November 01, 2004

PFLP suicide bombing condemned

The PFLP has claimed responsibility for bombing civilians in a Jerusalem market. I don't know what's happened to the PFLP*. When they killed Rahavam Zeevi they won a lot of respect. What is this going to achieve except to divert headlines away from Sharon's atrocities? Does this killing of civilians advance the cause of a "democratic secular state"? The PFLP is a shadow of its former self nowadays. I remember writing to them a couple of years ago to protest a ridiculous article that suggested that the reason the Soviet Union collapsed was because Gorbachev's wife was Jewish! If Israel devotes as much time to "taking out" PFLP activists as it has to killing civilians in Gaza the PFLP will be finished in weeks, if it isn't already.

I leave the handwringing moralising about attacks like this to the hypocrites in the mainstream media. As I write this, commentators from the Telegraph to the Guardian will be using this latest suicide bomb as justification for every Zionist atrocity form Deir Yassin to Rafah. I'll stick to two political issues arising out of the suicide bombing and other terrorist actions (that is deliberately targeting civilians.) The first issue is that the only viable alterative to the State of Israel is a democratic secular state. This (as implied above) cannot be achieved by wanton attacks on innocent Jews. It is true that if you kill Israeli adults at random there's a strong chance you'll kill a war criminal but a strong chance still isn't a certainty. Such attacks drive Jews into the sectarian camp, if they're not there already. The second issue is that if you want a democratic secular state you need a democratic secular opposition. Now how do you get foot soldiers for such an opposition when you call upon teenagers to prove themselves by blowing up themselves and others? How many people would queue up to join such a group? In fairness many suicide bombers have had many innocent relatives killed or (in this latest case) maimed by the Israeli army but these actions take planning and cannot simply be attributed to the emotion of the moment. I gather that the mother of this latest bomber has condemned the PFLP for the use of one so young (16). A while back a group of Palestinians appealed to the armed groups not to carry out attacks like this in the wake of the Yassin assassination. They were right.

*I edited this post in the wake of a rather withering criticism from a Perplexed chap - see comments.

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