Saturday, June 10, 2006

So Upset

I am indescribably upset by what happened today: Seven innocent people killed by an Israeli shell while they were enjoying the beach.

Israel says it was an accident, that the shell was "errant," whatever that means. (Just to show how weak Israel's "hasbara" is -- how badly they inform even their own citizens about what they are doing and why -- I don't even know what a "shell" is, though apparently a lot of Palestinians who have never been involved in terrorism are intimately familiar with them.)

Israel says it was an accident, and the army's Chief of Staff himself has publicly "expressed regret," and offered to bring the 40 wounded civilians to Israeli hospitals, which are superior to Palestinian ones, for treatment.

But I don't think any of the "expressions of regret" are likely ever to matter to 7-year-old Hadeel Ghalia, who lost both of her parents, a brother, and a sister today. No one could ever expect that they would. Just as no one could expect Israelis who have lost children or parents to Palestinian terrorists to ever really forgive, even if the Palestinian leadership miraculously became trustworthy "partners" for peaceful negotiations.

That's the trouble around here. Too many people have very understandable reasons to hate.

So I don't expect any future explanations or apologies or eating of crow by my government to matter to the people who lost loved ones today.

I would hope, however, that most people would understand the moral difference between a government engaged in morally ambiguous activities (targeted killings) who accidentally kill civilians and apologize for it, versus a government and its affiliated underground organizations who aim to kill as many civilians as possible.

And yet, is it really the time to worry about Israel's image right now, or who has the moral upper hand? Is this really about me, Israel, us? Why can't I just feel sorry for the people who were hurt?

And yet, how can I not worry about myself, when my little country is virtually all alone in a world filled with so much hostility against us, a world full of people who either actively are trying to wipe us off the map, or else wish we would somehow conveniently disappear somehow so they wouldn't have to think about us and our troublesome problems any more? How can I not worry about myself, when police now have 90 warnings of terror attacks, when Hamas has stated that they will renew suicide bombings in Israel?

I'm upset that the army protecting me had an accident like this. I'm upset for the people who were killed, or hurt, or had family members killed or hurt. And I'm upset that there are so many people next door who think that killing me would somehow make up for what happened to them.

No other words. I'm just full of upsetness.

IMPORTANT: Update to this post here.

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