Wednesday, March 20, 2013

20-Mar-13: If a firebomb hits a bus far from anyone important, did it happen?

We are thinking about Zen-like aphorisms as we look over the news this morning in beautiful, sun-drenched pre-Passover Jerusalem.

The arrival of US president Barack Obama in Israel is triggering an increased level of terror-centred activity by the local Palestinian Arabs, as we have noted here, here, here and here (for instance) in the past three weeks.

Yesterday (Tuesday), in the late evening, a firebomb (Molotov cocktail) was hurled at an Israeli bus passing by the community of Givat Asaf on Route 60 north of Jerusalem and south of Bet El. The IDF said soldiers were searching the area. But these things happen a lot, even if most people don't know about it.

As Times of Israel writes, the road is part of the route that Obama is due to take when he is driven to the Palestinian Arab center of government in Ramallah tomorrow. Naturally, had the Obama entourage already been on the ground and closer to the scene, this would have been front page news around the globe. But today it's a small story with very little resonance. And since no actual injuries were reported, it has gotten virtually zero airplay outside this country.

For the travelers on the bus, it may well have been the most frightening experience of their lives. But that's how it is with terrorism: turns your own life upside down if it happens to you but for the community and those further away, it's at worst a near miss. In other words, an experience of the most intimate kind for those affected, but if - as is normally the case - you are unable to effectively communicate it in ways that touch other people's awareness, then from their standpoint it never have happened.

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