In fact, I did not hear about the attack until last night, at which time I was not in the correct state of mind to blog about it. I have since had time to reflect more on the events of Friday night, and write something more cogent than anything I may have produced last night.
So far, 4 innocent people have been killed, with over 50 wounded. These are just statistics, but behind each murdered or wounded person is a story. Dreams have been shattered, and families destroyed.
The angel on the left was Yael Aurbach, who was only 28. She was set to get married in only two weeks time. Her fiance has not yet heard about the death of his beloved. A precious life extinguished by a callous murderer, with many more lives irrevocably affected.
The other victims so far are:
These are the people whose lives have been cut short. Their familes and friends have to live with the pain of their loss. In addition, amongst the 50 or so wounded are lives severely damaged. People who will lose eyes and limbs. People who will carry the horror of Friday night for the rest of their lives.
I think it is important to look beyond the statistics and realize the real brutality of such attacks.
So many innocent lives affected, and for what? Israel has made it clear that she wants peace and has been taking risky actions leading to PLO Arab self-rule (like she has been doing since 1993). Our government has released hundreds of prisoners. Our government has taken steps to withdraw from Gaza. Our government has stated that we will end targeted killings. Our government has decided to adjust the route of the security fence to minimize its affect on the PLO Arabs. And in response, the PLO Arabs have deliberately murdered more of our innocent civilians.
Pro-PLO Arab apologists will point to a number of possible justifications for the attack. But even the terrorists themselves cannot agree on a reason. The bomber himself gave this justification:
The aim of the bombing was "to attack the self-rule Authority, which acts according to American interests," Badran, 21, said on the tape.In other words, he went to a place frequented by young Israelis wanting to enjoying themselves, and tried to spill as much of their blood as possible - to prove a point to the PA. The Islamic Jihad, at first denying involvement, later claimed responsibility from its Syria-based bureau.
"The calm period with the [Palestinian] Authority was an agreement for a month and that has ended," said Abu Tareq, a member of Islamic Jihad's "Israel has not abided by the pacification period. This is the main reason that led to this operation," he said without elaborating.In other words, they decided to stop killing us for a month, but now the month has passed and we are all fair game again.
The fact that the terrorists are providing different reasons for the attack, should indicate that no real reason does exist, other than hatred for Israelis and Jews. Pro-PLO Arab apologists can claim it is all the fault of the "occupation", yet none of the terrorists have even pretended that this is the reason. This reason also rings hollow at the very time that Israel is taking such risky steps towards peace.
Israel has decided to act as follows:
Notice no military action to speak of, even though it would be justified against the PA terror groups, as well as against Syria. I personally think that Israel made the right decision in not reacting militarily at this time.
By insisting that the PA fight the terror, Israel has put them to the test. Now we will be able to determine whether or not the PA is serious about peace. If the PA fights terror, then we may be more optimistic about the prospect of peace. If not, the US will place more pressure on the PA, and any Israeli military responses may be met with less opposition.
The handover freeze demonstrates to the PA that they will suffer if they do not fight terror. I believe that this "carrot-stick" approach may be effective if the PA is genuine about peace. If not, then we will surely discover this.
(Cross-posted at Israellycool)