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7 dead in terrorist attack in Bulgaria

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The latest on the terrorist attack evidently aimed at Israeli tourists in Bulgaria is that seven were killed. JTA:

At least seven passengers reportedly were killed in an explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in what is being described as a terrorist attack. Israeli and Bulgarian outlets reported that as many as seven people were killed in the explosion Wednesday afternoon at Sarafovo Airport in Burgas, a city on the Black Sea Coast popular with Israeli tourists. At least 27 passengers have been rushed to the hospital, reported the Bulgarian news agency Novinite.com.

This is an international news story that is best followed at other sites, though we will update it here.

And let us be clear: this is a tragic development, everyone on our site joins me in condemning such attacks. The victims are in our thoughts.

Update: Netanyahu is blaming Iran for the attack. Talk about grisly opportunism. Previous attacks should remind us that it is important to wait for facts about the matter before issuing blame.

Update: In condemning the attack and noting that it falls on the 18th anniversary of a horrifying attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish center, a Canadian Jewish organization then pushes its statement in a disturbing Islamophobic direction:

Early reports are now linking Iran and Hezbollah to today’s attack as well. Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, issued the following statement: “Today’s terror attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria acts as yet one more reminder of the deadly intentions of international terror groups, such as Hezbollah and their state sponsors, which target the Jewish State and Jewish communities worldwide as part of their deadly agenda…. In Canada, we must remain vigilant as Islamist terrorism knows no boundaries.”

Again, can’t people just keep their mouths shut for a little while?

More responsible ways of talking about Iran come from Amos Harel in Haaretz two days ago, echoed by Trita Parsi at Open Zion today. First Amos Harel:

Israeli leaders have significantly lowered the volume of their own threats against Iran recently. But at a time when Israel’s dilemma on Iran has been boiled down to a four-word slogan, “bomb or be bombed,” a third scenario must also be considered: A poorly-thought-out Iranian move, in the Persian Gulf or elsewhere, could ignite a conflict even before anyone decides to attack its nuclear facilities.

And Trita Parsi says today that Iran has previously tried to retaliate for the killings of Iranian scientists, and that the escalation reminds him of the detonation of World War I:

Iran is believed to have tried to retaliate against these attacks, but most of its efforts have been thwarted by Israeli intelligence. Amateurish attacks did occur in Thailand, and Indian police have accused Iran of behind behind a failed assassination attempt of the Israeli ambassador’s wife in New Delhi. Iranian agents have also been arrested in Kenya…

Iran is believed to have tried to retaliate against these attacks, but most of its efforts have been thwarted by Israeli intelligence. Amateurish attacks did occur in Thailand, and Indian police have accused Iran of behind behind a failed assassination attempt of the Israeli ambassador’s wife in New Delhi. Iranian agents have also been arrested in Kenya.

Note to readers: we also condemned the murders of the Iranian scientists.

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What a tragedy. Grieved to hear of this terrible violence. The victims & their families are in my prayers.

Netanyahu appears to be threatening a military response: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that “Iran is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria, we will have a strong response against Iranian terror.” Well, he’s been looking for an excuse to attack Iran. I’m reminded of the Abu Nidal attack on the Israeli ambassador in London that Begin chose to blame the PLO for and that served as the casus belli for the 1982 invasion… Read more »

It’s a shame that while you condemn, Phil, fools like Benjamin Kerstein exploit this incident by making political, ideological allegations against Mondoweiss: (https://twitter.com/benj_kerstein/status/225618399512903681) (https://twitter.com/benj_kerstein/status/225633564178391040)

…and sadists like Benjamin Netanyahu exploit the situation to drum up prospects for war. Israel is already fingering Iran as the culprit. My, their intelligence agencies are good. In a couple hours they can conduct a full investigation of the attack… in Bulgaria!

Absolutely should be condemned. Any attempt to use this as cover for future attacks should be condemned as well.

I condemn the attack, regardless of who carried it out, and I also condemn the resulting opportunism.