The IDF did it again. An artillery shell or two, said to be aimed at a field from which rockets were being fired at Israeli towns, went astray and destroyed a residential building some 500 meters off target. The result was 18 dead, most of them members of one family still sleeping in the early morning.
Israeli officials are falling over themselves expressing regret, somewhat short of apology. The more careful are saying that the targets were appropriate: those who were trying to kill Jews. War is unpleasant, and not exact. Israel did not intend to kill children, but things like that happen when the concern is self-defense.
The political opposition and the left-leaning press is in their routine of detailed description and severe condemnation. The IDF, according to a conventional posture, is not able to stop the rockets coming into Israel, so it should stop killing Palestinians. There must be a way to solve this politically.
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to sit on this matter. Not, mind you, on the much greater violence in Sudan, but the Arabs have the votes in the United Nations to condemn Israel and to prevent a discussion of Sudan. European politicians are competing to find the best way to express their concern for the Palestinians; Americans are more balanced.
Palestinians are calling for revenge. By upping the vigor of their claims about Israeli conquest, slaughter, and genocide, they might succeed in increasing daily efforts to kill Jews. As a result, the police are at a peak of preparedness and distributing their forces to likely places.
If any good comes from this it will be the postponement of the gay/lesbian march in Jerusalem. The police are worrying that they do not have enough personnel to guard the marches from ultra-Orthodox violence, to deal with all the pre-march burning, stone-throwing, and other chaos already underway by ultra-Orthodox who are homophobic to say the least, as well as to protect the country from the Palestinians. If the march is postponed, the violence of the ultra-Orthodox gangs may end, and I should be able to reach my cinema course this evening without worrying about being stoned on the way; and will be able to get to the airport tomorrow to fetch our overseas visitors, and return home again without worrying about blocked roads.
When living close to multi-cultural violence, one has to think primarily of small things: how will it affect me? Bigger issues can come later, or be dealt with by those with greater skill and authority.