Warning. If you don’t feel nauseous – or at least nauseated – by the end of this
paragraph, check your pulse. Either your heart’s stopped beating or it’s in the
wrong place. Among the news from Afghanistan that came and went recently almost
without being noticed, were reports that the Taliban hanged a seven-year-old boy
The execution of the boy – whose name I sadly could not
find – reportedly took place on June 8. He is believed to be the victim of a
Daoud Ahmadi, the spokesman for the provincial governor
of Helmand, told Fox News that the killing happened days after the boy’s
grandfather, a tribal elder, spoke out against militants in their home
I first came across the story while following the news of a
suicide attack at a wedding party in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar
39 people were killed. AP reported that the Afghan government suspects
Taliban carried out the attack because Afghani policemen were among the
present at the wedding.
It reminded me of the November 9, 2005,
al-Qaida-led, triple hotel bombing that killed 60 people in Jordan.
perpetrators were a husband-and-wife team who entered a hotel ballroom in
and tried to detonate themselves as close as possible to the bride and
celebrating their wedding there. The wife’s explosive belt failed to
although she was later sentenced to death by a military court. By then,
husband was already enjoying, at least as far as she could assume
closer to him, 72 virgins in the sort of heaven you go to if blowing up
is your thing.
Another tragic story was the murder of F.-Sgt. Yehoshua
“Shuki” Sofer, 39, who was shot in an ambush on a police car traveling
Beersheba to Jerusalem on June 14. Sofer was due to be married in three
“Sweetie, all of our wedding guests have come to accompany you on your
journey,” sobbed his fiancee, Einat Blum, at his funeral.
nearly 30 NATO troops were killed in Afghanistan in the first two weeks
WHY DID all these stories come miserably to mind? Well, watching my
eight-year-old son following the World Cup in South Africa and trying to
sense of global politics might have something to do with it. Questions
“Mum, do we have ties with Algeria?” I can answer. The “Who’s better for
Denmark or Holland?” is a little harder.
And when Israelis find
themselves actually rooting for Germany, you know that times are hard.
have long thought that soccer is proof that there will always be wars,
something so tribal about it.
Mind you, this month’s elections in
Belgium, host to both NATO and many major European Union institutions,
demonstrate that the idea of cross-cultural unity is more of a dream
sustainable, achievable reality.
But young boys should be interested in
soccer and pretending to be detectives or spies. Sometimes you really
and wonder what kind of world they are going to inherit when grooms are
down just before their wedding or the celebrants massacred during the
(And who in Israel can forget the suicide bombing of Cafe Hillel in
2003 in which 20-year-old Nava Applebaum was killed along with her
David Applebaum, and five others, on the eve of her wedding? That attack
close to my home that my apartment windows rattled with the blast.) The
reason the horror stories merged together was the way in which it is
much of the global village still doesn’t understand the nature of global
Or Israel’s costly role in fighting it.
The recent capture of the
suspected Mossad agent Uri Brodsky in Warsaw for allegedly assisting the
assassins of Hamas arch-terrorist Mahmoud al- Mabhouh in Dubai in
strained relations with both Poland and Germany, among Israel’s closest
And Ireland, which has lately proved an Israel basher with the
blarney touch, on June 15 followed the lead of Australia and the UK and
an Israeli diplomat for allegedly using forged passports in the
“The misuse of Irish passports by a state with which Ireland
enjoys friendly, if sometimes frank, bilateral relations is clearly
and requires a firm response,” announced Irish Foreign Minister Micheal
adding a condemnation for Israel’s alleged role in ridding the world of
“Many allegations have been made against Mr. Mabhouh which, if
true, would categorize him as a committed terrorist,” Martin said. “The
government does not believe that states should fight terror with terror.
matter of principle, Ireland opposes extrajudicial killings. We believe
states have a duty to operate according to the law and to respect that
life that terrorists seek to destroy.”
Well, best of luck to you. Israel
is also committed to international law, even though that law is not
effective in protecting us. Maybe we could send Richard Goldstone to
what the murderous Mabhouh was up to in Dubai? Or perhaps, there are
British investigators available now the 12-year inquiry into Bloody
finally ended, concluding, as we suspected, that the killing by British
of 14 Catholic demonstrators in Northern Ireland in 1972 was
WAR IS hell. And diplomacy, to paraphrase Prussian
thinker Carl von Clausewitz, is war by other means.
The expulsion of the
diplomat is likely to further strain ties between Israel and Ireland,
tested when the Irish-owned Rachel
tried to break the naval blockade of
Gaza, a la Turkey’s Mavi Marmara
but mercifully without the violence. That’s
probably because the majority of the Irish would-be blockade breakers
dedicated to the idea of peace and justice for the Palestinians, while
core of passengers aboard the Turkish ship were interested in breaking
Now Israel is bracing for the Iranian flotillas.
Ellen Lefrak, an artist
friend who splits her time between Ireland’s Westport, County Mayo and
Jerusalem, describes the situation as “sad, especially as the two
a lot in common.”
She feels the Irish media portray a slanted view of
Israel. As a result, some of the people she meets now actually question
right to exist.
On a visit in Ireland years ago, I found the Irish
undeniably friendly and interested in Israel. And curious about my
Indeed, there is not a drop of Irish blood in me, but my grandfather in
changed his surname from Cohen at the beginning of World War II, when it
likely that Germany would invade. Not that having an Irish surname
instead of a
Jewish one would have saved the family, we now know.
Most of the people I
met had heard of – and were proud of – the late Irish-born president
Herzog. But they were taken aback when I said that Israel had also had
“Irish” prime minister.
Yitzhak Shamir assumed the nom de guerre Michael
Collins, after the Irish republican, when fighting for independence from
We’re still waging the battle for independence and security. If
only all those shocked by the thought of wedding dreams blown to pieces
murdered seven-year-old boys would realize that this is their fight too.
being polite to the likes of “Mr. Mabhouh” is not going to win it.The
writer is editor of The International Jerusalem Post. firstname.lastname@example.org