Recently, Israeli journalist Noam Bedein spoke at MU. Bedein presented stories of the victims of rocket terrorism from people who live in Sderot, Israel. Bedein is an eyewitness. The poster for the event stated, “Sderot, Israel, is a border town close to the Gaza Strip. The Government agency in Gaza, Hamas, has fired over 12,700 rockets, killing and injuring the people of Sderot in their homes, schools and synagogues.” What makes the rocket attacks terrorism, and not resistance fighting, is that these attacks target civilians.
“Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation” (FOR) protested the event by handing out a flier. It contained a joke comparing the rockets to harmless yelling from “an emotionally disturbed person banging on the door screaming, ‘I’m going to come through this door and kill you.'” The punch line implies that the terrorist is forced to do this because he has to “go through checkpoints.”
FOR’s flier did state, “It’s a war crime to target civilians.” This is doublespeak, mentioning it’s a crime, but with a joke justifying the attacks as resistance to Israeli security. This reverses the order of events, claiming the security causes the rockets, instead of the rockets causing the security; in effect blaming Sderot.
The comparison fails because the rockets are not harmless yelling. Although, the parents who have lost children wish they were.
As long as organizations like FOR continue to make jokes blaming the people being hit by the rockets, and not the people firing the rockets, there will be no peace.
Daniel Swindell is a Columbia resident.