January 30, 2007 - Benny Mazgini was wondering what that "idiot" was doing dressed in a warm winter coat on a very hot day in southern Israel.
Immediately afterwards he heard a terrific explosion. Scattered all over were shattered glass, bread trays, and pieces of flesh. Three innocent people died in this terrorist attack on an Eilat bakery.
Hamas, the Palestinian government with whom Israel is supposed to deal, justified the attack. Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called it a "natural response" to Israeli policies. He also stated: "So long as there is occupation, resistance is legitimate."
We are talking about a bakery.
This is not the first time Hamas has justified the killing of civilians. Shortly after it came to power, Hamas was heavily criticized for supporting the bombing of a restaurant in Tel Aviv.
As for "occupation," Gaza, from which the bomber came, is not under occupation, and Eilat is an Israeli city. But to Hamas, all of Israel is "occupied territory." This is what they say and what they believe. So there is no way Israel can end the "occupation" without ceasing to exist. "Occupation" will always remain the Palestinian excuse for genocide.
Occupation has nothing to do with this. The Palestinian terrorists themselves gave the true reason for the attack. This time they don't even pretend their strike was in retaliation for any Israeli offense, real or imagined. Taking credit for the attack along with the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Islamic Jihad published a statement on its web site saying the bombing's purpose was to "focus Palestinians' attention away from killing each other."
Rival Palestinian factions have been engaged in a bloody civil war. They cannot even make peace with each other, let alone with Israel. Their solution to this fratricidal violence? Kill a few more Jews.
This attack is not even unique. Many others fortunately have been thwarted. Meanwhile there is supposed to be a "cease-fire." People forget the Arabic word for "cease-fire" is hudna, which historically means "tactic of convenience to lull the enemy to sleep until we are ready to strike again." Palestinian promises of cease-fire have meant and still mean nothing.
Anyone truly interested in peace must understand the significance of this event. There will be no peace as long as Arabs are allowed to kill Jews at will and the United Nations only voices its displeasure when Israel defends itself. There will be no peace as long as Arabs continue bombing Jewish restaurants and schools and bakeries and buses, yet have the gall to accuse Israel of "genocide." There will be no peace as long as misconceptions and deceptions flourish.
Yet it seems that even people in very high places do not grasp what is happening. In a statement condemning the bombing in Eilat, the British Foreign Secretary still said: "We are also gravely concerned by the violence over the weekend in the Occupied Territories." Gaza, where that violence occurred, is not occupied! When will people stop blaming every incidence of Arab aggression on the "occupation"? When will the international community hold Arabs as well as Jews to standards of minimal civilized behavior?
The Palestinians' use of "occupation" to excuse every atrocity they commit, both against Israel and against each other, is a dangerous lie. The Palestinians are trying to accomplish what they failed to do in 1948: wipe out the Jewish state completely. They know it and Israel knows it. Does anybody else?
So far every peace offer and concession of land that Israel has made has been met with increasing violence. If the Palestinians really want a state other nations can respect, if they really want peace, it is far past time that they started showing it.
"Beckett Condemns Suicide Bombing in Israel." British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, January 29, 2007.
CNN Staff. "Israel Bakery Bomber Kills Three." CNN.com, January 29, 2007.
Katz, Yaakov, with AP and Jerusalem Post Staff. "Peretz Orders IDF to Launch Operations Inside Gaza." Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2007.
Levy-Stein, Revital. "Suicide Bomber Kills 3 at Israeli Bakery." Associated Press, January 29, 2007.
Myre, Greg. "Suicide Attack Is First in Israel in 9 Months." New York Times, January 30, 2007.
Peace with Realism