Suicide bomber on the loose
Today I will not just be looking up. I will be looking around and sideways. I will be examining my fellow passengers and passers-by with suspicion. Everyone over the age of 12 who is not dressed in next to nothing and also empty-handed is the subject of my scrutiny. Before I moved here a friend of mine in the States, who happens to be Black, said to me "Look it isn't exactly PC but watch out for people who look, you know, Palestinian. I'm against racial profiling and all but here people aren't carrying bombs around."
I will be honest and say that if doing a bit of racial profiling would make me safer from a suicide bomber on the loose I'd do it, PC or not. But that's not the way it works here. First, we have Arab-Israeli citizens. They look just like the Palestinians and they aren't going to be carrying any bombs about. Second, a huge percent of our Jewish-Israeli population hails from surrounding Arab countries and so guess what, they look Palestinian. And, of course, we have lots of Palestinian workers who come in daily and they are here to work and earn a living and not to blow anyone up.
Suicide bombers don't wear signs and they seem to do a good job of blending in with the local population. You can't distinguish a homicidal suicide bomber from your fellow passengers and pedestrians. The Haredi (ultra-orthodox) Jew over there is just as suspect as the young arabic-looking man in the seat in front of you --suicide bombers have effectively disguised themselves as ultra-orthodox Jews. The tall, light-skinned and blond young man who is well-dressed must be equally suspect --one of the many attacks on the mall in Netanya was carried out by a tall, handsome, blond, European-looking young palestinian. They don't have to look like adults --children as young as 14 have been apprehended with bomb belts around their waist and in their bags prior to exploding themselves and nine 16-17 year olds have effectively carried out suicide bombings. Women, well, as I posted yesterday, women too can be completely insane. 7 suicide bombings have been carried out by women. They do not have to be in good physical health either. A young palestinian woman who had been coming in to Israel on a humanitarian visa for medical treatment for severe burns she received in a kitchen fire was arrested on her way to exploding herself in the children's wing of the hospital in Beer Sheva where she had been getting medical treatment. The list goes on.
So, you just have to 'be alert' (I'm getting really tired of that phrase) and suspect everyone.
For really excellent info on the situation on the ground in Haifa I'd recommend checking out Live from an Israeli Bunker -a new blog started by a 17 year old who is, well, spending most of the day and night in a bunker. Very insightful kid!