Closure Diary
13 December 1996
"Learning nothing makes sense", part 2
Photo of newspaper headlines

Double double standard

In the opinion pages of the Jerusalem Post, Sarah Honig, one of the editorial staff, wrote an article condemning the world media for "applying a double standard" to their reporting of the deaths of Ephraim Tzur and Hilmi Shoushi. I have not had the misfortune to read such a lame piece of writing for months, and that is saying a lot when including the Jerusalem Post in the list of possible newspapers for source material.

She begins by complaining that much attention was given to Hilmi and not to Ephraim. Whether true or not I don't know, as I don't currently have either cable or regular TV. She continues with complaints that Ephraim was described as a "settler" thus "[making] his slaughter palatable", as if somehow this fact wasn't a relevant question in the bigger picture. Honig's semantic whinings are great, but the whole article reaches the zenith of its lameness with a text book example (emphasis added) of exactly what she is complaining of:

Ephraim's grisly and untimely death, and his mother's, do not, somehow, arouse the world's revulsion or outrage. This despite the fact that Ephrahim - unlike Hilmi - wasn't given to stoning passing cars as an afterschool pastime; despite the fact that the only thing [Ephraim] was doing when he was attacked was riding home with his family after a holiday outing; despite the fact that his death was beyond a doubt no accident, not even manslaughter.

Ephrahim's death was the most coldly premeditated act possible. And, unlike Korman, Ephraim's murderers were not horrified when he fell, and they did not frantically try to revive him.


Note how Hilmi's killing is less tragic as Honig now has him throwing stones, despite previous Post articles specifically refuting this lie that emerged from Korman's own mouth. Hilmi's death is also now an 'accident' as if having a grown man kicking a little boy in the head with his boots and repeatedly clubbing his head with a heavy metal gun while standing on his throat somehow isn't likely to be intentionally aimed at seriously injuring him.

Note also how Hilmi's killing isn't considered a 'premeditated' act despite the fact that part of Korman's defence was that he was responding to reports of car stoning and therefore didn't actually see Hilmi throw any stones. He also only 'began' to chase him after he arrived in the village, according to the Post story of November 3rd, suggesting Hilmi was just the kid unlucky enough to be present at the venting of Korman's rage.

Photo of newspaper headlines

Genuine concern or naked self-interest?

Note also no mention that Korman was only "horrified" and began to "frantically try to revive him" because the thug suddenly realised that he was in deep shit when Hilmi collapsed, dying, as the autopsy later discovered, "of a brain hemorhage following the blows to his head, which had torn the spinal artery, causing internal bleeding."

Note also that Korman is lying his face off, something that Honig fails completely to mention. Police representative called Shalom Amar quoted Korman as claiming that he never hit the boy. Instead Hilmi collapsed when Korman shouted at him, a rather strange and miraculous event even for the Holy Land.

Read the conclusion to the Korman killing (added 30 Jan 2001, opens in new browser window)

One through, 3,500 to go! The hole story

Cathi got through the Israeli checkpoint at Surda today, leaving her American passport with the soldiers to guarantee her return. "We told them not to use the road," said one, "there are signs saying 'For military vehicles only', but they won't listen. For a year we've been saying the road is a bad idea." She asked when they thought the road will be open. "Maybe Sunday," they said, commenting that keeping an entire population imprisoned for the actions of a few was a bad idea.

Photo: Kim

Kim Kalhammer, the Birzeit international student programme coordinator (pictured left), passed by in the evening with news. A special taxi was running earlier in the day via an unbelievably circuituous route to Birzeit that cost 5 shekels, two-and-a-half times the normal price and, by the sound of it, 10 times the usual distance. It seems as though the hole was plugged later in the day, as she said that some students who were trying to get through to Ramallah failed.

Sense and senses

A sense of finiteness to dimensions is brought to the forefront of your consciousness by closure, and results in stress even if being trapped is a fundementally passive experience.

It is stressful because you end up focusing on the system that generates closure: the Israeli military occupation.

Thinking for long periods about the Israeli occupation is not recommended and can lead to a desire to go out and commit acts of violence against Israelis.

Which is the very reason why we're sitting here thinking about the occupation right now.

Unfortunately, those leading the Israelis have still not grasped this point and we end up caught in a merry-go-round that will most likely not stop until the world ends.

If Israelis and Palestinians are given any control in heaven, I suspect it'll all start up again a few weeks after we all arrive there. In the meantime, as I watch the whole mess from the front row, the one thing that makes sense is that nothing makes sense. If that makes sense.

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