Along the Tracks

Monday, January 06, 2003

Dreams come true

Friday’s Los Angeles Times starts a moving tale this way:

“Two 15-year-old Palestinian cousins and their 16-year-old friend had a dream, their families said - to die for the Palestinian cause.”

It turns out these wistful young lads got their wish.

“On Thursday, the boys were buried in the Gaza Strip, hours after being shot dead by Israeli troops as they made what apparently was an inept attempt to infiltrate a Jewish settlement.”

This is, of course, part of a “news” story. Looking for a little balance? Well, let the LA Times pull out the scales for you!

“Elsewhere, incidents of violence claimed at least two other lives, under circumstances that illustrated the relentless and seemingly random nature of the conflict.”

Wonder who these two coequal examples might be? One was a Jewish immigrant who regularly did charitable work inside the poverty-stricken West Bank, distributing clothing to Palestinian children. His head was bashed in and his body burned, courtesy of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

The other life claimed by “violence” was a Palestinian (see the balance?). He was killed in a “work accident” near Ramallah. His work was bomb-making - a good job if you can survive it, and even better for your family if you don’t, thanks to all the payments for “martyrdom.”

Times writer Laura King puts it in perspective for all of us dopey readers:

“As always, luck and lack of it played a part in whether people caught up in the conflict lived or died.”

Got your head beat in by thugs while on a mission of mercy? Bad luck. The bomb that was supposed to kill a dozen odd men, women and children exploded early and only shredded you, the poor assemblyman? Bad luck!

If you’re not wretching in the waste basket beside your computer desk yet, see how this sets:

“In an Israeli farming village near the northern West Bank, an Israeli couple, immigrants from Switzerland, had a narrow escape after a Palestinian gunman burst into their home late Wednesday. They managed to flee when his M-16 rifle jammed ....

“Paramilitary border police surrounded the house in the village of Maor, three miles from the West Bank, and killed the gunman after a standoff lasting more than two hours, Israeli authorities said.”

And thus, the math is laid out for the reader: One dead Palestinian, no dead Jews. Was it bad luck that the gunman was killed? Or just bad luck that his gun jammed and he didn’t knock off at least one of the two Israelis? Either way, it’s just not fair!

And so, we come back to our dreamy Palestinian teen-agers, robbed of their future by Jews intent on killing them before they had a chance to commit murder. More dreams crushed under the boots of the IDF. How long will the world ignore the pleas of homicidal terrorists? How long will we allow more murderous Palestinians to die than innocent Israelis? How long?

Thank you, oh thank you, Laura King - and the rest of the media elite - for pointing out this terrible imbalance. But what can we do? How can we return to the equivalence so necessary in solving the problems of the Holy Land?

Oh wait. Two suicide bombers in Tel Aviv have just killed 21 and wounded over 100. Well, Laura, that should go quite a ways in “evening things out.” I’m sure you feel better now. Although, it did cost two Palestinians lives, this “relentless and seemingly random” conflict ....

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