Saturday, April 13, 2002

Is that a bomb in your belly or are you just expecting a baby?

As I'm getting ready to send this there has been a newsflash of another suicide bombing, this time on a pedestrian crossing, near a crowded bus outside Jerusalem's bustling Mahane Yehuda market. So far reports say six killed and 60 wounded.

Only this week Israeli security forces arrested a young Palestinian woman in Tulkarm who was planning to disguise herself as a pregnant woman, with a bomb hidden in her falsely extended stomach. In Bethlehem a few days ago Israel arrested a 14-year-old girl whose terrorist uncle had asked her to recruit girls from her class as suicide bombers.

Yesterday in Jerusalem there were plenty of Arab women out shopping. A couple of them were sitting behind me on the bus. No doubt most, maybe all, were innocent Israeli or Palestinian Arabs from the Jerusalem area, but who knows anymore whether one of them might just blow herself up as she stands next to you in the bus queue or at the entrance to the supermarket.

It sickens me that this terror war has forced me to think this way, people can no longer just be people, in order to protect myself I have to look twice. I need to think about whether the other folks doing the groceries with me might have explosives strapped to them. I have to question whether the woman standing next to me in the queue might be trying to kill me.

American Secretary of State Powell was in his helicopter in Jerusalem, just a mile away, on his way to meet with Arafat in Ramallah.

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