December 2006


holiday flags

Rockefeller Center, ’06

grandmas 96th

Via the Jerusalem Post: A Palestinian-fired Kassam rocket injures two boys in an Israeli town

The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the Kassam attack on Sderot that wounded two ninth-grade boys, one critically, on Tuesday evening. The rocket was the seventh to have been fired at Sderot since Tuesday morning.

Shortly after 10 p.m., the Red Alert alarm sounded throughout Sderot; 10 seconds later, the rocket landed near a group of schoolchildren who were headed for the nearest shelter. Ninth-graders Matan Cohen and Adir Bassad, however, had no time to reach the shelter and were hit by shrapnel…

…Doctors told an Israel Radio interviewer shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday that Bassad, who suffered hits to his chest and stomach, was not yet stabilized, and a surgical team was battling to save his life.

Cohen, whose major wound was to his leg, was reported stabilized.

A number of other people were reported in shock.

One of the medics who treated the boys reported that one of them was likely to lose his legs. One of the boys had a bone sticking out of one of his legs, he said, and the other’s ankle was completely twisted…

A total of 62 rockets have been fired at Israel since the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire was declared in November.

Palestinian terrorists have broken the ceasefire at least 60 times. When Israel chooses to respond to this attack on schoolchildren, the Toronto Star headline reads: “Israel threatens to attack militants”.

After the Herzilya conference, Richard Landes invited a few of us (Richard Fernandez, Michael Totten) to take a helicopter tour of Israel. The tour was generously offered by The Israel Project, an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel.

The tour stopped for an hour near the Gaza border, where our guide, Leah Soibel, and Noam Bedien of the Sderot Media Center described the effects of the current Palestinian bombing campaign on the area, populated mostly by recent immigrants. We walked along the area bordering Gaza, climbed up onto a lookout point to get a better view of the Palestinian side..

gaza

..then we headed downtown. We saw the rusting remains of the Kassam rockets that Palestinians had fired at the town.

kassams

kassams

We saw the effect of a Kassam rocket that hit the center of the local mall…

rocket hit mall

Even before this recent attack, many Israelis criticized their government’s willingness to tolerate these attacks. Most assumed that other nations wouldn’t be as willing to tolerate such a barrage of attacks without striking back.

I’m not so sure about that. Hundreds of Buddhists have been killed by Islamist ‘militants’ in Thailand, hundreds of thousands of black Sudanese have died as a result of the Islamist war in Darfur. How long have Hindus in India tolerated terrorist attacks – decades?

Militant French ‘youth’ in the banlieues burn cars every night. If these youth start lobbing Kassams over the banlieue borders, it’ll probably take the French about a week to adjust, to respond to each burst with a gallic shrug and a c’est la vie.

Most people around the world believe it’s just a fact of life to tolerate the threat of terrorism; we modify our behaviour, we avoid saying certain things, publishing certain pictures in an effort to avoid unpredicatable Islamist outbursts of rage. Israel is not alone.

UPDATE: Hizbullah is paying Palestinian splinter groups “thousands of dollars” for each Kassam rocket fired at the western Negev

..of Hezbollah’s Putsch

Michael Totten’s
post from Beirut is up on his site

..and also at Dean’s World..

It’s relatively balmy here in the NYC area, but Judith at Kesher Talk reports that it’s snowing in Jerusalem.

More on Jerusalem, juice and the calendar as a timespace narrative.

beirut fruit stand

santas

..and I realized – Christmas is here. Like, right now.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays (and for the rest of us, Festivus)

Oh, another thing I missed – what is the thing with Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell?

coffee with ronald

..they found (and delivered) my luggage. I have my clothes again, my notes and my pictures. Thank you Royal Jordanian Air!

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