There’s Nothing Noble about Self-Immolation in Support of Hamas

On Sunday, an American airman doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, after recording a video denouncing U.S. support for the Jewish state. The twenty-five-year-old, named Aaron Bushnell, did not survive, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) praised his suicide as “honorable.” A short essay in the Nation soon echoed this sentiment and condemned those who argue that the death of an apparently troubled young man shouldn’t be celebrated. Kyle Orton comments:

By far the most intense dispute [about the subject on social media] has been whether Bushnell was disturbed or mentally ill. To the “pro-Palestine” set, this is a terrible calumny against a brave man by liberals, centrists, and other political detritus whose concern for comfort blinds them to the fact some humans hold beliefs so sincerely they are willing to die for them. . . . If the invitation to accept Bushnell as a political martyr is to be accepted, then it is important to be clear what his political cause actually was. For an idea of Bushnell’s politics, we can examine his posts [on the influential online chat site] Reddit since October 7.

“There are no ‘civilians’ or tourists who have no part in the oppression of Palestine,” Bushnell declared. . . . Many of Bushnell’s other post showed a minor obsession with how awful white people are, in the manner so frequently seen in American race discourse, and he had exported this framework to the Holy Land.

We are left, then, with a straight choice. Either we mourn the loss of a troubled young man, a human tragedy of the kind that is all too common at the present time, or we accept that Aaron Bushnell died trying to further a grisly political program that includes support for Hamas, the massacre of Jewish civilians, and the destruction of Israel.

Read more at It Can Always Get Worse

More about: Anti-Zionism, Hamas, PFLP, Suicide


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security