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March 9, 2004

But Keep Those Trains on Time

Lileks ends his current Bleat with a must-quote passage (the internal quotation, in italics, is John Kerry):

When I was in the region in early 2002, I saw first hand the devastating impact of this ongoing conflict on the daily lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. In Ramallah, for example, Palestinian women, traveling on foot, were forced to stand in long lines at check points with their children tugging at their sleeves and their arms loaded with groceries or other basic needs. And while they were struggling to get through the day, Israelis were also living in fear of another terrorist attack – not sure whether to get on a bus or go to a restaurant.

I'll give him credit for the order in which he presents these seemingly equal inconveniences. But note how the first example is described with sympathetic human details — children, tugging at sleeves! — but the fear of getting nails shot through your vitals on a bus is described in an abstract, generic fashion.

The speech was made on October 17, two weeks after a suicide bomber in Haifa killed 21 people in an Arab-Jewish owned restaurant; three kids and a baby were among the dead, and the wounded numbered 60.

It seems the inclination toward equivalence, here, arguably relates to the liberal view of life and government's role in it. Watch out grocery-store clerks!

Posted by Justin Katz at March 9, 2004 2:03 PM
Middle East