Edna Yaghi’s Column
The grisly scenes of the June 1 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, which left 17 dead and 87, injured flashed across television screens all over the world. The next day, outraged Israelis flocked in front of their parliament building to demand a crushing retaliation against all the Palestinian people.
The blood on the streets of Tel Aviv was Israeli. The tears running down the cheeks of the mourners were Israeli also.
But what did the Israeli people really expect after an 8 month long siege of the Palestinian towns, villages, and civilian people? Just how are the besieged and the victims of Israel’s ruthless collective punishment of every Palestinian regardless of age, occupation or gender supposed to react?
Ever day Israelis enter Palestinian areas with their tanks, their machine guns, their helicopters. Israeli has one of the heaviest equipped armies in the world thanks to American backing and unceasing supply of the most sophisticated American weapons. Not many Palestinians possess any weapons at all. There are no factories to make weapons, planes, tanks, helicopters or gunboats. There is no passageway that allows the shipment of a supply of arms into Palestinian territories. What has been going on for the past 8 months is not a fair or balanced fight for land that is not Jewish, is not Israeli, but a war being carried out by the army state of Israel against the unarmed Palestinian civilian population.
I am not saying that I condone suicide bombings. I do not condone the killing of innocent people. But I do not condone either, the savage and unjust way that the Israeli army has been suppressing the Palestinian people. And how many innocent Palestinians have been killed or injured? Statistics speak for themselves.
The reason why there are no Israeli suicide bombers is because the Israelis are too cowardly to die for a cause they believe in. If you watch the footage of any confrontation between unarmed Palestinians who have nothing more than stones to throw and the retaliating Israeli soldiers, you will see that an Israeli soldier who is heavily armed never stands alone to face a single youth throwing stones. Israelis hide behind their tanks, behind their M-16 guns, behind one another, behind buildings and behind their helicopters in order to shoot down Palestinian freedom fighters.
An Israeli settler will never attack a lone Palestinian single-handedly. You will always see a large group of armed settlers backed by the Israeli army attacking smaller groups of unarmed Palestinian civilians or even isolated individuals.
Might does not make right. How many Palestinian mothers have lost their children during the Intifada? How many Palestinian wives have lost their husbands and how many children have been orphaned? Palestinians too cry real human tears.
How many Palestinians will bear permanent disabilities for the rest of their lives because an Israeli soldier decided to shoot bullets that explode and then fragmentize inside Palestinian bodies or because an Israeli soldier decided to shoot at the head or chest of his victim?
All life is sacred be it Palestinian or Israeli. It is impossible to so brutally repress a people for so long and expect that people to remain docile and not rise up in defense of their dignity and freedom.
In order to stop the suicide bombings then, it is really up to Sharon to declare an all out cease fire, to freeze the settlements, to pull out of Palestine towns and villages, to stop shooting at demonstrators and to let the Palestinians set up their own state on what is left of their own land.
There is no way that a lop-sided peace can be forced on the Palestinians. The Israelis have to take a good look at what they have become and decide whether this blood bath is to continue or whether they really want peace. Instead of looking for different strategies, it is time to diagnose the causes of the disease and provide a rational cure that will last indefinitely. This cure must be equitable and fair to all parties concerned.
As long as there is no justice then every Israeli no matter where he or she is, is not safe from a suicide bombing. End the occupation and Israeli injustice and suicide bombings