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Construction equipment 1, homo sapiens 0

It's a tragedy, of course, and yet I can't manage to muster much sympathy for the woman run over by a bulldozer when she lay down in front of it. The bulldozer was there to demolish a building in Gaza; the woman, a representative of the Bored College Students Who Think They're Still In the 1960s movement, was there to stand with Hamas et al. against Israel.

Here's the quote that was puzzling to me:

The Israeli troops "have shot over our heads, and shot near our feet — they have fired tear gas at us," said Michael Shaik, media coordinator for the group. "But we thought we had an understanding. We didn't think they would kill us."
Huh? How confused can these people be? There's suffering all over the world, including in the United States. One would presume that if these people choose to come to Israel, it would be because they think the plight of Palestinians is particularly dire. But if they think so, they must think the Israeli government is exceptionally oppressive and evil. If so, why would they be surprised that the Israeli government was willing to kill them? And on the other hand, if they don't think the Israeli government is evil, then (a) why are they in Israel, instead of somewhere where they might do some good, and (b) why do they doubt the Israeli explanation that this was simply a tragic accident?

Have these people thought it through at all, or are they just being trendy and pretentious by going to Israel to Be Activists, as if this were all some sort of game? Yes, I should be sorry for the woman who died, but (as I've noted before) I really can't feel anything for "human shields" until I hear of ones riding Israeli buses to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian homicide bombings. Of course, they don't do that because they know it would be futile to do so; homicide bombers don't care. And that's the problem, in a nutshell: they protest against Israel because they know Israel isn't evil; they don't protest against Palestinian terrorism because they know it is evil.


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Comments (5)


One must feel sympathy for this woman the same way one feels sympathy for a dumb animal that runs out in traffic and get killed. Don't these people have any sense? Do they think this is all a game and that if they lose they can press the reset button and start all over again?

I think if maybe they had spent some time reading a little literature in college, then maybe they would have been able to realize the consequences of their actions (courtesy of Amish Tech Support).

"Mr Dent," he said.
"Hello? Yes?" said Arthur.
"Some factual information for you. Have you any idea how much damage that
bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?"
"How much?" said Arthur.
"None at all," said Mr. Prosser, and stormed nervously off wondering why his
brain was filled with a thousand hairy horsemen all shouting at him.

- Chapter One of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," by Douglas Adams.


I checked out the ISM website (which is on a really bad server). While some of their goals are admirable, I was just dumbfounded by some of the following quotes:

Understand, though, that the Israeli occupiers do everything in their power to conflate the concepts of "Jew" and "Israeli", so you may well hear Palestinians talking about "the Jews" when they really mean "Israelis" or "the Israeli army" or "the Israeli government". It is useful to remember the context; talk about "the Jews" is not the indication of bigotry that it would be in the United States or Europe.

The double-standard here is ridiculous.

The International Solidarity Movement is also dedicated to creating ongoing and continuous support for justice efforts there by encouraging internationals to volunteer for ongoing programmes of civil disobedience and development of Palestinian economic infrastructure, and in other ways to work for justice in Palestine, an end to IsraelÂ’s occupation and its subsidization by the United States, and a reconciliation between the government and people of
Israel with their Palestinian neighbours.

I don't understand how you can have a mission statement that does not explicitly include "an end to Palestinian [or Arab] violence against Israel" as one of its goals.

The Palestinian response over the years has been some attempts at armed
struggle (as is their right), but mostly peaceful protests, demonstrations,
and appeals to Israeli courts. The vast majority of Palestinians are
peaceful, and want only for the Israelis to treat them with justice and
respect, and to live in peace with them as neighbours. Although Israel points
to the occasional acts of Palestinian violence as a grave problem, it is
clear that the Occupation itself is the overwhelming, and continuous
act of collective violence in the area.

"As is their right?" I'm speechless.


If you believe that the occupation is illegal, cruel, and Israel's fault (dubious assumptions at best), then it's consistent to protest Israel's military operations but not Palestinian homocides. Furthermore, if you assume that the Israeli policies are driven by racism against Arabs (extremely dubious), then it's consistent to believe they'll rape and slaughter Palestinians but still "have an understanding" with American protesters.

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