A Death in Jerusalem
Mary Jean Gardner died yesterday on an express bus in the heart of Jerusalem.
She was a victim of a terror attack.
I know nothing about her, sadly, other than she was close to my age; a student at Hebrew University, and was taking the 74 bus through Jerusalem to a destination I don't know.
I don't know who she was, what she loved, why she came here, what she thought of Jerusalem, what mark she wished to make on the world, what good she hoped to accomplish before leaving it.
I don't know what her family life is like: did she leave children, a husband, a lover? Who mourns her?
This came from Tel Aviv's Liberal Rag: "A Hebrew University spokesman told Haaretz that the woman was born and raised in Kenya and lived in Togo before she came to Israel, where she lived in Mevasseret Zion. She was a student at the Home for Bible Translators and Scholars and took courses in Biblical Hebrew and historical geography at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and lived in the dormitories."
Sadly, the world lost a soul who appeared to be inquisitive, bright, diligent, curious, and committed to what interested her. Who knows what contributions she might have made had she not crossed paths with terrorists.
Her death has changed one thing however.....my household watches the British news channels. Like Egypt and Qatar, the British media tends to pretend Israel isn't on the map, except when condemning us [if you watch BBC, you'll see that even the weather report ignores Israel, giving weather for Amman, Beirut, Cairo, et al but never mentioning Tel Aviv].
Israel has been under bombardment for the last couple of weeks. The bombing of the bus station was just another variation of the drumbeat of hate and warmongering taking place in Palestinian echelons.
Today there were 12 or more rocket and mortar attacks on central and southern Israel from Gaza: Ashdod, Gedera, Yavne, Sderot and the Eshkol region.
Yesterday Grad missiles were launched against Beersheva, southern Israel's largest city, as well as rockets launched at Ashkelon.
This is what the last month has looked like (courtesy of QassamCount):
12 missile attacks on Israeli cities today, the latest at around 4:30 pm.
March 24 3:35pm: Gaza rocket fired at Eshkol Region; Grad missile found in Israeli city of Ashdod;
March 24 2:50pm: Rocket from Gaza fired towards Eshkol Region;
#March 24 12:18pm: Gaza fires a Qassam rocket which explodes in Negev region;
March 24 11:55am: Another Gaza rocket hits Negev region;
March 24 9:50am: Qassam rocket from Gaza hits south of Israeli port city of Ashkelon;
March 24 8:15am: Qassam rocket from Gaza hits Negev region overnight;
March 23 6:06pm: Mortar shell barrage from Gaza hits southern Israel;
March 23 10:45am: Missile from Gaza explodes in Beersheba;
March 23 10:13am: 7 Mortar shells hit Eshkol Region (a rural area of farms and small towns);
March 23 9:59am: Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Beersheba missile attack;
March 23 7:21am: Hamas launches a Grad missile which explodes in Beersheba, one injured;
March 23 3:27am: Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for a rocket attack on the Israeli city of Ashdod;
March 23 1:43am: 2 Grad missiles fired at Israel;
March 22 10:16pm: Qassam rocket from Gaza explodes south of Ashkelon; oops, missed again;
March 22 7:25pm: Mortar shell hits open space near southern kibbutz--but for Hamas's bad aim and our bomb shelters and warning systems, there would be many more dead Israelis.
March 22 6:49pm: Qassam rocket from Gaza explodes in the Israeli city of Ashkelon;
March 22 5:16pm: 4 Rockets fired from Gaza hit the Negev;
March 22 10:01am: Qassam dud found in Negev; nobody's perfect, but don't worry, Hamas haas entire mosques full of more rockets.
March 22 8:09am: Qassam rocket fired from Gaza hits western Negev;
March 21 8:39pm: 2 Qassam rockets fired from Gaza explode in the Israeli city of Ashkelon;
March 20 3:29pm: 2 mortar shells fired towards Israel from northern Gaza;
March 19 12:48pm: Hamas military wing claims responsibility for mortar fire into civilian neighborhoods which injured two, thus turning themselves into Prime Target Number One of the Israeli military;
March 19 5:24pm: 6 mortars fired at Israel from Gaza;
March 19 11:35am: Israel to file UN complaint over Gaza mortar attack which shelled civilian neighborhoods, injuring two. [Anticipated UN response: tsk, tsk!]
March 19 10:11am: 49 mortar shells fired from Gaza at western Negev landing in and among civilian homes; 2 injured;
March 18 2:56pm: 4 mortar shells explode in Negev;
March 12 5:04pm: Qassam hits Negev;
March 10 7:14am: Rocket hits Negev;
March 10 10:34pm: Qassam lands in Eshkol Region;
March 5 12:00pm: 2 Qassam rockets fired into Israel overnight;
Feb 27 7:36pm: Mortar shell fired from Gaza explodes in Palestinian territory [where the dead will be counted as "Israeli war crimes];
Feb 27 7:07am: Qassam rocket hits Eshkol Region near Gaza;
Well, you get the idea. I will spare you the recitation of February and January. Notably, the only word of this on the British news was in a news story about an IDF tank shell fired at rocket launchers which went awry and hit four Gaza civilians. No broader context was ever given by the media except the trite and tired "escalating tensions" as opposed to attribution to "constant rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians" which at least would have had the merit of being accurate.
That changed noticeably today. Following a British citizen's tragic and needless death, suddenly the British media discovered that Hamas is waging war on Israel. Today news anchors showed the range of the missiles, the Israeli cities within range of those missiles, strike sites and even video of civilians running for cover.
And judging from the talkbacks on those sites (ok, I skipped the Guardian, which is simply nauseous, and only publishes talkbacks which agree with their editorial board) the British public has caught on also. In one 9 page sheaf of talkbacks, the voices were about 90% in favor of Israel and condemning the chronic Palestinian addiction to death and war.
G-d bless you, Mary Jean, and may your loved ones be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.