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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Twelve years later... the victims of Sbarro live with their grief

Two weeks ago, a couple of days after the yahrtzeit (day of the anniversary of the death) of the Sbarro terror victims, I ran into my friend Arnold Roth in a shopping mall in Ramot. After he kidded me about being in a mall which is being boycotted by certain members of my community, I told him that I was thinking of coming to the annual ceremony for his daughter Malki HY"D (May God Avenge her blood), which had taken place in the local cemetery a couple of days before (I explained to him that Malki's yahrtzeit was the day before my mother's, and when, as this year, Malki's yahrtzeit comes out on the Sabbath, the observance ends up coinciding with the date of my mother's yahrtzeit, a date on which it is customary to go to a cemetery even if not the one in which one's one relative is buried). He said that it's good that I didn't come - that the yahrtzeit is too sad and depressing. I imagine - God save us - that it is.

15 people were murdered that day in Sbarro's and a 16th - who remains on my prayer list to this day - remains in a coma.
I have mentioned many times on this blog that my eldest daughter was about 100 meters from Sbarro when the terror attack took place. She is about the same age as the person who wrote this, and was not standing right outside only because she decided to wait on one more customer in the bagel shop in which she was working.
Twelev years ago on August 9th, 2001, I went with a friend down to Yafo Street and into Sbarro’s Pizzeria. There was a long line, and after looking at the prices on the menu we decided that it’s too pricey and will take too long to get our pizza, so we headed out. A few minutes later a suicide bomber blew himself up in the pizzeria, taking the lives of 15 and injuring over 100 people.
I was young…only seventeen. The concept of what happened hadn’t really sunk in. When I saw all the ambulances and police cars rushing down the street to where I stood only a few moments beforehand, I never fully grasped what had happened at the time, and as a way of suppressing the thoughts, I simply moved on with life. I graduated HS, I did Mechina, served in the army, lived abroad, etc.
A lot has changed for me in twelve years. But for some, twelve years ago time began to stand still. Every day is a day of pain, physical and emotional. A question of “why?”.
Many of you don't realize how long after a terror attack the physical and emotional wounds of the families of both the dead and the wounded, and of the wounded themselves, persist. The day I ran into Arnold was the 10th anniversary of the suicide bombing of the number 2 bus. We have another friend whose granddaughter was killed and whose son and daughter-in-law (the dead girl's parents) were severely wounded in that bombing. Another daughter was on the bus with them to help them with their children, and was lucky to escape physically unscathed.

Recently, the couple who was hurt had to travel abroad for surgery that's still related to the terrorist attack. I asked our friend whether they still get help from the terror victims' organizations. She said that help dries up after the first few years. There are too many victims and not enough resources to support them all, so for most victims, the support goes away after the first few years.They were taking their nursing baby abroad with them and their oldest child to tend to the baby during the surgery - and leaving the rest of their children with our friend.

But back to the blog post for a minute.
Just as I’ve moved on from that pizzeria up the block, I’ve moved on with life. But for so many it simply halted, and sadly many more have joined the horrible club of “victims of terror”, where life stands still, and even as medicine, technology, celebrities and the world keeps changing, they’re still living in that moment, in that day. Some of them remain physically at the scene, while others remember getting the tragic news of a loved one while at home, work, on vacation or at school.
Twelve years later our elected government is continuing the policies of the previous administrations, when in contrast, the entire point of electing these new officials was to overturn the policies their predecessors made in the first place.
After a dangerous and violent dog attacks innocent people, that dog is locked away or put to sleep. It’s not the dog’s fault, as he doesn’t know any better. He just behaves in a way his owner allowed him to, and since the owner encouraged the dogs aggressive behavior, therefore the owner should be punished according to the law. If that dog is released and goes back to attacking people, then the responsibility is now in the hands of the authorities who authorized his release.
Let's go to the videotape.

Do you still wonder why the terror victims 'made a scene' in the 'supreme court' today? Shame on the 'supreme court' for not giving most of the victims their day in court!
Around half a dozen times, the victims' families, part of the Almagor Terror Victims Association asked to speak. Each time they were cut-off by Grunis.
But when Grunis said "the hearing is over," there was a spontaneous outpouring of anger by the families, yelling and screaming at the judges.
The victims called out "this cannot happen," "where is the rule of law," "listen to us, listen to our hearts," "they have no time for us" and "they threw sweets" (referring to past prisoners released who had murdered relatives of the families and who were greeted with sweets upon returning to the Palestinian side). Grunis and the other judges sat for a few moments, turning ashen red and looking shocked or indignant.
After a few moments they walked out of the room, as the victims' families were still calling out to them.
"With Schalit, we got him back, here we are releasing prisoners with blood on their hands and receiving nothing in return," the victim's lawyer told the High Court during the hearing.
"Legal and moral issues cannot be separated in a decision of such monumental importance," he added.
The state responded saying that it has no precedent to interfere with government decisions to release terrorists - even with blood on their hands. They did add that if the peace process does not go well, future planned prisoner releases will be canceled.
 Disgraceful. Simply disgraceful.

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At 5:26 PM, Blogger InMemoryOf Yossi said...

That last line is an utter lie. Everyone with any brain at all knows it.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Why? Why do they honestly think that *this time* they will release murderers, but they won't return to terror? They are hoping they will behave the way a human does because these poor liberal idiots are to kind to think that these murderers are monsters hiding in human skin.
Hashem yerachaim on all of us. (Shauly got married last week, and iyh will be returning to EY to learn. So I've got an added worry about this. Every week when I take challah I daven for the safety of all the yidden in EY. Maybe it's time to daven for shaichel for your stupid elected officials.)
I think the only way sadly for them to learn would to lose someone close to them in a terror attack, cv'c!


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