In these days of obsession with Breaking News, it is worth returning to a story sometimes to see what happened to it. The bomb in Jerusalem 8 days ago which killed a British lady at a bus stop is a good example. The Israeli government has announced – on no discernible evidence, that the bomb was the work of Palestinian extremists. The western media has accepted that narrative with no questioning that I can find. But was it?
News media have really given us nothing new since the day. The main development is that it has become plain that the bomb was not placed in a bin, but left in a bag at a busy bus stop. Not only is this not a known Palestinian modus operandi –
“It was nothing like the big suicide bombings of the past decade,” said one security official on the scene. “A small bomb, weighing less than two kilograms was left behind in a bag. There are no hallmarks here of the terror networks we faced then.”
But I should have thought it was a high risk operation for a Palestinian who was not a sucicde bomber to pull off. Anyone who has lived in London this last few years knows exactly how young Muslims with bags on the underground must feel. I expect that is worse on Jerusalem buses. And if this were a Palestinian terrorist, presumably they chose a bus stop frequented by Jewish people not by Palestinian people, in other words where a Palestinian would look conspicuous, and certainly might have difficulty in casually abandoning a bag at a bus stop?
Of course this might have been a Palestinian individual or group branching out with a different form of attack. But there is no reason to believe that it has to be that. It might have a motive unrelated to the Palestinian conflict at all, by some lone nutter. Or if it is related to Israel/Palestine, it does not follow that it was the Palestinians. There are plenty of extremist Jewish groups who must be very alarmed at the change of events in the Middle East, at the loss of their closest regional ally Mubarak, at the end of the nonsensical “only democracy in the Middle East” propaganda, at the sudden discovery by Western media that Arabs are human too. The mind of any terrorist is by definition twisted. It cannot be said to be impossible that this was an action perpetrated by extreme zionists anxious to reclaim world sympathy. There were Jewish victims in the King David Hotel too. The violent nutters are not all on one side.