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A September 11th Message from Israel
Last uploaded : Thursday 11th Sep 2003 at 22:23
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv


September 11th 2003

It is still surreal, like a terrible scene from a "b" movie where the bad guys are exaggeratedly bad and the good guys die. Those terrible hours 'til I found my children, the calls to Canada to call New York and just find them, find them, were all part of that script of evil. It is so beyond the imagination of any sane and rational person that such vile acts could occur with consequences that are a tragedy for humankind. We simply cannot absorb it. That part of the world which reveres human life will mourn today.

Those who believe human life expendable will
celebrate. Have no doubts, on the Israeli side of the Security fence there are many ceremonies of remembrance of those lost on this day two years ago. A central remembrance ceremony will be held in Rishon LeZion led by Israel Firemen and Paramedics in the presence of United States Ambassador Dan Kurtzer. On the other side of the security fence, in the Palestinian Authority, there will be wild celebration of the supposed winners, as there was on that tragic, awful day two years ago.

Australia is on high alert for large Moslem terror attacks, Britain has been for some time, India has suffered almost as much as Israel in the slow torture of individual attacks. This, at least, is a similarity recognised by India. The hand of friendship extended between the two nations can create a symbioti relationship in which the two so very different nations can benefit from the obvious similarities.

India was declared an independent country, by
international agreement, after partition, in August 1947, just six months before Israel was so declared.

India, a Hindu nation, has been under attack from
without and within, its Moslem neighbours since
Independence was declared, like Israel. India,
however, has never suffered international censure for dealing with the situation in a far more aggressive manner than Israel. I pray that the new brotherhood of these two nations will grow to be strong.

Two days ago we mourned the loss of young lives in the homicide massacre beside Asaf haRofeh Hospital (which despite the writings of many journalists is not in Tel Aviv). Whenever I am pensive, trying to put some order into the madness of our situation I go out onto my
veranda to look over the exquisite beauty of Jerusalem at night. I potter with my plants and water those which appear thirsty; I wonder at the miracle of the tiny pomegranate tree which has produced 25 pomegranates for our New Year table; I absorb the scents of the herbs and spices which grow around the tree and draw in a sense of peace and tranquility.

Suddenly, close to 23:00 (11pm) I heard a dull,
sickening boom in the distance followed by the
telltale mushroom of smoke. In the pit of my stomach grew the knowledge of another "pigu'a"- homicide killing. The police and ambulances began to pass before me with sadly rehearsed speed and ability.

There had been a terror killing in the German Colony.

The German Colony today is a fine residential
neighbourhood which sports some of Jerusalems
favourite coffee shops. Built over the last couple of hundred years by German pilgrims who came to pay homage to the Christian Holy sites many artifacts of the Third Reich were found there. Adolph Eichmann and others of his ilk visited frequently. Caf? Hillel is a favourite haunt and that fateful night Dr. David Applebaum and his daughter Nava were greeting the guests who were arriving from all over the world for
Nava's wedding the next day. During a break in their duties David and Nava took the opportunity to assuage their growing hunger by going to Caf? Hillel for a snack. As always the coffee shop was full and they had to wait in line for a table. As the killer tried to enter the coffee shop the guard, Alon Mizrachi (22) shoved him outside as he exploded himself over his victims. David Avisadris threw himself over his wife
at the blast, to save her. David, Alon, Gila, Shafik (an Israeli Arab), Yehiel, Nava and Dr David Applebaum died.

As the emergency units arrived at Sha'are Zedek
hospital ER they could not understand why David, head of the unit, had not arrived. As time went on they all realised the awful truth. As one ambulance crew came in the paramedic told of the tragedy, he had identified the body of Dr Applebaum. Instead of dancing at her daughters wedding Nava's mother went to a double funeral. Instead of marrying the love of his young life Chanan placed the wedding ring and his words of love beside Nava's body.

Later, Israeli troops destroyed the building of one of the Hamas chiefs, the brains behind the attacks who send these slaughterers. The Hamas chief escaped but his son was killed. Was he sad? No!!! He praised Allah for making his son a Shahid. Is that normal? Is that sane? I ask you. Until we get some REAL help, in the shape of full support for actions taken against
these inhuman killers the slaughter will continue.

The Judeo-Christian world has been confused by her own teachings. We learned that the prey is always poor and the persecutor rich but the rules have changed. Today the rich, the educated, the democratic nations are being persecuted by the poor, fundamentalist,
uneducated nations, and the sooner that we realise it and stop confusing the victim with the victimized we can approach the problem and stop the slaughter.

Until the Jews realise that like it or not they are inextricably tied to Israel, no matter how hard many of them try to say "I am American/British/Australian/Canadian or French" they are inside. Until they learn that Israel is the only Jewish country ever and it always was, they lose out on the chance to be proud of what they are and who they are. Israelis do not hate and no matter what the press tries to say we never pre-empt unless there is clear and present danger. This is a wonderful nation which produces more research than any other and
produces wonderful human beings like Dr. David
Applebaum who spent his entire life saving the lives of others, irrelevant of origins.

So, on this day of remembrance, pray that we have
learned to think differently. Pray that such evil will be removed from the face of the earth and that we can bring democracy and love to replace oppression and hatred. In an ideal world we could talk reason to those who are unreasonable but this isn't an ideal world and we must use whatever means are at our disposal to change thought. Fiscal resources are a
good start.

Today we are going to Tel Aviv to celebrate a family wedding. In Israel we do not allow ourselves to mourn outwardly; we know that life must go on as testimony to those who were slaughtered.

May G-d bless you and yours and may we know no more sorrow.

Sheila Raviv

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