Friday, September 23, 2005

They Had a Weapons Parade

The headline of an article in the NYTimes by Greg Myre reads, "10 Palestinians Dead in Blast at Hamas Weapons Parade." Um...I'm not really sure what to say. My initial reaction, obviously, was, "oh no! Ten people dead in a blast!" My reaction that followed (the moment I had completed reading the headline) was, "who in the world would make a parade for weapons? Is that what this article is about? The stupidity of some people?"

It took no time before my nerves were assuaged. All I had to do was read the first sentence:

A Palestinian pickup truck carrying rockets exploded today at a large Hamas rally as the group paraded its weapons through a densely packed refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

Key phrases: "paraded weapons" "densely packed refugee camp"

Body parts were scattered on the ground as ambulances rushed to the scene, and people in the crowd wailed in grief. The casualties included a number of children.
Key phrases: "casualties included" "number of children"

However, upon further reading, it becomes apparent that Hamas wasn't parading real weapons, "Hamas said the rockets were dummies and did not contain explosives." So, "how did this happen," you ask? Good question, I thought of it too. But don't worry, it's no mystery:

The group [Hamas] alleged that an Israeli airstrike was responsible and said it would hit at Israel.
"We cannot remain silent when the blood of our martyrs is spilled," a Hamas leader, Nizar Rayan, said. "Our response will be in action, not words."
Key phrases: "Israel did it" "It's Israel's fault, of course" "Blame Israel! Blame Israel! Blame Israel!" Just kidding...but that's the point, anyway.

Now let's hear what Israel has to say about the matter:

The Israeli military, which routinely acknowledges strikes carried out by its aircraft, insisted it was not involved.
"Any attempt to use this incident as a pretext for attacks against Israeli civilians will be viewed with gravity," the military said.
Key phrases: "Israeli military" "routinely acknowledges strikes(?)" "was not involved"

Bet you were wondering who came up with the idea of a "weapons parade." Well, let me tell you that it isn't something uncommon:

After the recent withdrawal of Israeli soldiers and settlers from the territory, Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza have staged a series of celebratory rallies, with their weapons prominently displayed.

Well now, every year there are loads of parade in New York City. I can tell you with certainty that whether it's the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Gay Pride Parade, Israel Day Parade, or Puerto Rican Day Parade (to name a few), there is NO weapon parading. Perhaps that is due to our having what is called "a government." I could be wrong, but it is just possible that that is the reason. What is the Palestinian non-existant but in name government doing about this?

The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, met the factions on Wednesday and called on them to stop brandishing their weapons in public. Hamas and the others promised to stop doing so after Saturday.
Wow! I'm really happy for them. I'm really glad that they're FINALLY doing something about it. Although now it seems like the problem was that people were killed and not that there was a parade of weapons...(don't read that wrong.)
The article goes on to cite a shootout between the few IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen.

The shootout marked one of the most serious confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen in recent weeks.
Mr. Abbas called the Israeli raid "a very dangerous step."
"We are trying to keep the calm, but unfortunately the Israelis resort to this totally unjustified behavior," he said.
Key phrases: "We are trying to keep the calm" "totally unjustified behavior" blah blah blah.
Abbas must be "trying to keep the calm" by not stressing violence and glorifying weapons. Got it...

The article goes on with a lot of random information that I don't care to break apart for you. Have a shabbat shalom!
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