Monday, January 06, 2003

A “funny” thing happened today
At five minutes to one, towards the end of Reshet Bet radio station’s daily entertainment bulletin (the presenter murmured something apologetic about this bulletin being rather inappropriate on such a day) there was a break in the transmission as news came in of a fresh terrorist attack near Hadera. I immediately shouted out to the girls in the next office “Pigua” and I could hear one of them finishing her phone call with her daughter in a hurry, so she could turn on the radio. Reshet Bet’s field reporter came on the air. She said she had arrived on the scene along with other reporters and ambulances, only to find there was no scene. Thinking they had got the wrong address the entourage continued to the next junction. Again – nothing. The one o’clock news, minutes later, cleared up the mystery. Sonic boom from a passing aircraft had frightened people in the area, and they had rung the police to inform of an attack.

Pilots have to be very careful these days to refrain from causing sonic boom. This guy will probably be disciplined for causing panic.

* * *

Ari Shavit explains the case against Azmi Bishara running for Knesset:

“On March 8, 2002, while Fuad al Hurani was busy preparing the explosive belt he would blow up in the Moment Cafe in Jerusalem, MK Azmi Bishara published an article in the Israeli weekly Fasal al-Makal in which he wrote passionately in support of the intifada and the alternative of resistance. He mocked those who called on the Palestinians to condemn the violence and condemned what he called "this heroic, glorious struggle." Nowhere in the article did Bishara bother to distinguish between a legitimate struggle against the occupation and the illegitimate struggle against the existence of a nation-state for the Jews. He did not condemn, with even a single word, the killing of Jews for the sake of killing Jews.

It must be remembered: In February-March of 2002, Operation Defensive Shield had not yet taken place. Israeli tanks did not yet control Jenin and Ramallah. The Palestinians had the upper hand; Israel was helpless, bleeding in a flood of terror attacks. Three days before Bishara's article came out, three people were killed in the Sea Food Market in Tel Aviv. Two weeks earlier 11 were killed in Beit Yisrael in Jerusalem. Horror reigned on Palmach Street, Nili Street and Rav Berlin Street in Jerusalem. Many Israeli Jews huddled in the memories of their Holocaust. Many Israeli Jews felt Jewish destiny was knocking on their doors.

But Bishara the humanist did not find the wherewithal to come up with a single word of comfort for them. Bishara the democrat did not include a single word of reservations about the ritualistic acts of murder that were taking place against Jewish Israelis. And while writing in Arabic, to an Arab audience, at one of the climaxes of the Arab attack on the state of Israel, Bishara did not demand the attackers cease.”

Oddly enough, although the whole article builds up as an advocacy for banning Bishara from running for Knesset, Shavit’s bottom line is that Bishara and his party Balad should not be banned from the elections. He says that something should be done, but he doesn’t offer any concrete alternative to banning them. The last two paragraphs completely contradict the rest of the article.