No doubt, there will be another suicide bombing against Israelis.
In the meantime, casualties are mounting in the occupied territories. Eyewitness reports are telling of close range executions. One Palestinian man was shot dead in front of his wife and children after soldiers barged his home. Two Palestinian policemen were disarmed and shot point blank as they lay on the ground with their arms behind their backs. More children have been killed for throwing stones or just being outside their homes and an IDF soldier admitted on Israeli television that “we [soldiers] shoot them [Palestinians] in the head and no one asks any questions.”
Israel’s ongoing practice of home demolition wiped out 25 homes in a single day this week, leaving 345 souls homeless. To date, nearly 4000 such homes have been demolished. These are the homes of human beings who have been neither accused nor convicted of any crime. They are given 15 minutes to vacate, then they watch the teeth of Israeli bulldozers rip through their bedrooms and crush what meager possession they have. *? If you have ever seen the face of a child watching his home crumble before his crying parents, you might understand the Palestinian “rage.”
According to Defense of Children International (an international children’s advocacy organization), the Israeli military has killed at least 214 Palestinian children, injured 6,000 and arrested 600 in one year. At least 170 children under the age of 16 are being held in Israeli jails where they are subjected to systematic beatings, sleep deprivation and other forms of torture.
There is so much cruelty to report on the incredible suffering of 3 million Palestinians locked inside their homes with no school or work, scarce food and constant fear and terror. But where are American reporters?
As CNN runs scenes of Christmas in Russia and Rome, the little town of Bethlehem is under siege. It’s shops and cars have been crushed beneath the weight of tanks and it’s walls are splattered with the blood of its children.
Maybe that doesn’t make for pleasant TV footage, but in the town where Jesus was born, there is no joy. The Church of the Nativity is riddled with Israeli bullets, one of which killed the altar boy in Manger Square.
The Christians of Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and other villages cannot travel to the Holy Sepulcher to pray. It is forbidden. So it is for Muslims of Gaza and the West Bank.
But with no Israeli casualties to report, you’d think there was calm. At least one mainstream American paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, actually ran a story, with old photographs of past Israeli victims, on the front page!
The networks aren’t running interviews of Palestinians in Hebron who are constantly being attacked by armed settlers. We don’t see footage from any of the 41 Palestinian schools that have been turned into military installations, or any of the schools that have been tear-gassed, raided, or hit with live ammunition or missiles.
But surely, when one Palestinian decides to take his already-doomed life and as many Israelis as he can with him, the news will saturate print and broadcast media as though there is no context, no barbaric occupation, no defenseless civilian population squashed beneath the cruel fist of a nuclear power.
We will see the crying Israeli mothers and hear the human horror. Americans will condemn those terrorists and give Sharon, an indicted war criminal, the green light to drop more bombs from our F-16’s that fly for hours over Palestinian homes. He will, and he’ll blame Arafat for every problem under the sun.
The American people will go on believing the big lie that Israel is the victim fighting for its survival. The international community will convene to intervene for the innocents, but our government will veto another United Nations Security Council Resolution calling for the protection of Palestinian civilians. Sharon will take more land that has belonged to Palestinians for centuries so he can give it to new immigrants from Brooklyn or Russia.
This is the cycle, repeated over and over. Innocent Palestinians and Israelis die.
No one has clean hands in this mess. But any way you look at the situation, or any way the media ignores or slants it, the reality is that Israel is a nuclear power illegally occupying and settling land that belongs to Palestinians, who have no way to resist except with human bombs.
And Palestinians will always resist, even in ways that are merciless and barbaric.
That’s how I know there will be more suicide bombs.
Ms. Abulhawa is a freelance writer and founder of Playgrounds For Palestine, Inc. www.playgroundsforpalestine.org