Diana West

Oddly enough, the same day Janet Jackson's televised peep show was inspiring talk of filters and walls, a very different kind of shocking film -- and a very different kind of wall -- was also in the news. For the first time, the Israeli government has decided to post on its Web site (www.mfa.gov.il) video footage of the fresh horror of a bus bombing -- the scene of carnage that with terrible frequency meets rescue teams before the grim work of clean-up squads is done. In a graphic five-minute film clip of the most recent bus attack appear the blasted tissues and charred flesh of lives lost abruptly: a shoed foot against a curb; a sleeved arm in the street; a grey lung on a broken window. To what end?

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman told CNSNews.com that "the video is a powerful reminder of why Israel is building a security barrier to fence out terrorism." It seems that the Israeli government believes the grisliest evidence of terrorism -- beyond the grief and inside the body bags -- is now required to shock an unmoved world into understanding Israel's efforts to defend itself against terrorism. Which indicates something truly shocking: that the heinous phenomenon of suicide bombings has lost the power to appall the world that bears witness.

There is no point of comparison between the televised self-degradation of a single woman for profit, and the cauterizing video impact of the bloody plight of terrorism victims. But there is perhaps a parallel in their reach for sensation and their effort to stir the 21st-century-soul. This shows, above all, the 21st-century soul is not well. And no wall can keep that fact out.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).