Monday, January 29, 2007

Suicide Bombing In Israel: Everyone Goes Through Their Paces

The play's the thing
Hamlet II:ii

The New York Times reports that Suicide Bomb Kills 3 at Bakery in Israel and everyone recites their lines perfectly.

The Times reports
A Palestinian suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a bakery in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat today, killing three people.
After reporting in the headline that a bomb killed the 3 Israelis, the Times admits there actually was a person behind it--a bomber. At least they are not calling him a militant.

Olmert leaps into action:
“We shall draw the conclusions and learn the lessons, and instruct our security people to continue their ongoing and never-ending struggle against terrorists and those who send them,” said Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert. He did not say what action, if any, Israel might take.
One might ask what new conclusions and lessons might Olmert draw that he has not drawn yet? As the Times notes, whatever they might be--Olmert isn't saying. Personally, if I were Olmert, I wouldn't talk about the "ongoing and never-ending struggle," considering how he has conducted it so far.

Hamas, of course, knows its lines well--and knows better than to take credit outright:
Hamas, the radical Islamic group that leads the Palestinian government, did not claim involvement in the bombing. But Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, described the attack as a “natural response” to Israeli military operations against the Palestinians, The Associated Press reported. “So long as there is occupation, resistance is legitimate.”
And of course the world will buy this--the natural response to military operations against attacks on innocent civilians is: go and kill more civilians. We have the Palestinian Arabs to thank for perfecting "terrorist chic."

When it comes to a turn of phrase, the New York Times is not to be outdone:
Mr. Abbas and other Fatah leaders say they oppose violence against civilians. However, the Al Aksa militants say they act on their own.
That would be Mahmoud "rifles should be directed against the occupation" Abbas. Considering that Al Aksa normally targets civilians and not soldiers--what is Abbas' point in decrying attacks on civilians when his men admit they do it anyway; what is Abbas' point in approving attacks on the occupation when he knows his men conduct their war against civilians.

Michael Rubin makes the point
("Condoleezza Rice's Moderates?"):
Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade claims responsibility for suicide attack in Eilat this morning (h/t Tom Gross). Earlier this month, the State Department had called for an additional $86 million for Fatah’s military forces
Finally, Washington has long had a working script from which to work.
In Washington, the White House issued a statement saying “the burden of responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks rests with the Palestinian Authority government.”

The White House statement added that a “failure to act against terror will inevitably effect relations between that government and the international community and undermine the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.”

The White House apparently thinks using the same line of reasoning as Carter is going to have an effect:

But when the Palestinians commit terrorist acts, and I mean when a person blows himself up within a bus full of civilians, or when the target of the operation is women and children – such acts create a rejection of the Palestinians among those who care about them. It turns the world away from sympathy and support for the Palestinian people. That’s why I said that acts of terrorism like I just described are suicidal for the popularity and support for the Palestinian cause.

Nice touch, that: suicide bombings are suicidal for Palestinian popularity.

This of course leaves the main question unanswered: how can Washington claim the PA is responsible when the PA is not held responsible for their actions. How about the US calling off that $86 million to the PA? Don't bet on it.

At this point, everyone has their roles to play and their lines to recite, and you know how hard it is to learn new lines...

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