Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bitter and Sweet

As we head into the final stretch of the Passover holiday, I have to say that I've had a wonderful time being in Israel for the chag this year. In addition to the phenomenal Seder at Beth and Simcha's house, I enjoyed some great hospitality at the homes of wonderful families, rented plenty of B5 episodes, and went on two walking tours of Jerusalem with the AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel). I've learned a lot, managed to eat well (thanks to my mother's recipe for amazing Pesach rolls), enjoyed some fresh air, and did a lot of relaxing. It's been great. I hope to blog about the walking tours after Yom Tov.

But I think the family of this boy has not been having such a good holiday:

. . . a sixteen-year-old tourist from the United States who sustained critical wounds in Monday's suicide bombing was still in serious condition on Tuesday.

The teenager was fighting for his life after doctors operated on him most of the night, said Karen Bronner, a spokeswoman for the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

His injuries were mostly to his stomach and internal organs and his aorta was torn, she said.

The American boy's family did not want any details about him released to the media, Bronner said.

(From today's Haaretz.com)

I trust that all my readers will be praying for this kid, who is only 16 and should have his whole life ahead of him. And if any of you in America know who he is, please do not release that detail here; let's respect the family's wish for privacy.

Best wishes to all my Jewish readers for a happy and healthy and kosher end of Passover.

PS This response to yesterday's terrorist attack seems much more intelligent than the idea of a military strike. Obviously Israel has to do something, and believe me, I'm the first to admit to being angry enough about the senseless killings to somewhat relish the idea of going into the PA and blowing some people's brains out. But what would it really accomplish? Yeah, I hear the argument that "all they understand is violence," but it doesn't work. At least, it wouldn't work any more than all the blowing of people's brains we've already done. The Palestinians are already pounded into the dirt, and they are still not getting the message. They are still attempting multiple terrorist attacks every day. Call it bravery, or call it sheer stupidity, or blind religious fanaticism. Whatever it is, they are not getting it. They still think that if they blow up enough of our restaurants that we'll decide eventually to leave and go back to who knows where. So going in to the PA and blowing up some things, while emotionally satisfying, wouldn't really do much to make Israel a safer place. Not in the long run.

I'm glad to see Olmert and his cronies are thinking more creatively, and doing something to make the PA leaders' lives more difficult without caving in to Hamas's desire for a violent escalation. It's like they are hitting us and saying "you want a piece of me? Huh? Come and get it!" And Olmert is saying "Uh, you are so not worth it. Move aside. You are blocking my view of the television." Diss. My understanding is that, in the Arab mentality, being ignored is much more painful than being physically attacked. I see Olmert's move not as one of caving to international pressure (which it may be) but rather as a calculated way of telling Hamas that they are not even worth fighting with. It is the powerful man not bothering to step on the ant, because we have better things to do. That message is more powerful than our tanks and fighter jets could be right now.

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