Israel - Palestine: Awful Days

Dear Readers,

These are "awful days" as the Ha'aretz editorial describes. Killings of innocent people regardless of their ethnicity or religion do not justify any humane or moral causes, it only incite more hatred and animosity. Yes, Israeli government, particularly led by Ariel Sharon is responsible for many crimes against the Palestinian people, their sufferings and anguish in the occupied land shiver billions of people around the world. So does the senseless deaths of Israeli child and adults in vengeful suicide bombings. Our condemnation, our rage as human beings, being part of this global community, espousing to be called "civilized" and sensitive to other people's pain should not block us condemning this act of terrorism committed against the innocent Israelis on the eve of their holiest day, Yom Kippur. Particularly, this suicide bombing ripped through a restaurant in Haifa which is "the model city of Arab-Jewish coexistence". Ha'aretz editorial says the following:

"Every attack deepens the hatred, the fear and the suspicion felt by Israelis and drowns hopes for peace and support for compromise. Every attack undermines the world's support for the hardships of the Palestinian population."

And every Palestinian terrorist attack provides Israeli arch conservative leader Sharon to unleash its missiles of deaths and devastations on the suffering Palestinians. It also raises questions whether Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian government has any authority or control over the rogue elements. If they don't have any control whatsoever, tiptoeing the issue into oblivion, there must be new effective leadership needed who can provide practical leadership in this time of crisis. Killings of innocent Israelis must be dealt with sincere pursuit of the masterminds of terrorism.

Coexistence is the key. "Let live and let other live" is the mantra.

And outright condemnation for terrorism and terrorists is the last shred of civility we could offer for the memories of victims and innocence lost.

Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
October 5, 2003

Awful days

After a short period of calm, terrorism has struck again at the heart of Israel. At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured in the suicide bombing at Maxim restaurant in Haifa, the model city of Arab-Jewish coexistence. In spreading death and destruction among a peaceful Israeli population, the men of violence and their dispatchers have condemned their own Palestinian people to another round of mourning and suffering. The hundreds of Israeli victims of terror since the outbreak of the Al Aqsa Intifada three years ago have distanced the Palestinian people from their hope for freedom from the yoke of Israeli occupation. Every attack deepens the hatred, the fear and the suspicion felt by Israelis and drowns hopes for peace and support for compromise. Every attack undermines the world's support for the hardships of the Palestinian population.

In a preliminary announcement, the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, asserting that it was in response to the Israeli government's decision to go ahead with the construction of the security fence cutting off the West Bank. If there was any need to explain the paramount need for a division between the terrorists and the citizens of Israel, the woman suicide bomber provided excellent proof yesterday.

Presumably the difficult sights from the scene of the attack that aired yesterday throughout the world, will mute criticism in Washington, Moscow and European capitals of the security fence, established along lines that will damage Palestinian interests and complicate their day to day lives.

The bombing in Haifa came at the peak of a complete shut-down on the territories during the high holidays, and in spite of many intelligence warmings about the extensive efforts of terrorist groups to carry out their plans. The success of the bomber in reaching the Haifa sea shore reminds us there is no magic security solution to suicide attacks.

The haplessness of the political leadership resulted, following the previous suicide bombings in Jerusalem and Tzrifin, in a decision in principle to get rid of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. The government should not take advantage of the shock and rage resulting from the Haifa attack to implement this stupid decision. The policy makers should seriously consider the warnings issued by all working level security officers that the expulsion of Arafat, or his assassination, will cause the final remnants of central authority in the territories to crumble and free the path for gangs lacking any form of control.

The approaching presentation of the new Palestinian government headed by Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) gives the leadership of both sides another opportunity to return to sanity and fulfill their obligations to their nations. Condemnation and denouncement by the Palestinians is insufficient, and Israeli raving is useless. With the help of the international community, led by U.S. President George Bush, they must fulfill the obligations they assumed with the road map and remove the religious extremists and those thirsty for blood. The blood of the victims of the bombings and assassinations cry out to them - enough is enough!

Source: Ha'aretz, October 5, 2003