Fifteen years ago Palestinian terrorists blew up a pizza place in the heart of Jerusalem. One month later, other Islamist terrorists blew up the World Trade Centers in NY, the Pentagon Building in Washington DC, and were foiled in their attempt to destroy the Capital building by the brave passengers of Flight 93.
It is important to remember these acts, not simply to memorialize the innocent victims whose only crime was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but as a reminder that even today, fifteen years later terrorism still suckles at the teat of political correctness and Western World appeasement.
From ” A Personal Account of the Bombing” by Rabbi Binny Freedman
Her eyes, I think, will stay with me forever. Imploring, beseeching, full of so much sadness. I think the shock of where and how she was, was sinking in. I can’t begin to describe all that was in those eyes.
Yesterday; Thursday, August 9th the 20th of Av, on my way to work, I found myself walking down Yaffo street. Hungry, I decided to stop and grab a quick bite… at Sbarro’s Pizza.
In the past 5 years I have frequented this establishment exactly twice. Walking into Sbarro’s there is a larger area for sitting in the front, but the back looked a bit cooler and quieter, so I decided to grab a seat in the back. That decision saved my life.
Waiting on line, when they brought me the baked Zitti I asked for, it was cold. So I asked the woman behind the counter if she’d mind warming it up. “Ein Ba’ayah”, no problem, she said with a smile. I will always wonder if that was her last smile on earth… A couple of moments later, a fellow from behind the counter came to the back with my baked Zitti. Then he started to speak to someone at one of the tables… That baked Ziti saved his life.
At about 2PM, I both felt & heard a tremendous explosion, and day turned into night. And then the screaming began. An awful, heartrending sound; the sound of people coming to terms with a whole new reality, of people not wanting to comprehend that life has changed forever. Those of us sitting in the back were spared, but I was afraid of panic, so I started yelling at everyone to quieten down; not to panic. The ceiling looked like it might cave in, but there is always the danger of a second explosion, detonated on purpose shortly after the first… But then I smelled smoke, and was suddenly afraid the restaurant might be on fire. So we started climbing our way through the wreckage to the front.
Would there be another explosion? Would the roof collapse? Were we making the wrong decision, climbing through? There are moments that last a lifetime… There are no words to describe what the front of Sbarro’s Pizza looked like in the immediate aftermath of that explosion. A woman was lying near the steps to the back. Her eyes were staring straight at me, following me. So full of pain and longing, sadness and despair. I dropped down becide her trying to ellicit a response to see if she could speak. And then I watched the life just drain out of her. I tried to get a pulse, to no avail. She died there, on the steps in front of me. She was lying by the table I had decided not to sit at…
There were bodies everywhere, and those images are in my mind; they won’t let go. A child’s body under the wreckage; a baby-carriage; limbs and a torso; A woman holding a motor-cycle helmet and screaming next to a person on the floor who had obviously been someone she was with… And then the mad rush to help the ambulance and emergency crews get the wounded out. They were obviously afraid of a second bomb, so there was no medical effort inside beyond getting the wounded on to stretchers and out. A religious Jew missing at least two limbs in tears and shock; what do you say? “yehiyeh Be’Seder” it’ll be all right? Will it?
I happened to sit a bit to the left as you walk towards the back, and so the wall behind me shielded me from the blast. Another fellow whom we went back in to get wasn’t so lucky. Sitting only 5 or 6 feet to my left, he caught the full force of the blast and was thrown in the air. When we got him on the stretcher he was bleeding profusely and was missing a leg… There are no words to describe what that man’s hand, clenched around my arm, felt like. He just kept looking from me to his leg and back again. I started saying Tehillim …
So many mixed emotions fill my head today. I came home last night and gave each of my children a very long hug… But there are so many families today who are waking up to the reality that life will never be the same. 17 funerals with friends and families saying goodbye to those they loved so, whose only crime was a desire for a slice of Pizza on a beautiful Jerusalem afternoon…
Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi helped to plan the Sbarro attacked and drove the murder to the pizza shop in Jerusalem in August 2001.
On the day of the massacre (9th August 2001), she personally transported the bomb (10 kg) from a West Bank town into Jerusalem, concealed inside a guitar case. Taxi cabs brought her and an accomplice by the name of Al Masri, a young, newly-religious fanatic, to an Israeli security checkpoint and from there into Jerusalem.
To reduce suspicion, they dressed as Israelis and the bomb was not detected. Tamimi, who inspired, planned and engineered the Sbarro attack, personally led her “weapon” – Al Masri – to the target she had carefully selected. The Sbarro pizza restaurant, because it was located in the heart of Jerusalem and on a hot summer vacation afternoon it would be teeming with women and children. Tamimi instructed Al Masri to wait fifteen minutes before detonating the explosives to give her sufficient time to flee the scene safely. He followed her orders. As to this being (as some journalists have implied) an act of momentary madness or lack of sound thinking, take into account that a short time prior to Sbarro attack Tamimi carried out a ‘dry run’, placing an explosive inside a downtown Jerusalem supermarket (Hamashbir Lazarchan) which exploded causing damage but resulting in no injuries.
Fifteen people were murdered in the attack, 7 of them children. Ahlam Tamimi was captured, jailed for the murders, but released from an Israeli jail in 2011 as part the prisoner exchange for the kidnapped Israeli, Gilad Shalit. To this day she has shown no remorse for her mass-murder.
May the names of the dead always be for a blessing:
- Giora Balash, 60, of Brazil
- Zvika Golombek, 26, of Carmiel
- Shoshana Yehudit Greenbaum, 31, of the U.S.
- Tehila Maoz, 18, of Jerusalem
- Frieda Mendelsohn, 62, of Jerusalem
- Michal Raziel, 16, of Jerusalem
- Malka Roth, 15, of Jerusalem
- Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, of Neria
- Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, of Neria
- Ra’aya Schijveschuurder, 14, of Neria
- Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, of Neria
- Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, of Neria
- Lily Shimashvili, 33, of Jerusalem
- Tamara Shimashvili, 8, of Jerusalem
- Yocheved Shoshan, 10, of Jerusalem
The fault for this massacre goes much further than the terrorists committed the horrible act, Hamas the terrorist group the bombers were associated with, or Fatah the ruling party of the Palestinians which still celebrates the murderers as heroes.
When Yassir Arafat started on his murderous rampage in 1964 (three years before the 6-day war), he was treated like the animal he was. Then slowly through a combination of Arab Oil power and the world’s continued hatred of Jews, the murderous rampage was treated with appeasement. Thanks to that appeasement the radical Islamic world was taught that terrorism is a legitimate means of political expression. That appeasement directly lead to 9/11/01, al Qaeda, ISIS, and every other Islamic terror organization in the world today.
The Sbarro bombing was not the first of these horrible murders, or the deadliest. A little over a month later another terrorist attack, this time in the United States captured the world’s attention, and drove the United States to become actively involved in the war against terror.
After 9/11, for the first time in its history the US treated a terror attack in Israel the same as any other act of war against civil society (at least until the Republicans lost congress in 2006 when things began to revert).
After election day 2008 under the leadership of new President Barack Obama the US reverted back to the pre-9/11 mentality. Even worse this country stopped fighting a war to wipe out the fanatical Islamists. Fifteen years after Sbarro, and almost 15 years after 9/11/11, thanks to a President who believes in leading from behind, the Islamists have the United States on the run.
This horrible bombing was part of what has become known as the second intifada. Israel and the Palestinians had been close to a peace deal where Arafat would get almost everything he asked for, but neither the terrorist or his people were ready for peace so Arafat walked away from the talks and authorized a wave of horrible homicide bombings. Everyone including the former President, said that Yassir Arafat walked away from a “sweetheart” deal. Note: Prime Minister
Comb-over Ehud Olmert offered a similar deal to PA President Abbas who never replied to his offer.
The Palestinian Authority and President Abbas still have no desire to make peace. They claim to the world they are looking to make peace with their Israeli neighbors in English and say the opposite in Arabic. The truth that no one will admit is moderates do not run the PA, it is the radicals who still run Fatah, its ruling party. Earlier this week Abbas ghoulishly celebrated the fact that his Fatah party killed its 11,000th innocent Israeli.
The PA still has done almost nothing has been done to prepare the Palestinians for a compromise peace and two-state solution alongside Israel. In fact Jews and Israel are demonized and terrorists are honored. In schools, children are taught that the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion is true and they regularly teach both children and adults to hate the Jewish people.
This President spent the past eight years doing all he can to force Israel to make one-sided concessions to “moderates” in Fatah who continue in their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, and continue killing innocent Israeli. Via both of his secretary of states, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, Obama promotes peace with President Abbas’ Fatah Party even though it still promotes mass-murderers like the one who blew up a Sbarros pizza place in Jerusalem as heroes.
Until the world recognizes the fruits of their appeasement, horrors like the Sbarro bombing, San Bernardino, Paris, Orlando will continue to happen in Israel, Europe, the US and elsewhere throughout the world, just like the 138 Islamist terror attacks between July 7 and August 6, 2016, that were executed in 22 countries, that killed 1053 and injured another 1659.