Oh Come On…

Hat tip to Mondoweiss on this one.  Apparently an(other) Palestinian youth was killed by Israeli soldiers.  This one, though, was an honest mistake.  More at Quds Press and MiddleEastMonitor:

Israeli media sources have confirmed that an Israeli soldier shot and killed a handcuffed Palestinian youth on Tuesday morning (14.09.2010) in the city of Tel Aviv.

Israel’s Channel Two television station confirmed that police forces detained four Palestinian youths in Tel Aviv during the early hours of Tuesday morning under suspicion of involvement in stealing an Israeli vehicle. One of the youths was killed and another managed to escape while the remaining two were detained by the authorities of the Israeli occupation. According to the television station, “during the arrest, the sound of gun fire was heard then one of the handcuffed detainees fell after being shot in the upper part of his body. He died shortly afterwards.”

According to Channel Two, the Israeli police officer who opened fired on the youth has claimed that the bullet “was shot accidentally from his weapon” and hit the 18 year old Palestinian youth in his back killing him on impact.

Perhaps it was a mistake, mistakes to happen.  But one has to wonder why such mistakes could possible happen.  Just terrible.

[tweetmeme] In other “On Come On…” news, the Israeli ambassador to the US wrote a succinct op-ed in the LATimes decrying the brutal living situation in Israel today.  In an obvious retort to Time Magazine‘s cover article “Why Israelis Don’t Care About Peace,” Michael Oren convinces his readers that life in Israel is closer to life in Gaza than we care to believe.  Oren writes:

Imagine that you’re a parent who sends her children off to school in the morning worrying whether their bus will become a target of suicide bombers. Imagine that, instead of going off to college, your children become soldiers at age 18, serve for three years and remain in the active reserves into their 40s. Imagine that you have fought in several wars, as have your parents and even your grandparents, that you’ve seen rockets raining down on your neighborhood and have lost close family and friends to terrorist attacks. Picture all of that and you’ll begin to understand what it is to be an Israeli. And you’ll know why all Israelis desperately want peace.

While it is true that during the Second Intifada, many Israelis were killed by suicide bombers and that parents did need to send their kids to school and spent the day praying they return.  Indeed, that is not a way to live.  Though such experiences are so recent that Israelis no doubt relive such fears now and again, the Second Intifada is over.  Israelis thanks to the Separation Wall – which actually separates Palestine from Palestine and Israel – and the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people by the occupation, suicide bombers are a thing of the past.  The PA has long scorned such tactics and even Hamas, the Kings of the Suicide Bombers, have renounced the tactic.  Israelis are understandably scarred from the experience of the Intifada, but the such bombings are a thing of the past.

Then Oren writes about the Israeli army as though it was a regrettable duty.  What he doesn’t mention is that an Israeli’s time in the IDF is a proud time for young Israelis (at least those who don’t come out of the service forever regretting the ‘most moral army‘) and if military duty was not required, most Israelis would continue to volunteer for service out of love for the institution.

To continue, when was the last time an Iraqi saw peace?  Or a Sudanese?  Or, even, when was the last time there was an American generation without a war?  And when was the last time Israel was invaded?  And when was the last time Tel Aviv was hit with a missile?  Or Jerusalem?

Certainly, there are reasons why Israel should be fearful – ask residence of Sderot (wait, wasn’t that a Palestinian city that was forcefully clear of Arabs?), but there is no reason to believe that Israelis as an entire people live like Oren describes.  Walk down the street just about anywhere in Israel –Eilat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv – and you’ll find Israelis who are happy and enjoying life, not worrying about joining the army or bombs falling.

Of course, there are hostile neighbors and life would be better with a peace deal, but let’s not pretend that life in Israel is unbearable.  Give Israel credit for creating such a vibrant society with a strong economy, understand the threats that lurk beyond the borders, recognize that every Israeli must at some point participate in the occupation.  But don’t, oh dear Michael, don’t talk about how difficult life is for Israelis.  If that is what you believe, you have not visited Balata, Jabalya or the Jenin refugee camp.

So, oh come on!

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