Friday, March 25, 2011

25-Mar-11: The carnival moves on, the victims remain

We know from personal experience how shattering is the experience of having terrorism rip into your life. The attention of outsiders - the media, perhaps; friends and neighbours; government officials and public figures - is there and then gone, sometimes in a flash. It's the nature of our fast-moving societies.

Wednesday's bus stop bombing ["23-Mar-11: We know these horrors only too well"] is over. The photographers, the wreath layers, the visiting politicians - they have moved on. The summing up has been summed: one dead, thirty-something injured in an explosion for which no one has taken credit though many have praised ("In Gaza, Islamic Jihad’s military wing said it welcomed the bombing"). The politicians have "condemned in the strongest terms" and the next item on their agenda instantly moved up the list.

Israel National News says this of the perpetrators:
The terrorist or terrorists who planted the bomb fled the scene, but Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested two members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in connection with the blast. The two, Khaled Jaradat and Tarek Ka'adan, were picked up in Jenin on Wednesday night, and the Islamic Jihad claimed the PA forces had been working in coordination with Israeli security personnel.
Thanks to the writer Naomi Ragen, we also have a list (which we have edited down).It's a list of the names of the victims who have not yet moved on and it's below.

The laconic term 'injured' does not begin to convey what has been done to them and the circle of concerned and loving friends and family around them. As a word, victim does little to explain to news consumers far away how the rippling wave of shock, fear, pain, impacts on lives far more numerous than those of the names we list. This, precisely, is what terrorists - wherever they operate - want to achieve. They have no strategic goal beyond terror. There are no innocent victims or victims caught in the crossfire or in the wrong place at the wrong time. The victims are always the target. The target is always innocent people. This is why terrorism must be stopped by every possible means.

Everything is at stake for all of us. Not recognizing this is exactly why we (not just Jerusalemites or Israelis) all pay an ever growing price for terror's continued impact.

Wednesday's Jerusalem victims who are still in hospital (their Hebrew names are at this helpful location if you care to include them in your prayers):
  • Adi: 18 years old and about to complete high school.  She suffered light orthopedic injuries and is in good condition in hospital.
  • Daniel: 13 years old withlacerations and shrapnel injuries to his lower extremities; likely to be released from the hospital before Shabbat.
  • David: owner of the snack stand next to the bus stop. Israel Television replayed a chilling phone call he made to the emergency hotline of the police notifying them of a suspicious suitcase left lying on the ground next to his booth, and calling on everyone in the vicinity to run away. As we all later heard in the replay, that case exploded in the middle of his call. He suffered injuries to his legs and feet and lower body and is in moderate condition.
  • Elchanan: 14 years old, with serious injuries to his feet.  One ankle and three of his toes were crushed.  He has had one operation and will require more surgery; likely be in the hospital at least 2-3 weeks.
  • Leah Bracha, a 19-year-old seminary student, suffered burns to her legs and arms as well as serious shock.
  • Natan Daniel, a 17-year-old student in serious condition, suffered massive internal injuries and has had a number of internal organs removed.
  • Netanel: 18 years old, a security guard at the bus station, was injured in the abdomen and is now recuperating in hospital after surgery.
  • Odelia [we suspect the correct name is Hodaya]: Suffered serious head injuries and is in intensive care.  Her life is still in danger.
  • Sasson - the second time he has been injured in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.  He suffered lower body injuries and serious post-traumatic symptoms.  His wife Nechama is pregnant with their fifth child and suffering from panic and fear. 
  • Shilo: 15 years old, suffered burns and fractures to his legs and lower abdomen.  He is sedated in intensive care.
  • Shaindel: A seminary (post high school) girl learning in Israel for the year was operated on last night. 
None of these people has been named or described in the mainstream media as far as we know. It's generally that way after terror attacks. The published statistics (one dead, X injured) don't begin to give a sense of what has happened to their lives, and the attention has already gone to somewhere else.

But unless we grasp the devastation that the terrorists set out to sow, we are going to be asking ourselves for a long time to come "How did we ever allow this to keep happening?"

UPDATE November 22, 2017: It's been six and a half years. Today, one of the most injured of the victims who has remained in a coma all this time, Hodaya Nechama Assoulin who was just fourteen years old at the time of the unspeakably cowardly bombing, passed on: ["Girl injured in 2011 Jerusalem bombing dies of her wounds", Times of Israel, November 22, 2017]. The Times of Israel says that, in November 2013, Hussein Ali Qawasmeh was sentenced to life in prison "for orchestrating the bombing". May her family finally find comfort among the mourners of Zion.

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