As angry as I get when we do things that I think are dumb. [See yesterday's blog for exhibit A], I find that outrages like yesterday's suicide bombing of the 14 bus leave me without much to say. I have a very difficult time watching the news which is always the same and listening to the radio the next day (like right now) as the names of the victims are relaeased one by one and the times of the funerals are announced. Other then that the usual talking heads are all over Israeli TV, CNN, BBC and FOX saying nothing because there is not much to say. If you aren't depressed enough, read Danny Ben Simon in today's Haaretz, about Jerusalem's pain.
I don't believe that the bombing was a "result" of the Israeli idiocy of Sunday. It all happened too fast. But, at the risk of sounding cynical and continuing to beat the horse from yesterday, had we not "done" Rantisi we could have said "we're trying and the Palestinians can't/won't control the Hamas. We lose that chance when we act in a wild manner. The key, even if you don't believe that the plan can work is to give it every chance and avoid being the side that could be blamed if/when it fails.
The hardest part though, and one I perhaps take too lightly because it isn't my responsibility is caring for security. When someone has that burden on their shoulders, maybe the scales are weighed differently. But maybe not. How does killing Rantisi make us safer in the current circumstances? In the interest of balance: here is the Jerusalem Post's argument. I don't get it though. First, there is a double standard, we cannot do everything that the US does. Its not fair but that's the way it is. Second, how do Rantisi's words (and perhaps actions) reach such an extreme level for us to risk relations with the US and giving the Hamas an excuse (I know, they don't need an excuse) to kill more civilians. See Zev Schiff's take on the American response. The NY Times notes attempts to influence Wahington via Congress. Are we so afraid of the implications of the road map that we want to kill it now and live with the situation that has existed for the past 32 months? Is that better? For who? I'm not sure I want to know the real answer to those questions.
On that last point, Boaz Ganor, a generally thoughtful anti-terrorism expert frets about the end game interests of the Palestinians. See here. I don't agree that the goal is to get the Palestinians to "sing" about Israel being here. They just need to get a fair deal (and do their side). The thought that nothing is possible and we are doomed to this neverending loop of violence is unbearable and CANNOT be true.