|Jerusalem: Not 1996, not 2001 - this week [Image Source]|
A Palestinian militant from the occupied West Bank who was wounded when his bomb exploded on an Israeli commuter bus in Jerusalem on Monday has died, an Israeli hospital spokeswoman and a pro-Hamas website said on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the Jerusalem hospital where the wounded man was treated confirmed he had succumbed to his injuries. Israeli authorities have placed a gag order on the investigation and declined to release any details. The pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre identified him as Abdel-Hamid Abu Srour from the Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem and said he was a member of the Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas militant Islamist group... Israeli medical sources said six people wounded by the blast were still being treated in hospital, the rest had been released by late Wednesday... ["Palestinian wounded in Jerusalem bus bombing dies, Hamas claims him", Reuters, April 20, 2016]The "militant" is reported to be 19 and has permanently ceased to be an "activist". He will however remain a terrorist and, given the theological orientation implied by the Hamas connection, a jihadist. In Palestinian Arab society, he is now upgraded to "martyr". The shahid posters [click here - we won't reproduce it here] are already on the walls of Arab villages and cities this morning. They are indispensable to the ongoing efforts in every part of Palestinian Arab society to dredge up still more murder-minded bombers, stabbers, shooters and vehicle-rammers. (Small case in point: read what the mother of this week's bomber said, and knew, and didn't do: click.)
How young men and women with unlived lives and unattained achievements ahead of them choose unfathomable hatred as their path and endanger their own lives for the prospect of killing or maiming Jews doesn't get the attention it ought to. There is a process at work, as we wrote yesterday ["20-Apr-16: After Monday's Jerusalem bus bombing, questions (again) about education, children and money"]. That process is totally disguised by analysis like that on display in the same Reuters report, where readers are told
Factors driving the violence include Palestinian bitterness over stalled statehood negotiations and the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, increased Jewish access to a disputed Jerusalem shrine and Islamist-led calls for Israel's destruction.How differently that bloodshed would look if the news reporting industry placed it in a franker context and with a more comprehensive listing of motivations.
Perhaps editors ought to be encouraged to start with the reality that Arab-on-Israeli terrorism began decades before Israel gained statehood in 1948, and much earlier than the creation of this thing Reuters calls West Bank settlements. Yes, there are many factors, but presenting the grievances as if they were recent is a distortion of the bigotry behind the savagery.
And perhaps those editors might, from time to time, show dancing in the streets where Palestinian Arabs live - dancing for joy, chanting their appreciation for a murderer, declaiming their bigoted hatred for other people whom they don't know but who fit a certain category. Like this Arabic-language video clip from Wednesday - four and a half minutes of video focused on open, undisguised and enthusiastic celebration of murder on the streets of Bethlehem. Yes, Bethlehem.
None of this influences the essentially humane approach of Israeli society which understands why a murderous fanatic like the freshly-deceased jihadist gets treated in one of Israel's best emergency hospitals, Shaarei Zedek Medical Center. Along with Hadassah's two Jerusalem campuses, it's one of the easiest places in Israel to snap photographs of Arabs and Jews mingling with almost zero friction, if that's the sort of message a news reporter ever wanted to convey.
When did you last see that sort of news story?