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.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Murder and Inconveniences

"You are seeing Israel operating on lessons learned from the second Intifada."
"Don't do generalized closures. Don't restrict work permits. Do the opposite."
Nathan Thrall, analyst, International Crisis Group, Jerusalem
idf west bank
IDF soldiers at a temporary checkpoint in the West Bank [File]. (photo credit:REUTERS)

An ongoing series of knife, gun and vehicle attacks against Israeli Jews perpetrated by Palestinians as young as twelve, both men and women, adults, middle-aged and children, cousins and brothers, incited to sacrifice themselves to the Palestinian cause against the 'oppressors' planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and murder innocent Palestinian children, has occasioned tighter security controls in Israel.

Which translates as roadblocks, temporarily shutting off access by Palestinians in various communities to entrance to greater Israel, in an effort to stem the flow of attackers. When the international press reports, desultorily, on these attacks, it is usually with a slant, a kind of reversal in reportage, where headlines tell a story of Israeli security killing Palestinian attackers. The dead or injured Israelis collateral damage of little interest.

This is because for the most part the West has been conditioned by hugely successful Palestinian public relations steering to regard the Palestinians as victims, the Israelis as demonic oppressors. So the attackers become transposed into the victims while the victims are viewed as deserving of a backlash from a helpless population that garners all it can to its own defence.

The Israeli military response to the rash of surprise knife/gun/car attacks has been to mount brief checkpoints and closings lasting no more than a few days. In the process disrupting routines of daily life for Palestinian residents. So weigh that inconvenience of a few days' duration against the volatility of violent attacks cropping up where least anticipated.

According to the IDF explanations, these closings have a specific aim; to apprehend suspects in the greater interests of preventing further attacks. In so doing the international condemnation that generally accompanies more widespread, lasting and intrusive closings and checkpoints have not arisen to condemn Israel in the opinion of the international community.

The vehicular, stabbing, shooting attacks which were initiated in October have resulted in 26 Israeli deaths, one Palestinian and two Americans. But the total number of attacks have been almost ten times that number of 26, resulting in the deaths, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry of over 200 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces, responding to the attacks.

Israel has also resumed the policy of demolishing the homes of perpetrators, and so, about 36 homes belonging to the families of Palestinians who have launched such attacks have been destroyed. Balance that penalty against the honours heaped by the Palestinian Authority on the 'martyrs' who have perished in the attempt to "resist" the "occupiers". An annuity for the family, streets named after martyrs, and inclusion on an honours list of Palestinian heroes.

Even so, Israel has granted 30,000 new permits for Palestinians to enable them to work in Israel, where wages of daily $50 earnings are double what they are typically able to earn in the West Bank if they can find employment there. When asked about the road closings, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, speaking for the Israeli military, explained that specific West Bank locations "have been frequent hot spots" where attacks emanate from.

Palestinians are not amused. Because of those several days when Israeli forces shut down a road, often after a Palestinian who has attacked soldiers or Israelis, flee to certain villages, they are inconvenienced, the lives of residents impacted. "The students are late for school, the teachers are late for school, the employees are late for work", grumbled Ali Al-Shamy, a factory owner, speaking of a 15-minute commute being transformed to an hour-long drive.

"I swear to God", muttered Omar Mousa, a 50-year-old bus driver, "they are just messing with us", he said steering the vehicle onto the main road once Israeli forces suddenly lift the area closing.

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