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Monday, April 29, 2013

Imagine a Boston Marathon bombing every week

Noah Beck reminds us that what happened in Boston two weeks ago was a weekly occurrence in Israel a decade ago.
But imagine if this happened again next week, at a pizzeria, killing 15 diners. And again, a week later, on a bus, killing 19 passengers. Then, at a discotheque, killing 21 teens. Then, at a church, killing 11 worshipers. And so on, with a new bombing terrorizing us almost every week.
Israelis don't have to imagine. They just have to remember. Between 1995 and 2005, each year saw an average of 14 suicide bombings, murdering 66 victims. 2002 was the worst year, with 47 bombings that slaughtered 238 people. That’s almost one Boston bombing every week.
Adjusted for population differences, Israel’s victims in 2002 amounted to the equivalent of three 9/11s in one year. And these bombing statistics don’t include all of the shootings, stabbings, and other violent attacks by Palestinian extremists during those years.
Most Americans (and Europeans), who enjoy lives of far greater security, can barely recall such attacks because they usually received only scant and perfunctory media coverage, if they were mentioned at all. A few particularly gruesome attacks (like the Netanya Passover bombing that killed 30 and injured 140) were prominently reported but most attacks were barely and inconspicuously noted, and many smaller but horrific attacks went entirely unreported.
Of course, whenever Israel responded militarily to these attacks, that would be headline news.
As WSJ columnist Brett Stephens noted in 2009, "every Palestinian death receives somewhere in the order of 28 times the attention of every Chechen death." When Israel erected its West Bank security barrier, a non-violent but extremely effective way to prevent Palestinian terrorism, that too was headline news. The fence was even brought before the International Court of Justice in 2004 – unlike the terrorism that compelled it. Israel surely had other uses for the $2 billion spent to build the barrier, but the number of attacks and fatalities dropped so dramatically after its construction that few Israelis doubted its necessity.
What's worse is that every Israeli knows (or ought to know) that if the IDF were to leave Judea and Samaria tomorrow, we'd be right back to where we were in 2002 - and worse, God forbid.

Read the whole thing.

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