More Bulldozer Evilness

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Another bulldozer attack in Jerusalem, this one a few hundred meters from the hotel where Barack Obama will be staying during his upcoming visit. According to the Jerusalem Post, 16 people were wounded, including a mother and a baby, and another man’s leg was partially severed. No reported fatalities, as yet.

Proximity to tragedy always creates a stir of really weird feelings in me. A totally irrational pride that this attack wasn’t as severe as the first one, and no one was killed. A not-totally-irrational pride, that, thank God, someone was close enough to stop the bulldozer driver before someone was killed. Another reminder that, as long as East Jerusalem Arabs are relegated to petty, low-paying jobs, those are the places they’re going to strike out–and, ironically, petty, low-paying jobs are in places where you find heavy machinery and easy vulnerability (waitstaff in lavish restaurants, anyone?).

Relatively innocuous coverage on Al-Jazeera. On the NZ Times, one rambler, one sardonic “We are willing to take up bulldozers …. Doesn’t have the same ring about it,” and one “I’m glad to be living in South Africa.” That was the most striking to me: Yes, crazy murderous rampages happen all over the world. Yes, it’s more likely to happen in Israel. But it doesn’t speak at all to the fact that Israel is filled–to the brim, actually–with people who make a conscious choice every day to live there, not because of the violence but in spite of it, in order to live in a place where God matters more than, say, getting to work on time. (And, um, hello? Senseless violence never happens in South Africa??)

Posted on July 22, 2008

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