42 thoughts on “Death by Soccer – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. So little seems to change in these matters.
    The dead and injured are the only new components brought to each and every one of these acts of aggression (or defence, depending on your point of view).

    Why is it that, after so many incidents of this type, the methods and objectives appear to remain so consistently the same?

    Why are we all so resolutely opposed to change? Is it that we are truly incapable of dealing with the problem and the circumstances in any other way?

    If such is the case, then the length of time in which this whole business has dragged should not be too surprising.

    1. John,
      I agree with you,Israel must find ways to deal with the problem in a new,creative and more effective style.
      Israel is goaded and reacts instinctively and more to the point predictably.Then she regrets the loss of innocent life and asks herself “..but what was I to do”.
      Those who fire the munitions know and expect this.
      In conflict one should never react as the adversary expects.
      The loss of innocent life is a tragedy that further fuels the conflict.


      1. Hello Daniel,

        ‘In conflict one should never react as the adversary expects.’

        I would suggest that the conflict itself has long ago become the real adversary. Our every reaction to it is now so predictable, so integrated into its program that it can easily be expected to survive well into the next generation.

        Therefore, if any permanent end to this matter is really intended, the method employed must strike directly at the heart of the conflict and not concern itself overmuch with peripheral issues. Even the deaths of children here are not central to the problem; they are just another part of the sad detritus of war, one of its many trademark faces.
        I wonder then why are we still shocked by such events. They happen all the time and have done so since the very beginning. Perhaps it is because, instinctively, we know that child casualties should have no place in the grim reality of warfare and their inclusion there only reminds us of our inability to protect them and keep them safe from harm.

        Thus, in the final analysis, one question remains. What sacrifice must be made to ensure that the children of tomorrow do not encounter the same fate as those of today?

        Jettisoning some very old preconceptions regarding conflict management might be the first place to start.


    2. This is so unbelievable; i wouldn’t know where to start
      On the weekend, Hamas fired 60 Mortar shells towards Israeli civilians (http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/223/478.html)
      That was not covered by Tikun-Okam
      Grad missile was fired towards to city of Ashkelon but that wasn’t mentioned by Tikkun-Olam either (http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1221196.html)
      few incidents at which Anti-Missile tanks were fired by Gazan militants towards Israel Tanks patrolling on the Israeli Side of the border were not reported either by Tikkun-Olam
      And now this (non biased) report comes along.

      The real event is a little different than the one reported here.
      The Israeli Radar, stationed near the Gaza strip detected the firing of mortar shells towards one of the Israeli communities, luckily the shells hit an open space (the community cemetery) in retaliation, mortars were fired by Israel towards the firing source in-order to stop the firing towards unarmed civilians, one of the mortars missed by less than a 100 m’ and killed the uninvolved kids.
      No one, intentionality fired at them.
      IDF spokesman issued a statement regretting the death of the Palestinian kids, so did the Israeli PM.

      and today a terror attack in Jerusalem, 24 wounded including a women in critical condition. would that be reported in Tikun-Olam ?

      Seems to me that Hamas is trying to escalate the situation and drag Israel to another operation in the Gaza strip, Maybe Mr. Silverstein you should demonstrate some grit and fly to Gaza and stop the Hamas militants from firing (in defiance of international law) at unarmed civilians ? That will stop the new Israeli operation, and you will be recognized worldwide for your actions.

      On the other side, you can continue presenting a distorted picture of the events. You are great at doing so.

      1. Got news for you, my friend, nothing will get you in the dog house quicker than attacking me because I didn’t write about whatever subject or story you think places Israel in a superior light to its “enemies.” I don’t write for you. I don’t write about what you think I should. If you really care about what I write about & want to suggest that I cover a topic, you know or should know how to do that. But if you want to whine, carp & score pts., you’ll be ignored.

        The Palestinian source disagrees with you. It says a tank shell killed them. The militants fired from an orchard or grove. Do children play soccer in an orchard? No. They play soccer in an open space, fully visible to whichever gunner targeted the victims.

        UPDATE: B’Tselem has issued a rpt on the tragedy acknowleding that even if the IDF used mortars in this attack, it was a damn fool weapon to use in a densely populated area:

        On 22 March ’11, the Israeli military fired “Keshet” mortar shells at the Shaja’iya neighborhood east of Gaza City. The shells killed four Palestinian civilians, three of them from the same family, including two children. The media reported that the firing was a response to Palestinian firing at southern Israel a short time earlier.

        Mortar shells have a wide deviation range. “Keshet” mortars are more precise than other kinds of mortar shells, but their deviation range is still several dozens of meters wide. In the densely populated Gaza Strip, such a range can cause grave harm to civilians. Indeed, the use of “Keshet” mortars has already killed non-combatant civilians in the past. During Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, several such shells landed in a dense urban area next to the al-Fakhura school in Gaza City, killing 32 civilians who were not taking part in the hostilities, including 11 members of a single family.

        The truth of the matter is that Israel doesn’t care if a weapon has already killed civilians on a massive scale. It will continue using it if it is convenient to its purposes. Killing civilians is a secondary or tertiary consideration for the IDF.

        The Israelis expressed regret & in the very next breath took no responsibility for this tragedy of their own making & blamed Hamas for it. That cancels the expression of regret my friend.

        stop the Hamas militants from firing (in defiance of international law) at unarmed civilians

        I’ll do that after you go to the Kirya and demonstrate against Israel killing Gaza boys playing soccer. Send me a photo of you with a placard there & I’ll be on the next plane to whereever you have to go to get to Gaza. OK? Deal?

        If you write one more comment like this one trying to needle me you will be gone. Do you understand? You are now moderated.

        1. when you state the following :
          ” They play soccer in an open space, fully visible to whichever gunner targeted the victims.”

          you speak out of ignorance and biasness, Keshet is an automated system. the system is made out of a radar and mortars, upon detection the mortars are getting their coordinate from the radar, and fire – with no gunner targeting anyone.
          The Hamas / Islamic jihad – killed the kids, no one else did.

          and do not worry, i didn’t expected you to fly to Gaza, at the end of the day those who bark to not bite.

          1. @ Yosefu Plavious)
            “The Hamas/Islamic Jihad – killed the kids, no one else did”

            You’re maybe right, but in that case Israel killed the Fogel family in Itamar and the British woman in Jerusalem, yesterday, as well, right ? Collateral damages !

          2. Only in the part of the world you live in.
            in any other place, when you walk to someones place and slain them, it’s your fault, and even in the US if someone steals something from you, you can’t walk after him enter his house and slain him with a knife. You will get murder 1 for that.
            and the difference between this event and the tragic death of the Palestinian kids cause by an automatic technical response to an active firing on an Israeli community is huge.

          3. NO, in other countries if you kill someone you don’t get “murder” as you say. That’s what will happen to the Fogel killers when they are caught. Summary execution by IDF bullet.

            As for a normal democracy, you would be apprehended & tried in a court of law & offered legal representation. Then you would receive a punishment in accord with your sentence. In Israel they usually skip these niceties for such crimes.

            The diff. bet. the two crimes is not nearly as great as you claim.

          4. @ Yosefus Plavius)
            You have absolutely no idea where I live !

            You claim that ‘Hamas/Islamic Jihad killed those kids’. Well, I claim that by encouraging and financing illegal settlements in the West Bank, Israel killed the Fogel family. What you call “someone’s place” is an illegal settlement inhabited by ‘squatters of Palestinian land’.
            That’s as good as your statement on Hamas killing the kids. You right-wingers fortunately have Hamas. How did you spin your Hasbara prior to the rise of Hamas ?

          5. @ DS,
            you are an Israel Arab, you hold an Israeli ID and live in France.
            I am a right-winger as much as you are an al qaeda operative.
            and i understood exactly your analogy, that’s why i gave you the US example, it still is a murder one to do what the Palestinian terrorist did in itamar. The incident in gaza however tragic, doesn’t constitute that. furthermore due to the nature of the system used, its Hamas / Islamic Jihad (depends who was firing that day) that pulled the trigger of the Israeli weapon system.

          6. I beg your pardon. The very definition of depraved indifference to human life is to kill civilians with a weapon & continue using it, thereby killing many more. This is at least negligent homicide, at worst outright homicide. That’s murder in common English. So the soccer deaths were just shy of murder because the IDF knew there were civilians in very close proximity & despite this used a weapon whose level of accuracy might very well kill those civilians, and did.

            Hamas / Islamic Jihad (depends who was firing that day) that pulled the trigger of the Israeli weapon system.

            This is a very stupid repetition of the IDF spokesperson and a lie. An IDF soldier pulled the trigger. So if you repeat such nonsense & lies I’ll relieve you of yr privileges here. Do you understand?

          7. You spent 2 year in Israel, you read fluent Hebrew, you are in touch with many Israelis, you studied Zionism for the last 30 years (in which faculty ?) you read the israeli newspapers daily and i do not remember your last arguments for being an expert.
            all that and you still don’t have a clue what you are talking about, and you don’t read massages published in your own comment thread.

            Keshet is an automated system, no one is needed to pull the trigger. the system is working based on detection of artillery shells (including mortars) that are being fired towards Israel, if the system detects that the shells will hit an Israeli community and not an open space the system reacts. what triggered the system was the firing of mortar shells from Gaza. it’s the same as Hamas / Islamic Jihad operative pulling the trigger.

            Now, do YOU finally understand ? i doubt it.

          8. All future comments by you will be moderated and any future violations of comment rules will cause you to lose yr privileges immediately.

            The idea that you would use an automated mortar firing system with a target deviation margin of 100 meters in a zone as densely populated as Gaza is absolutely horrifying. So you’re telling me a human being doesn’t even control the firing of these weapons against these civilians. At least with U.S. drones, as horrifying as civilian deaths are fr. such attacks, there is a human being targeting & firing the missile. If you’re correct (& there’s no reason to trust that you are) then there is no accountability. Computers killed these poor children. This is the ultimate in impunity: you can’t blame anyone. Can you send a computer targeting system to the Hague? Well, perhaps we can send the general who approved its use in Gaza there & indirectly killed these boys.

            And if there is no control on the system firing its mortars at a target even if there are civilians who will be hit then this seems outrageously callous. Congratulations, the army that “protects” you is an army of monsters. At least those who devised this system if it works again as you claim.

          9. [Ed., this commenter has been banned for posting this comment which used my real address and the names of two family members (misspelled). This is the baseness of these people I’m sorry to say]

            Ho no, i am being moderated.
            next time we will send you a present to your home address:
            xxxx xxth Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
            Send my regards to xxxx and xxxx.

          10. Richard, automated systems are used quite heavily in Israeli attacks on Gaza. As you point out, this is chilling, as the Strip is so severely overcrowded. I haven’t been able to discover whether these particular killings were carried out remotely by computer, but it’s certainly likely.

            Yosefus, you seem to be making the argument that the technology is used for ethical reasons, that deaths resulting from the use of such a system are somehow less terrible than when an individual soldier is responsible. That is not the case. Such technology makes it easier to kill people by divorcing the military from their actions and ensuring that they feel no fear, no touch of uncertainty, nothing. It’s sanitised murder. The best example of this in action is the ‘Spot and Shoot’ system.

            It sounds like a video game, and in a sense it is – Israeli military operators (all of them female, interestingly enough) are able to identify targets on a TV monitor and then use a joystick to aim and fire remote-controlled machine guns located along Gaza’s perimeter fence. They hear the shot through a headset and see the people crumpling on the screen, but they are far removed from the deaths physically and psychologically. Disturbing as the use of such technology is, it offers me some hope – I think there are individuals within that military who simply would not be capable of killing so many people if they weren’t insulated against the horror of the deaths in some way. It disengages the emotions and numbs conscience.

            I think the Internet serves a similar purpose for you, judging by the veiled threat you have made to Richard in your last comment. I hope that in real life you would not be capable of threatening or trying to intimidate people. If you are, you have my prayers – you have been damaged by the violence in this region and in a sense you are a victim yourself. There is a worse thing than being hurt, and that’s relishing the thought of hurting somebody.

            “and do not worry, i didn’t expected you to fly to Gaza, at the end of the day those who bark to not bite.”

            I would love to go to Gaza and do some work with the community mental health team there, but sadly it is as difficult to get in as it is to get out. Usually the permits are only issued to journalists. Aid workers like me have a hard enough time getting visas even for the West Bank. At present my counselling and therapeutic skills are nowhere near developed enough for me to work in Gaza, but once I have completed my trauma specialisation and have the experience I need to be useful, I am going to try and get in.

          11. @ Yosefus Plavius)
            You’re maybe an Israeli but you don’t have a clue to how your State is functioning concerning what you call Israeli Arabs. Could you please explain how I could possibly be an Israeli Arab with an Israeli ID (they call themselves Israeli Palestinians but I guess you don’t care) as my Mum is a refugee ? You’re not aware that Palestinians holding an Israeli ID can’t marry and live within the State of Israel with an ‘alien’ Palestinian, even if this ‘alien’ was born in what was to become the State of Israel. You think your country drew out minimum 800.OOO Palestinians to allow them back ‘through the back door’ ?

            A Jew could at any time decide to ‘return home’ to his ‘ancestral homeland’, even if he’s a convert. He could also marry another Jewish convert from the Diaspora, and they could live happily together till the end of time in their ‘ancestral homeland’. This is for Jews only, though. You do know that, don’t you ?
            When I call you a right-winger, I’m of course applying ‘international standards’ and not Israeli ones.

            I don’t know why you call me “DS”. It’s maybe your inner boycotter speaking, you just missed the “B” ? BDS (boycott, disinvestment, sanctions). At least we do agree on one thing then.

      2. @ Yosefus Plavius)
        That was the comment you mentioned ? I don’t really see any regret about the civilians killed in Gaza. You just try to explain/excuse that the IDF missed their real target “by less than 100 meters”. Do you realize what 100 meter is in Gaza, the most crowded place on earth ?
        Well, I don’t read Hebrew so I don’t know whether your link mentions what you don’t. Just before your “on the weekend, Hamas fired 60 Mortar shells towards Israeli civilians”, you forgot (?) to mention that was a retaliation for the prior killing of two Hamas members.
        We could go back time like that: retaliations, attacks, counter attacks , and we’ll end up in 1882 when the first Zionists set foot on Palestinian land 🙂

    3. A short update
      33 wounded, a 59 years old women died, 3 in bad condition.
      would any of that be reported in Tikun-Olam ?

      1. No comments on the 5 civilians killed in Gaza ? Prior to the bombing in Jerusalem. The condemnation is a one-way story ?
        You know, it’s night in Seattle where Richard lives.
        And it’s already on the national television where I live. Didn’t hear anything about the five civilians in Gaza though. Only the four members of Islamic Jihad.

        1. @ DS
          The post you replied to is a continuation to a previous post which was moderated for some reason (i published twice they both were, so i guess i am doing something wrong)

          as for the death of the Gazan kids it’s a tragedy, but i’m sure you know that Hamas militants fired mortar shells from the same citrus orchard the kids were playing at towards Israeli communities located within the Israeli side of the 1967 Border. the Israeli doctrine calls for firing back in an attempt to stop the fire on Israeli communities, and Israel fired back 4 120 mm Mortar shells, killed one of the terrorists, wounded more and unfortunately killed the kids to.

          Israel in a similar act to the one conducted by President Obama on march 3rd in which he expressed his regret for the death of the Afghani kids. (http://tucsoncitizen.com/usa-today-news/2011/03/03/obama-regrets-deaths-of-afghanistan-children-karzai-says/) the difference is no one fired at american communities from Afgani land.

          1. Yosefus,

            The excuse that Hamas militants were firing from a civilian area is often used when Israeli military kills Gazan civilians, especially children. But do you have any conception of how chronically overcrowded Gaza is? There are 1.5 million people packed tightly into that little strip of land. There are no civilian-free areas. None. The Israeli military is more aware of this than most, as not only do they contribute to the chronic overcrowding by severely hampering people’s passage in and out of the Strip, but they make matters worse by having a buffer zone around the perimeter. That zone is 1.5km wide.

            That’s 24% of the entire Gaza Strip. Anybody moving in it is considered suspicious and therefore a potential target. When deaths happen in the buffer zone, it’s passed off in Israel as the killings of suspicious individuals who were in a forbidden area. Few Israelis seem to know quite how large the forbidden area is – and how many unfortunate souls are crammed into it. They hear that the dead people were in a no-go zone, and they assume that only militants are likely to go there. Given this routine disingenuousness on the part of the IDF, I’m not likely to believe them when they tell me that the deaths of these children were an unavoidable and regrettable accident.

          2. Vicky, you don’t need to trust the IDF
            please contact your contacts in the Gaza strip, mark on a map where the mortars were fired from, see where the kids got killed, and then please report it back to everyone.

            of course the death is avoidable , please contacts the groups in Gaza and appeal them to stop the firing of rockets, mortars, anti-missiles tanks and other goodies, and not only kids will not die, no one will die.

            but i guess from reading your reply that you think that this sort of terror activity is a legitimate act, so i doubt you will do any of that.

          3. please contacts the groups in Gaza and appeal them to stop the firing of rockets

            She’ll do that after you contact the IDF & Israel gov’t to ask them to pls. stop the killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians & end the Occupation. Will you?

            no one will die.

            Utter nonsense. There are no missiles flying into Israel from the West Bank. Yet Palestinian civilians die there virtually every week or so. How can that be given yr meaningless assurances?

            i guess from reading your reply that you think that this sort of terror activity is a legitimate act

            I find this once again offensive. You don’t know what Vicky believes or who she is. By what right do you make such an utterly obnoxious statement? Watch it buddy. You offend me when you offend someone like Vicky.

          4. I don’t know where you could get the impression that I see terrorism as legitimate. I’m a peace worker with a Palestinian organisation that is committed to pacifism, and non-violence is at the heart of my own philosophy. Your reply suggests that my refusal to accept the IDF’s version of events equals automatic support for terrorism. It doesn’t. It just means that I don’t support the IDF’s actions. I know that the two things have become interchangeable in some Israeli circles, but to my mind they remain distinct.

            No militant group in Gaza has claimed that they were firing shells from the area in which the children died, so I don’t know who I’m supposed to ask for corroboration of the IDF’s story – even supposing that I had the telephone details for militant groups in my address book, which I don’t. I do, however, have the contact details for aid workers who are trying their best to make life bearable in a place where 90% of the water is unfit to drink, thanks to the Israeli military’s destruction of the desalination plant. A place where 80% of the population is dependent on food aid. Where half the children are mildly malnourished, with a further 32% suffering from second-degree malnutrition and 16% meeting the criteria for chronic third-degree malnutrition. Only 2% of Gaza’s children are going to bed properly fed tonight.

            Poverty and hardship and oppression were part of the Palestinian reality long before Palestinian terrorism emerged, and terrorism is a response to these things, not the cause of them. A cursory glance at the chronology of this conflict tells us that. This is not to say that terrorism is a legitimate response. The killing of an innocent human being is never legitimate (and I would take that one step further and query whether the killing of a guilty one can be legitimate either, although my mind is not fully made up on this issue). Terrorism only means that more people get hurt, and it helps nobody. But in spite of its intrinsic evil, it can never be used as a justification for Israeli governmental and military policy, which is frighteningly cruel and destructive. The policies towards Gaza can’t be accounted for in terms of security. Imprisoning people in poverty and sickness only ferments political instability, and of course the authorities know this – after all, the Israeli government assisted in the birth of Hamas at a time when secular Arab nationalism looked as though it might pose a threat. Divide and rule is what is going on here.

            If anybody is interested in easing the situation in Gaza (and benefiting Israel in consequence) I suggest you have a look at the two most recent appeals being co-ordinated by Medical Aid to Palestinians, ‘Children of Palestine’ and ‘Delays Cost Lives’:


          5. Who are you kidding?

            Do you know what a ‘pattern” is.

            We’ve been watching the Israeli min genocide of the Palestines pattern for decades.

          6. Hamas militants fired mortar shells from the same citrus orchard the kids were playing at

            Playing soccer in an orchard? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Were the fruit trees soccer goals? Or were they the players as well?

            Israel in a similar act to the one conducted by President Obama

            No, my friend. That’s the hasarist tactic. You don’t get to mix apples and oranges here. The U.S. should get out of Afghanistan now. Israel should end the Occupation now. No amount of expression of regret from OBama or yr PM can excuse the disaster both of them have brought upon Palestinians, Afghans & our own soldiers. So don’t try to pass the buck & say what’s good for Obama is good for Israel’s Occupation.

        2. @ Yosefus Plavius)
          I’m sorry for misinterpreting your comment. Still, the IDF can see what jam you’ve got on your toast, and they can’t distinguish football playing civilians from combattants ? Nah, we all know Palestinian lives are not very precious to The-Most-Moral-Army-In-The-World.

        3. What is there here that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before?

          There is simply no justification for such indiscriminate attacks. Of course not. Indeed, anything that is likely to result in loss of life or someone’s physical, emotional and even spiritual injury is to be avoided at almost all costs and at every turn.

          But the real problem is not so much the motivation nor the consequences of such actions, terrible though they may be. What matters is why some means to prevent them from happening in the first place has never emerged from all that has gone before; why has there been no evolutionary progress in a process now more than sixty years old? Is the situation so bereft of solutions and ideas that, in another sixty years, it is likely to remain just as intractable as it is now?

          Why should this be so? Is there never to be an answer; no formula, no magic wand to banish such appalling deeds forever?

          Or, can the answer be so simple that it’s been overlooked by all those still searching for it?

          One thing is certain. If no answer is made available and soon, then the time must come when no answer will be all that’s left. And every one of those lives taken too early will have counted for nothing, ‘will be lost in time like tears in rain.’

      2. ” Ho no, i am being moderated.
        next time we will send you a present to your home address:
        xxxx xxth Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
        Send my regards to xxxx and xxxx.”
        ……” And one more thing, start looking behind your back.
        we are all around you.”

        @Yosefus Plavius,
        Your use of the blog owners address is an ugly,unacceptable and childish response.
        You may not agree with the man as I also do not,you may not agree with his style as I also do not but you will respect him and his right to run his blog his way because it’s HIS blog.
        Richard, I apologize on behalf of Yosefus Plavius.


        1. I appreciate your support, Daniel.

          This is not childish, this is an outright threat which I take quite seriously whether or not this idiot Arijay, Dedi Rozenthal or whoever he is, does. Except he’s all hot air. Couldn’t even pull off his charade successfully. What happened to your CA. meetings with the NYT reporter? Guess you were a no show. Because you’re a fraud. And a blowhard to boot.

          And even if this idiot doesn’t do anything, I think unfortunately we know that one time, somewhere there is a lunatic out there who will. There is a worthy Jewish saying: Al tiftach peh la-Satan (“don’t open Satan’s mouth”). In other words, if you let something horrible out of your mouth even though you may not do something evil, you simply don’t know what the repurcussions of your statements will be.

        2. I have to agree with Daniel on this one…

          A lot of what is said on this blog rubs me the wrong way.

          Much of what Richard says I don’t agree with… but it is HIS blog and I choose to read, like everybody else here, what he has written and comment ( or not).

          And as one who posts (rarely) about what Richard or others post here, it is my free will to do so. It’s a choice to read or not what is posted here as well as comment.

          With that said. this guy Y.P. is simply dangerous. He certainly doesn’t represent any specific group and sounds a bit unstable. He has no ethical, moral or even spiritual right to make that kind of (or any) threat to the blogger or anybody else that posts here.

          I won’t apologize for him as Daniel did (I can’t apologize for somebody I don’t know or even care to know), but I want to let it be known that this type of behaviour is simply intolerable- even for people who disagree with Richard.

          Free speech is important and a wide variety of views make for interesting discussion, but not so do threats.. and this seems like a very personal and dangerious one!

          1. David, that means a lot to me specifically because we disagree on so many issues. I think, despite those disagreements, it says a lot about your derech eretz, that you’re willing to say the things you have here. I really appreciate it.

            I don’t know who Plavius/Arijay/Dedi Rozenthal or whoever he is, represents. But he claims to be acting on behalf of an organized group, though that could be a bluff, as so much of what he says & does is.

  2. RE: “A total of nine Gazans’ were killed by IDF fire today, five of them civilians.” – R.S.
    MY SNARK: These are the times that buy men’s souls! I wonder if Netanyahu sleeps during the day in a coffin on a bed of soil from his native land.

  3. I heard today on the radio an MK talking about another “operation” in Gaza that will topple down Hamas once and for all, as if the last round didn’t fail miserably to achieve this same goal.

    Still, judging by the rhetoric it looks like Israel is planning another massacre in Gaza.

    1. Today was the first bus bombing in years. I’m shaken up on behalf of the wounded people and their families, and I keep checking to see if anybody has died, but I’m not going to be afraid to use the bus. I doubt that you are either.

      This is the frustrating thing – acts of terror are misrepresented as commonplace occurrences, the fabric of everyday Israeli life, when in reality the Israeli civilian death toll for the whole of the Second Intifada was matched by the Palestinian civilian death toll in the two weeks of Cast Lead alone. Please don’t try to use this as an opportunity to justify the cheapness at which Palestinian life is held here. The Palestinian death toll for the past decade is six times higher than Israel’s, and that’s just counting conflict-related deaths – it doesn’t include those Palestinians who die because movement and import restrictions mean they can’t access the right healthcare, for example. The full statistics are available at If Americans Knew.

      This is not comfort I would offer to any Israeli who has lost a loved one in the conflict – if your child is dead, your sister, your parents, your fiancee, then the broader statistics are irrelevant to you; your own tragedy is big enough to engulf your life. The loss of one person really can be like the loss of a world, and we have to mourn for that. But it is not part of mourning to use this attack to dismiss Palestinian suffering or to try and make out that the death tolls are equivalent. They aren’t.

      Prayers and love to anybody who is suffering because of this bus attack.

      1. i paraphrased the first sentence in the article: “You better not be a child and play soccer if you live in Gaza. Otherwise, the IDF will punish you with death”

      2. “This is the frustrating thing – acts of terror are misrepresented as commonplace occurrences, the fabric of everyday Israeli life, when in reality the Israeli civilian death toll for the whole of the Second Intifada was matched by the Palestinian civilian death toll in the two weeks of Cast Lead alone.”

        Bloody well said, Vicky!

        A propos Cast Lead, Hasbarists will have us believe Israel patiently suffered 8 years of rocket attacks before the Good IDF finally decided to do something about it. In reality, during that time, just about every missile was avenged, on a day to day basis, just like it is today. And just prior to Leb II there was what you could call a mini Cast Lead incursion into Gaza…

    2. This is the worst terror attack inside Israel in 4 yrs. How many Palestinian civilians have been killed in that time? 6,000? 10,000? Compared to how many Israeli civilians? Every death of every innocent person is a tragedy. But do get real.

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