attack. Yesterday, in those same busy streets, suspected traitors were summarily executed; their corpses dragged behind motorbikes in a grand procession for all to see.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the bombing, while the organisation’s military wing took to social media to convey the hope that “we will soon see black body bags” in the aftermath of the attack. This was followed by the tweet, “We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are,” even though the attack targeted ordinary commuters, not soldiers or leaders at all.

The aftermath of the attack is predictable. Israel has been here many times before. Even Tel Aviv, regarded as the country’s center of liberalism, will be hardened in its support for a permanent solution to Hamas’s campaign of terror. The world will express sympathy peppered with calls for restraint. Better the suffering be localized in Israel rather than risk aggravating extremists abroad by acquiescing in a stern Israeli response.

The apologists will cite Israeli “occupation” and the “blockade” as the real causes of this latest act of terror. The natural reaction of an oppressed people. Ignoring the fact that war and terror were repeatedly inflicted on Israeli civilians before any blockade and before Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War.

The UN Human Rights Council, which has a “pathological obsession with Israel,” will likely remain silent. Historically, Israeli human rights are of little consequence to the Council. If they do speak up, it will be to caution against Israeli “disproportionality”. To urge restraint on all sides. The usual false equivalence of action and reaction, terror and targeted response. As though assassinations of Hamas generals and air strikes on the infrastructure of terror is somehow comparable with firing rockets at kindergartens and blowing up buses. Then the esteemed Council will return to its usual business. In March this year, it hosted a Hamas politician and in July, Syria announced that it would be seeking a seat on the Council. Almost half of the resolutions it has passed have been against Israel.

We will no doubt also hear from Catherine Ashton, the EU’s Foreign Policy tsarina. She may even do what she did in the wake of the Toulouse Massacre and flavor her condemnation with another obscene rationalization of terrorism by suggesting that Israel is doing the same thing to the Palestinians.

The legend of terrorism will grow. More martyrs for the jihadist scrapbook. More posters for the streets of Jenin and Tehran. Brave resistors. Liberating the land. Standing up to the mighty occupation. Striking a blow for Islam. One dead Jew at a time.

All the while, the rights of Israelis are eroded a little bit more. The right to defend its citizens from rocket fire. 1,644 rockets have been fired this year alone. The right of Israelis to engage with the world without harassment and boycotts. A performance by Israel’s Bathseva dance ensemble in London was recently disrupted by protesters inside the theater. The right of Israeli children to study in peace. The right of Israelis to travel without fear.

Israel loves to cite examples of its successful integration into the international community. Start-up nation, OECD member, renewable energy, sustainable development, more trees, more female entrepreneurs. All good stuff. All achievements to be genuinely proud of provided they do not detract from that one great truth: Regardless of what Israel does, there will always be people who seek to kill Jews simply because they are Jews. And there is not a UN council, a human rights organisation or a foreign state that is capable of preventing that.

Alex Ryvchin is a lawyer, writer and founder of opinion website, The Jewish Thinker.

2 Comments

  • There should have been something done after the bomb blast on the bus. This is my idea:

    Every hour, on the hour, blow a number of Gaza buses, taxis, and cars to bits. The thing for the passengers to do is wait for the bus, taxi, or car to stop at 10 or 15 minutes before the hour, and then run for cover as quickly as possible.

    Then, wait 20 to 30 minutes. If the bus, taxi, or car has not be exploded to bits, they were lucky, it was other buses, taxis, and cars this time. Then, they could get back in and travel safely for 30 to 40 minutes, then it would again be necessary to run for cover.

    Just, keep it random. But be sure to blow the buses, taxis, and cars to bits, and it shouldn’t be at all difficult to have all the strike times to happen exactly on the hour.

    Eventually, there would be some peace agreement reached, or everyone in Gaza would be walking everywhere. Or at least, that’s what I would hope for.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    First English-Language Trailer Debuts for Natalie Portman’s Hebrew Film ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness,’ Based on Amos Oz’s Memoir (VIDEO)

    The first English-language trailer for Natalie Portman’s directorial debut — A Tale of Love and Darkness — based on Israeli author Amos Oz’s memoir, was released on Thursday. The movie, originally filmed in Hebrew, tells the story of Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem at the end of the British Mandate and the early years of Israel’s independence. Portman, who was born in Israel and speaks fluent Hebrew, plays the lead role of Fania, the author’s mother. She struggles to raise her son as she deals with inner demons, a […]

    Read more →
  • Features As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    As Berlin Prices Rise, Israelis Turn East for German Real-Estate Bargains

    JNS.org – Sonnenallee, a street in Berlin’s Neukölln district, looks like it comes straight out of an Arab city — so much so that it goes by the nickname “Gaza Strip.” Kebab and bakery shops are advertised in Arabic; men sit in men-only coffee shops; and bridal shop windows showcase glittery, not-so-stylish gowns. But take a random turn, and you’ll find a swath of bars, burger joints, and Indian restaurants where hip Berliners announce that they have arrived to urban coolness. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Slays in ‘Wonder Woman’ Trailer (VIDEO)

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot engages in fierce action sequences in the new Wonder Woman trailer, which Warner Bros. premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The nearly 3-minute trailer, the first to debut for the superhero film, shows scenes of Diana, princess of the Amazons, fighting alongside men in the battle against the world’s toughest enemies. The first shot of the video shows Wonder Woman discovering a man, Steve Trevor (played by actor Chris Pine), washed ashore. The clip then takes viewers to the all-female island where Wonder Woman was born. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →