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Guilt and death by proximity
from left i on the news
Entered into the database on Tuesday, March 07th, 2006 @ 18:31:46 MST


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Reuters reports:

Two Islamic Jihad militants were killed when a missile struck their car in northern Gaza, from where militants have fired makeshift rockets into Israel in the past.

Witnesses said the eight-year-old child was killed while standing close to the car. A fourth person also died, a hospital official said, although it was unclear whether that person was riding in the car or standing nearby.

Nine people were wounded, including several children.

First of all, who says these two people were "Islamic Jihad militants"? Did they have membership cards in their pockets? Was that identification made by Palestinians, or is based solely on Israeli claims? Next, even if they were "Islamic Jihad militants," that doesn't make them guilty even of stealing a stick of gum, nevertheless of murder. Notice the "guilt by proximity." They were close to a place where, at some previous time, other people have carried out what we'll concede Israel views as acts of war or terrorism (not sure exactly what word they'd use). No hint that these people had makeshift rockets in their car, or were in any way involved with such acts.

Then we have the eight-year-old child and the unknown fourth person, killed for the unpardonable sin of being close to some people who were close to a place where other people had done something. And notice also the subtle placing of that third paragraph. Read the first paragraph, and you'll get the idea that the Israelis have carried out a pinpoint "targeted assassination," with their missile striking a car. In the second paragraph, that "pinpoint" starts to expand, as we find out that two others, at least one of whom wasn't in the car, were also killed. And finally we get to the third paragraph, where we can reach the conclusion, carefully avoided by the reporter, that this wasn't just a "car in northern Gaza," but more likely a "car on a crowded street" or "a car in the middle of a busy intersection."

"Business" as usual in Gaza from which, as we just read, the Israelis have "withdrawn." All except for their American-made helicopter gunships and American-made missiles, that is, raining death from the sky.

Update: The death count is up to three innocent bystanders, including two young boys. In what is surely no surprise to any of my readers, the word "innocent" in that last sentence was added by me; you won't find it in the AP article.