I am absolutely disgusted by the lead on this new AP story:
- NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip – Israeli troops dragged sobbing Jewish settlers out of homes, synagogues and even a nursery school Wednesday and hauled them onto buses in a massive evacuation, fulfilling Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s promise to withdraw from the Gaza Strip after a 38-year occupation.
In the West Bank, an Israeli settler grabbed a gun from a security guard in the Shilo settlement and started shooting Palestinians, killing three and wounding two before being arrested. The killings aroused fears of Palestinian retaliation and the disruption of the evacuation mission.
I understand that everyone’s emotions are running high. But why should the fact of “sobbing Jewish settlers” being evacuated from places where their presence is now illegal under both international and Israeli law be considered to take precedence over the violent ending of the lives of three Palestinians?
I am glad that Sharon quickly and quite rightly denounced the killings as “Jewish terror”. But still, doesn’t the violent ending of these theree people’s lives merit greater media attention than the drama-queen tactics of the long-pandered-to settlers?
It seems evident that some extreme militants in the settler movement are determined to try to provoke a Palestinian reaction and thus spark a very nasty inter-communal, Jewish-Arab conflict in different places. This, from the same story:
- In Kfar Darom [in occupied Gaza], several hundred settlers went on a rampage, pushing large cinderblocks off a bridge and trying to torch a nearby Arab house, witnesses said. Israel troops brought the fire under control and tried to push the settlers back into Kfar Darom as Palestinians threw stones.
Let us hope that as many Israelis as possible are sensible enough to turn against these apostles of hate. Also, that as many Palestinians as possible understand that for them, too, staying calm and refusing to get provoked into counter-violence of any kind is also very, very important.
The great Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has argued that sometimes, just staying calm can save lives. I think that now, throughout the whole of Israel/Palestine, is such a time.
As for Amy Teibel of AP, who wrote that piece, and her editors, perhaps they can reflect a little on whether they actually think that the fates of all human beings are equally deserving of our attention and their coverage…. A bunch of sobbing settler women “trumps” the killing of three Palestinians (and the wounding of two others)?
I don’t think so.