Tel Aviv Terror
Bloggers react with outrage to the suicide bombing in Israel on Monday. They also wonder why the Pentagon has war plans for everything—including invading Canada—and whether the White House tried to downplay the presence of gays at its annual Easter egg roll.
Tel Aviv terror: A Palestinian suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded doznes at a falafel restaurant outside a Tel Aviv bus station Monday, the first attack since Hamas took over the Palestinian government just more than two weeks ago. Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade both took responsibility for the attack, which Hamas defended, saying Palestinians were in "a state of self-defense."
"Sure," writes Jewish blogger Meryl Yourish. "Self-defense. In Tel Aviv. At a bus station. At a falafel shop. Those are dangerous people, falafel-eaters." "Will this show the world their true faces?" writes Holly on The Moderate Voice of Hamas.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, reportedly condemned the bombing, but no one seems to be buying that. At Captain's Quarters, Ed Morrissey has a name for this pattern of one group attacking while one or two others condemn: the triangle offense.
"As I have written before, this triangle offense allows the supposedly moderate Fatah and the political Hamas to deny any responsibility for attacks while the radical IJ carries them out," he writes. "This strategy gives at least one and usually two factions deniability that is transparent to everyone except European diplomats, Russian autocrats, and the Middle Eastern kleptocrats that just pledged millions of dollars to keep the Palestinians in business against the Israelis."
Captain Ed is referring to Iran's pledge Sunday to give the Palestinian government $50 million in aid. Sister Toldjah explores the Hamas-Iran connection in detail, culling recent reports from the BBC and elsewhere.
As for the attack itself, Neo-Neocon links to a Jerusalem Post article and notes that a security guard may have saved lives by detaining the suicide bomber outside the restaurant: "The article doesn't mention it, but it's virtually certain that that guard was one of the victims. But he was also a hero; no doubt about that."
Bloggers are also eager to see how Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister-elect, responds to the first attack of his tenure. "The real question," writes New Jersey blogger Lawhawk at A Blog For All, "is whether he will carry through with what must be done - finish the security fence and go after the terrorists who perpetrated this latest attack. And that means doing more than firing artillery against empty buildings or fields."
Read more about the bombing.
Iran tomorrow, Canada the next day? The initial reaction to Seymour Hersh's New Yorker report of Iran war planning was largely outrage at the Bush administration. But as the debate continues—the Washington Post and the New York Times ran op-ed contributions on the subject over the weekend—bloggers wonder: Shouldn't the Pentagon have plans for everything?
Darren Everson is a sportswriter in New York City.