This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, August 03, 2015

An Act Too Despicable

"You can't detach the situation in the Palestinian territories from acts of extremists on both sides."
"Any act of extremism may turn over whatever tranquility we seem to be living in."
Gilead Sher, head, Center for Applied Negotiatons, Tel Aviv University

"I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is a terror attack in every respect. The state of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"I never imagined that this could happen, that someone could come and burn people alive while they are sleeping."
"I don't know what those people were thinking. What do they have inside their hearts and minds?"
Hassan Dawabsheh, Duma, West Bank

Funeral of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh
Funeral of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, killed in a house fire in Duma early on Friday. Photograph: APAimages/Rex Shutterstock
The government of Israel is clear enough; the assumed "price tag" attack in the West Bank town of Duma by two masked men suspected to be Jewish ultra-Orthodox fanatics represents terrorism. How else can it possibly be deciphered? Up until this attack the malevolent and potentially dangerous attacks on churches and mosques, on Palestinians and on Jews marching in Gay Pride parades were likely considered nuisances to be ignored.

 The fire-bombing of a home's bedroom where all four members of the household were soundly asleep speaks to an escalation in the radicalization of ultra-Orthodox extremism. "We have no protection. Settlers burned mosques, cars, trees, attacked people in our village and in the nearby villages but nothing happened to them", stated Abdel Haleem Dawabsheh, a teacher in Duma, West Bank.

In June the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes was subject to an arson attack. At that time two suspects belonging to an extremist settler youth group were arrested. Critics of the government say nevertheless that Israel hasn't been enforcing the law when settlers cause such unprovoked and mindless attacks. A residual consideration of the settlers as 'pioneers' seems to restrain authorities from doubling down on these terrorists as though they were merely errant youth.

"This policy creates impunity for hate crimes and encourages assailants to continue, leading to this morning's horrific result", a statement from the Israeli rights group B'Tselem read. In the past three years Israelis have set fire to nine Palestinian houses in the West Bank, and a fire bomb was tossed at a Palestinian taxi, with no one charged in any of these cases.

Palestinian property has come under attack for years and mosques have been targeted as well as churches. And nor have all the attacks focused solely on Palestinians; the extremists view leftist Israeli groups as enemies, as well as they do Israeli military, attacking their bases as well. Two recent dismantlings of unauthorized buildings constructed by settlers on land owned by a Palestinian are thought to have incited the latest attack in Duma.

In this attack where an 18-month-old infant was killed, his parents and four-year-old brother suffering critical burns to their bodies, it will be a miracle if the atrocity doesn't claim more victims with the infant having suffered burns to 60% of his body and his mother, Riham Dawabsheh, 90% of her body. All were rushed to an Israeli hospital for treatment, their conditions critically severe.

The Israeli military stated that in the dark of night attackers broke the windows of the Duma home. These courageous religious fanatics then tossed firebombs into the bedroom where all members of the family slept. And that bedroom exploded in a fireball that took an instant to destroy the house. The assailants who are wanted for murder, took the trouble to scribble "Long live the Messiah", "revenge", and "price tag" as a message that their mission is one of blind destruction.
Israelis hold placards during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the death of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler who was burned to death by suspected Jewish extremists.
Israelis hold placards during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the death of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler who was burned to death by suspected Jewish extremists. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
The suspicion, recriminations, hatred and attacks by Palestinians against Israelis are far more frequent and take a far greater toll in human life than this atrocity has done. And this is the Middle East where tribal, clan, and religious sectarianism plays rife with people's trigger-ready emotions. But nothing can exonerate one group or the other for the choice they make to wage war and to slaughter one another.

Since the founding of the Jewish state in 1948, Palestinian leaders have never reached the point where any among them reached the conviction that ongoing hostilities and inciting to violence will gain them nothing, and a peace agreement will finally give the Palestinians a homeland they claim is their right. It may be their right, but it will have to be on land shared separately by Israel, each accepting their parcel. Clearly, the settlers have long exhausted their humanity in their drive for sole ownership.

If majority-Hindu India is capable of reaching a peace agreement over a border dispute with Muslim Bangladesh that has simmered ever since 1947 when Pakistan was founded out of India, and Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan, Israel and the Palestinians should be capable, finally, of settling their 70-year hate-fest. Nearly 37,000 people lived in 111 Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh, and 14,000 lived in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India.

The agreement between the two states was to trade over 150 pockets of land between them. Now both Indians and Bangladeshis are finally realizing the citizenship reflective of their ethnic heritage and social, political and religious choice.

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