Too many people have died, too many people are desolate, this war is atrocious, and too few people care to really examine why it's happening. The news from Lebanon is awful. But it still needs to be said (since so few conventional media channels are saying it) that Israel, in the course of prosecuting its disproportionate war, is under real, live, explosives-and-death attack on three fronts. Here's a Sunday snapshot.
In the north: About 100 Katyusha missiles have fallen so far this morning, making plain that the aggression of Hezbollah which kicked this part of the war off is well and truly in place. It's clear they are delighted with the way all of this bedlam, all this human-shield war, is going. In Acre on the coast, a residential building took a direct hit today, wounding two people and leaving others in need of hospitalization for shock. 6 additional Katyusha missiles landed in Acre, and 30 in and around Kiryat Shmona; here too there were injuries and property damage. Eight missiles crashed into Nahariya, five into Ma'alot, four in or near Rosh Pina and two in Tiberias. Sirens also sounded in the Haifa suburbs, western and upper Galilee, Afula, Nazareth, Migdal Ha'emek and Beit Hashita. On Friday night, 3 Hezbollah missiles with especially large warheads of 100 kilograms each, landed in fields near Afula. On Saturday, at least 90 missiles crashed into northern Israel. Villages and towns as far as 15 kilometers from the point of impact reported hearing the explosions.
In the south: Not much coverage here. To paraphrase the old philosophical conundrum, if a Qassam rocket is fired into a civilian area by barbarians intent on causing as much damage, death and destruction as possible, and everyone is too busy with other matters, did it really fall?
Well, yes it did. Qassams have been falling with deadly constancy since Israel's northern front exploded with Hizbullah missiles 19 days ago. And they continue to be fired into Israel's southern towns. Sderot was a victim this morning. One missile struck a factory in Shaar Hanegev, an industrial area of the town. Several people were injured but thankfully there were no deaths. (This was not the intention of the people firing the missiles.) Had it struck a nearby workshop some thirty meters away, the likely toll would have been far greater and more newsworthy.
Yesterday a Qassam landed next to the kindergarten of Kibbutz Zikim, just south of Ashkelon, where children were engaged in a Frisbee class. Two children were seriously injured; eight others had to be treated in hospital for shrapnel injuries, shock and damage to the hearing. The kindergarten building was damaged. The Al-Quds Brigades, a unit of Islamic Jihad, proudly claimed responsibility, declaring that "the shooting will continue in response to IDF crimes against the Palestinians." On Friday, 5 more Qassams struck Sderot and Shaar Hanegev, and on Saturday others hit Sderot, Netiv Haasara, and southern Ashkelon.
Unfortunately for the farmers, kibbutznikim and townspeople of Israel's south - those living in the arc that abuts the Gaza Strip - the unending rain of Qassam rockets has been all but forgotten outside of their immediate vicinity. Hard to imagine, but only a year ago, the government of Israel carried out an immensely painful and controversial abandonment of Jewish communities in the area, in the stated hope that an unoccupied Gaza Strip would become as beautiful as it was when Israeli towns and greenhouses dotted it. Whatever the hopes of last summer, the outcome has been an unmitigated disaster.
In the center: Yet another intending bomber of women and children was seized this morning. The media call him a suicide bomber, but it's far more accurate and helpful to term him a religious fanatic intent on achieving mass murder at any price, including forfeiting his own life provided he can take Jewish lives with him. This time , Israeli security officers and soldiers from an elite IDF unit seized an explosive belt in a Palestinian taxi in a West Bank town, following pinpoint intelligence tips about plans by terrorists to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Israel. The intending bomber and his accomplice were arrested.
Scanning the television coverage of the bombing of a residential building in Qana, you can't help but notice how the analysts, reporters and commentators in place are adjusting the level of their emotional response to the noise and passion of the Lebanese around them. There are those who say our side needs to make more noise, be more emotional, more demonstrative, wave our arms in the air. But Israeli society wants life - and when a bomber is caught and prevented from carrying out his death-cult plan, it's highly appropriate that we remain subdued, say a silent prayer of thanks, and keep going about our lives.