THUMBS UP to the New York Times‘ Clyde Haberman for his recent reports from Israel and the Palestinian areas which give voice to the fears that Israelis live with daily.
For example, his Sept. 12 report “When the Unimaginable Happens, and It’s Right Outside Your Window,” Haberman cites the question that weighed heavily on every Israeli’s mind that day: “Do you get it now?”
“It was simply a question for those who, at a safe remove from the terrorism that Israelis face every day, have damned Israel for taking admittedly harsh measures to keep its citizens alive,” he reports.
Taking the unusual step actually drawing a parallel between the regular attacks against civilians in Israel and the Sept. 11 attacks against American civilians, Haberman quoted Israeli officials and analysts about U.S. rebuke of Israel for retaliations, which they consider restrained.
Haberman also allows for some personal reflection, recalling his years of working in Israel in the early 1990s when he had “seen the human wreckage caused by the suicide bombs that go off with sickening frequency. You ask [‘Do you get it now?’] because Jerusalem offers a glimpse of what New York may become.”
He described the commonalities between the attacks in Israel and the United States—panicked relatives trying to phone loved ones, the disgust at the Palestinian street crowds chanting “God is Great” and handing out candies after an “operation,” the funerals, and the political statements.
Coming from a newspaper which continues to designate those killers who target American civilians “terrorists,” and those killers who target Israeli civilians “militants,” Haberman’s candid comparison is truly refreshing.