Wednesday, September 10, 2003

In my old neighborhood in Jerusalem, on Emek Refaim St. in the German Colony, there was a suicide bombing today--At least 6 dead in suicide attack in Jerusalem cafe. I just got home and spoke to a friend on the phone who asked me if I had heard from friends in Jerusalem yet -- which I hadn't, since this was the first I had heard of the attack. It's too late now to call anyone. A couple of years ago there was an attempt to bomb another cafe on Emek Refaim, Caffit -- an attempt that was foiled by alert customers and waiters. That was when it truly came home that my closest friends could be murdered. And then last summer Ben Blutstein, a student at the Pardes Institute and son of friends of mine from Harrisburg, PA, was killed in the bombing at the Hebrew University Frank Sinatra cafeteria. This time the security guards tried to get the suicide bomber out of the cafe, but then he blew himself up in the entrance. Will this killing ever stop? "The unmentionable odour of death/ Offends the September night."

An update, from 9/11/03 -- All seven victims of Jerusalem bombing identified. Their names are:
Dr. David Appelbaum, 50, and his daughter Nava, 20, were buried Wednesday at 10:00 in Jerusalem. Applebaum, born in Detroit, raised and educated in Cleveland, was head of the emergency department in Shaarei Zedek Hospital and founder of the Terem 24-hour emergency clinic in Jerusalem. Nava Applebaum, a volunteer with children suffering from cancer as part of her national youth service, was to be married Wednesday evening. She and her father were celebrating their last night together before the wedding.

Applebaum, well-trained in treating bombing victims after years working as a hospital emergency room director, was usually the first to report to the hospital after a bombing. There was no sign of him Tuesday night.

"It was clear to me from very early on that David Applebaum - when he didn't show up and I knew he was in Jerusalem and he hadn't called - that a terrible tragedy had occurred," said Shaarei Tzedek Hospital Director Yonatan Halevy. "Confirmation of my suspicions came shortly." A paramedic on the scene recognized Applebaum, and notified the hospital. The nurses and doctors, shocked and grieved, kept on treating the stream of casualties. "Thousands of Jerusalemites owe Dr. Applebaum their lives," said Halevy. "This is a terrible loss."

"Dad dedicated his life to saving others," Applebaum's eldest son Natan told the web site ynet. "Dear Nava should have been married today. They went out for a last night before the wedding to talk."

Alon Mizrachi, 22, Jerusalem. Alon was the guard on duty at Hillel coffe shop at the time of the attack. He attempted to bodily prevent the terrorist's entrance to the Cafe. His brother-in-law, Avi Levi, said he "had a soul of a hero."Following his army service, as a mechanic in the IAF, Alon became a guard at Hillel coffee shop, where he had worked for the past three months. "He loved his job," Levi told ynet. "Alon always had a smile on his face. Even when things were hard, he always laughed He was everybody's friend." Alon left behind him parents, three brothers and three sisters.

Shafik Karim, 27, from Beit Haninah. Karim was a waiter at Cafe Hillel, and a friend of Alon Mizrahi.

Gila Moshe, 40, Jerusalem. A mother of two, Gila was out with a friend on the night of the attack. Her worried son asked Gila to stay home, but "in a moment's decision she decided to go out and have fun," said her sister, Orna Ben Yishai. Gila's relatives spoke of a woman who "loved her family so much." "She was a devoted mother, full of life. She used to play with her children as if she were their own age," her sister said. Gila left behind a husband and two sons.

Yechiel Emil Tubol, 52, from Jerusalem. Yechiel owned a building business. "He had hands of gold," said his brother, Chaim. "He was very hardworking, and was always looking after his family." Alona Angle, an architect who worked with Yechiel, called her friend's death "terribly ironic. A man who built and worked with Arabs, to be killed like that. It's so easy to ruin, in a split second, everything this man spent a lifetime building. He was intelligent and gentle, a man of wisdom and honesty. Everybody trusted him." Yechiel left behind a wife and three children.

David Shimon Avizadris, 51, from Mevaseret Zion. David was the eldest of seven and, when his father died, took his siblings under his wing. "The entire family was dependant on him," said his brother, Eli. On Tuesday night, David and his wife, Hadas, were sitting with friends in the cafe. "He was such a friendly type," Eli said, "and in the cafe he got up to say hello to some friends. At the moment of the explosion he happened to be standing between the terrorist and his wife, and she was miraculously saved." David left behind a wife and three children.

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