As many of you know, a bomb went of in Jerusalem, killing one and injuring 30. The attack was harshly condemned by the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.
It's the first terrorist attack in Jerusalem in quite some time, but follows the brutal massacre of a Jewish family in the Itamar settlement and increasing tension in Gaza, where Palestinian militants have stepped up rocket fire and have been met with IDF reprisals. And I'm a little baffled as to the "why now" -- it seems as if this recent flare-up doesn't have any particular precipitation. Perhaps it doesn't need one -- when you're in a conflict, flare-up happens for many, little, or no reasons. That's the nature of being at war with someone. Still, it just strikes me as a bit odd. I haven't gotten my head around it.
Meanwhile, ThinkProgress chides AIPAC for dashing off a fundraising letter in response to the bombing. Apparently, it's gauche of them? I really don't understand the objection. If something bad happens to a group, institution, or entity you style yourself as defending, why wouldn't you try to muster up additional resources to assist in the reconstruction? Criticizing AIPAC for fundraising in the wake of the Jerusalem bombing is like criticizing the Red Cross for fundraising after Haiti. Rabbi Michael Lerner's home has been repeatedly attacked by right-wing thugs, and each time it happens I get a fundraising letter along with it.
One doesn't have to agree with AIPAC's policies to understand that its behavior is completely normal. As it happens, I don't donate either to Tikkun or to AIPAC, but that's because I find neither of them sufficiently attuned to my positions to justify supporting them financially. But I don't blame them for trying, and I particularly don't find it weird that they'd step up their efforts when a highly salient strike against what they claim to represent hits the news. If Israel is seen as under attack, groups which support Israel are going to try and muster resources dedicated to defending it. This pearl-clutching about how crass it all is -- ugh. It's just so nakedly opportunistic.