The Shock, The Gore
Broken bodies and a blown-up bus won't win over enemy
n arm with no body, a pair of legs with no torso,
lands. But they just might cause civilized people probing for
a severed foot slung against a curb, bloody pieces
the prime undercurrent in the Middle East to pause.
of flesh dangling from a twisted window frame,
Around the world, anti-Semitism is flaring up. Jews have
the charred shell of a public bus, rescue workers
been attacked for doing nothing more than praying, celebrat-
sucking up the horror to find victims still alive — this and
ing a bat mitzvah or wearing a kippah. Bombers have
more fill a graphic 5V2-minute video on Israel's official Web
mocked Judaism by dressing as traditional Jews.
Israel opted to show the video in anticipation of a Feb. 23
. It was heart wrenching to think that moments before the
hearing before the United Nations' International Court of
video was shot, the people aboard an Egged bus were bother-
Justice in The Hague. The hearing will address legality of the
ing no one, doing nothing wrong.
Israel-West Bank barrier.
At first, I was outraged that Israel would resort to airing
The barrier won't be a panacea, but it will be a deterrent.
the video. Eleven Israelis were killed when a .
No Gazan suicide bomber has penetrated the Israel-Gaza
Palestinian policeman not known as a mili-
Strip barrier although four Israelis died at Erez Crossing Jan.
tant became a bomb aboard Bus 19 as it
14 when a woman ignited her bomb pack inside an inspec-
traveled a busy Jerusalem street on Jan. 29.
Critics of the video ripped Israel for
The route of the western barrier is debatable; the need for
parading the dead to defend why it is erect-
ing a security barrier on its border with the
Becker, who spent seven years working in
West Bank. The barrier,
Zionist education for the Jewish Agency for
largely a fence, is intended
ROBERT A. to deter suicide bombers like
Israel, is right: "Israel is no angel and has a
way to go before becoming a perfect place,
the one who struck at the
but when the choice is between inconven-
corner of Gaza and
iences in traveling and saving lives, I think
Arlozorov streets 15 days
the answer is clear. "
Ilan Sztulman shot the video. He heads
After watching the video, which carries the
visual productions for the Israeli government.
warning, "Caution: Contains very graphic
So he has special access to terror sites. By the
footage," Israel's motivations became clear.
time photojournalists get to enter, disaster
Israel wanted to frame the merciless of
personnel have gathered most of the body
Palestinian terror in a worldwide viewfinder.
It wanted to use the Internet's sweep to
Sztulman's work was classified — until now
counter news reports obsessed with the barri-
We now can see what his camera zoomed in
er's snaking path along and into the-West
on 15 days ago: a footless body hurled into
the street, a lone kippah in the rubble, a sid-
It didn't want sympathy.
Shoshana Beck er
dur still atop some folders on a bus seat, a yel-
Respect for the dead is integral to Judaism.
low-socked rescuer in the hulk of the bus step-
But showing the video was the right call.
ping gingerly around a woman's leg that has a soft-soled shoe
"It was necessary in order to open the eyes of those outside
protruding into the aisle.
Israel who do not get a close look at terror and its effects,"
You need ice in your veins to witness this carnage more
said Jerusalem native Shoshana Becker, the Habonim Dror
than once in your life.
Youth Movement emissary to the Jewish Federation of
Sztulman told the Washington Post. "You see this and it's
Metropolitan Detroit since 2001. Her parents live near the
sad to say you get used to it. You develop defenses.
Otherwise, you'd go completely crazy.
Maybe the video will shock disbelievers into condemning
'I dream for weeks after every bomb attack."
the 40 months of terror that have left more than 934 Israelis
So do some Palestinian parents. Munir Jaara, father of the
and foreigners dead and thousands either maimed or physi-
bus bomber, said his son Ali, sent by the Al Aqsa Martyrs
cally or emotionally scarred.
Brigades, an armed group tied to Palestinian leader Yasser
It disturbs me that the Sharon government subjects inno-
Arafat, was the only breadwinner in a refugee camp family of
cent Arabs to security checkpoints. Not every Arab is a ter-
rorist. But I cringe when I hear yet another Palestinian chose
"I was expecting to marry him, not to bury him," Munir
the murder of Jews as the gateway to paradise.
told the Associated Press.
Part of every Jew has died in the whipsaw of suicide bomb-
The bomber's sister, Ola, 26, said acts of Palestinian terror
ings, roadside bombs and sniper attacks that Palestinians say
should resonate for every Arab. "They only hurt us," she
is a byproduct of Israeli occupation and oppression, but is
actually a strategy that hinges on breaking the will of Jews to
We must expose the terrorists' inhumanity.
have a state that is theirs.
Still, we can't give up the goal of two peaceful independent
Within three days of the video going public, the Web site
states, Israel and Palestine, side by side. That scenario won't
www.mfa.gov.ii/mfaihome.asp logged 600,000 hits. It's not
happen until Palestinian culture no longer glorifies killing
surprising the decision to go public spurred intense debate in
Jews. But achieving the goal is essential to Mideast stability.
Israel, where Jew-haters take delight in turning Israeli buses,
As Becker, who's returning to Israel in June, put it: "The
cafes, streets and worship places into death traps.
dream of peace with our Palestinian neighbors is still there.
As much as I despise showcasing our dead, doing so might
The option of being able to invite them to a dinner, a wed-
be what is necessary to repel Palestinian propaganda so
ding or just to be able to ask for a cup of sugar when needed
potent that it has made Israel's PR impotent.
is what we need to keep striving for." ❑
In the case of the video, pictures do say it all.
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