WSJ 18th May 2007
President Harry S. Truman famously said that when he heard people say they knew only what they read in the newspapers, he pitied them.
Shirel Feldman died last night (Monday) in the small and battered Israeli community of Sderot. She was walking in one of the town's shopping areas in the early evening when an inbound Qassam rocket fired from Gaza crashed into a parked vehicle (see pictures at right), spraying her with shrapnel. She died of her severe injuries a few hours later.
It's a certainty that her name and even the barest details of her identity will never make it to anyone's newspapers or Internet screens outside of this country and beyond the community of people who care about the ongoing barbarity being perpetrated by the Haniyeh/Abbas regime.
Something odd and deeply disturbing characterizes the way media outlets all over the world are reporting the events taking place in the south of Israel. It's always been the case, from 2004 when the barrages of rockets into Israeli communities bordering Gaza began, that the dangers of Qassam attacks have been explicitly minimized in the news media.
A nice Malaysian example here explains that the Qassams are "generally regarded as unreliable, limited in their use, and rarely hit their targets. Most of them land in open fields, and many do not explode. Very little damage is ever reported and injuries are usually described as slight or moderate."
We expressed our concern about this sort of misleading, agenda-driven nonsense in an earlier posting here in January 2007. To our friends in Kuala Lumpur, we might perhaps point out that most terrorist bombers do little damage and fail to explode. Some unfortunately do not. A small problem for Malaysians. Not so small for the rest of us.
But as we have personally learned, it doesn't much matter if press reporters get the story right or entirely wrong. When you yourself are in the news, just another statistic or footnote, and bad things are done to you, the bad is real.
- So irrespective of whether the Qassam is inefficient or crude, it exacts a very real and very painful permanent toll in terror and death. Some instances to ponder...
- June 28, 2004 The first fatal Qassam rocket attack on Sderot - a Hamas rocket crashes into a nursery school (Hamas openly claims credit for the attack and the deaths). The victims are Afik Ohion Zehavi, aged 4, and Mordechai Yosephus, a man of 49. Seven other people are wounded. (Pal-Arabs have no problem whatever attacking schools. They do it to their own.)
- September 29, 2004 A Qassam fired from Gaza by Hamas - which openly claims responsibility - crashes into a residential building on the eve of the Sukkot holiday. The victims are two toddlers: Dorit Inso, 2 and Yuval Abeva, 4. Thirty other people suffer injuries.
- January 21, 2005 A teenage girl, Ayala Haya Abukasis, 17, dies from wounds sustained during another Qassam rocket attack on Sderot.
- July 14, 2005 Dana Galkovitch, a 22-year-old Israeli woman, is killed in a Qassam attack in the Netiv Ha'asara kibbutz, just north of the Gaza Strip.
- September 24, 2005 Five Israelis are injured when Palestinian terrorists launch some 30 rockets on Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip.
- February 3, 2006 A Qassam rocket strikes a family's house in the western Negev village of Kibbutz Karmiya, injuring four people, including a 7-month-old baby.
- March 28, 2006 A Qassam rocket kills two Israeli-Arab shepherds, Salam Ziadin and his son Khalid, age 16, at Kibbutz Nachal Oz. (First reports of their deaths attributed them to an Israeli shell. At a later stage, Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the "achievement".)
- June 11, 2006 Three people are injured, one critically when a Qassam lands next to Sapir Academic College on the edge of Sderot. 14 Qassams are fired throughout this day including one which makes a direct hit on an apartment building.
- Nov. 11, 2006 - Faina Slutzker, 57, is killed when a rocket hits the street where she is walking, near the home of Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
- Nov. 21, 2006 - Yaakov Yaakobov, 43, a fork-lift operator is killed when a Qassam strikes the "Off Tov" poultry plant in Sderot.
- May 16, 2007 Over thirty Qassams are launched into Sderot, seriously wounding one woman. The attacks come after at least 15 Palestinian Arabs are killed by other Palestinian Arabs during an internal Hamas -vs- Fatah feud in the Gaza strip (calculated, as we pointed out, to provoke an Israeli intervention which might then unite the blood-minded warring factions).
Does anyone still remember the reasons we were given for supporting a Pal-Arab re-conquest of the Gaza Strip greenhouses two summers ago?