Survivor of a Palestinian homicide bombing tells her story

Eliad Moreh survived the terrorist attack by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas ("Islamic Resistance") on an Israeli University and she tells her story in the Harvard Israel Review:

On Wednesday, July 31 2002, at 1:40 pm, my life was changed forever. I don’t know how long the turmoil of the explosion lasted—whether it was a matter of seconds or entire minutes. All I know is that from the moment I realized I had survived a terrorist attack, I felt my life had changed. It was a feeling inside of me—probably a survival instinct—that gave me an inner force I had never before experienced. Suddenly, I considered life differently. [...]

But most of all, I felt and still feel revolt. The revolt of someone wrongly attacked who escaped his aggressor. I was put to death and somehow survived my execution. But for what crime? What was the crime of those who, like my friend, did not survive their executions? What was the crime of the 86 people who, like me, were injured that day? And what was the crime of the 600 people who have died at the hands of terrorists in the past two years? What of the thousands of people wounded, and of the thousands of orphans, widows, and widowers who lost their dearest ones? What was their crime? To be a Jew? To live on the soil of Israel, to go to the university, to have lunch? To live, to speak, to breathe? Probably all of these answers are correct. Terrorism stems from blind and gratuitous hatred; it is the enemy of everything that is living and free.

Some people in Israel and abroad place terrorism in the context of the political conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. To place terrorism in any context is to avoid confronting its horror and inexcusable nature. What cause can justify the deliberate murder of as many human beings as possible? What kind of a people could officially appeal to terrorism as a legitimate weapon in their desire for statehood? And this is all the more repugnant given that the Palestinians were offered an independent state in the frame of the Oslo agreement.

There is no explanation for terrorism. I tell you out of my crying body, out of my screaming heart and my wounded mind, I tell you that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies such pain. And no reason in the world can excuse the criminals who perpetrate such inhuman deeds. There are times in history when one has to condemn evil. The facts are so horrible that they do not leave a place for understanding, because to understand means to justify. And I have to warn you, trying to justify such barbarous acts makes you become morally complicit in them.

For more information on the massacre at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, click here. For an article that describes how many Palestinians celebrate such deliberate murder of women and children, please click here.

I copy the full article below, it's well worth the read. Thanks to Shark Blog for the link.





Survival and Beyond
By Eliad Moreh
http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/
~hireview/content.php?type=
article&issue=fall02/&name=moreh

On Wednesday, July 31 2002, at 1:40 pm, my life was changed forever. I don’t know how long the turmoil of the explosion lasted—whether it was a matter of seconds or entire minutes. All I know is that from the moment I realized I had survived a terrorist attack, I felt my life had changed. It was a feeling inside of me—probably a survival instinct—that gave me an inner force I had never before experienced. Suddenly, I considered life differently.

The facts are simple in their cruelty. I survived the terrorist bomb attack at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, while the friend sitting in front of me, David Diego Ladowski, was killed on the spot. I did not know this then. All I remember is that we were peacefully eating lunch, in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria. We had already finished our meal and Diego was telling me a story. He was to leave in nine days to assume the position of second secretary, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Peru. We had a lot to tell each other, like two friends who would not meet again for a long time. But suddenly, in the middle of what would be Diego’s last story, the bomb exploded.

I couldn’t tell what happened. I just remember that all was suddenly dark and I somehow found myself standing. I felt a bullet of fire in the back of my neck, and I understood that it was a terrorist attack. When I realized the tumult of the explosion was over and that people had started to run outside through the broken glass doors, I left the place myself.

Outside, as I felt the blood flowing down my neck, I perceived the world with an extreme intensity. The sky was never so bright, the sun never so dazzling. I could walk—my body was in one piece. And though I could not know whether my wounds were serious (the projectile that hit my neck had, miraculously, missed my spine), I cherished life more than ever. I was determined to survive at all costs.

At the same time, I felt a scream inside of me, a scream of rage and revolt. A scream for my suffering and for the suffering of all those bleeding around me. A rage at the fact that an incalculable number of terrorist attacks had occurred in Israel in the past two years, and that somehow we had become accustomed to this, as if one could become accustomed to such a dreadful situation. I felt that in a way, through our own passivity, we had become docile victims—too easy targets.

But most of all, I felt and still feel revolt. The revolt of someone wrongly attacked who escaped his aggressor. I was put to death and somehow survived my execution. But for what crime? What was the crime of those who, like my friend, did not survive their executions? What was the crime of the 86 people who, like me, were injured that day? And what was the crime of the 600 people who have died at the hands of terrorists in the past two years? What of the thousands of people wounded, and of the thousands of orphans, widows, and widowers who lost their dearest ones? What was their crime? To be a Jew? To live on the soil of Israel, to go to the university, to have lunch? To live, to speak, to breathe? Probably all of these answers are correct. Terrorism stems from blind and gratuitous hatred; it is the enemy of everything that is living and free.

Some people in Israel and abroad place terrorism in the context of the political conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. To place terrorism in any context is to avoid confronting its horror and inexcusable nature. What cause can justify the deliberate murder of as many human beings as possible? What kind of a people could officially appeal to terrorism as a legitimate weapon in their desire for statehood? And this is all the more repugnant given that the Palestinians were offered an independent state in the frame of the Oslo agreement.

There is no explanation for terrorism. I tell you out of my crying body, out of my screaming heart and my wounded mind, I tell you that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies such pain. And no reason in the world can excuse the criminals who perpetrate such inhuman deeds. There are times in history when one has to condemn evil. The facts are so horrible that they do not leave a place for understanding, because to understand means to justify. And I have to warn you, trying to justify such barbarous acts makes you become morally complicit in them.

I ask not for revenge, only for justice. Vengeance will not reduce my torment. Nothing will ever be able to tame the pain, to bring back the lost ones, to restore the time of peace in my life. The damage is done forever. Yet since I have experienced suffering, I wish with all my being that no one will ever feel the kind of pain I feel, that no one will ever know what it’s like to lose forever, in just a few seconds, a person he loves. I want for no one to have his nights troubled by nightmares and anguish of the kind I have.

I therefore think everything must be done to fight terrorism, because I do not want to see more people hurt by such affliction. This means we must use all forms of prevention. There should be no pity for the ones who are ready to perpetrate such deeds, because they deserve the severest punishment.

Because I have survived, and Diego has not, I feel it is my duty to speak out. We should not think of terrorism as a threat to Israel alone and interpret it as part of a confined political conflict. Terrorism represents a threat for the democratic world at large. Furthermore, the tragedy of September 11 should serve as a warning to all those who think terrorism and evil may be explained. It has shown to all of us that the West, with its cultural, scientific, and economic achievements—and most of all its freedom—has been chosen as a target. It is useless to ask for the reasons behind this religious war. Besides, this threat leaves no time for such considerations. Now is the time to resist and to fight—for our right to live as free men, each according to his own faith.

I choose to be on the side of life; it is a matter of decision. To fall down would be a victory for those who tried to defeat us. For me, the answer to terrorism is to value and strengthen life wherever it is. If I have learned anything from my experience and the loss of my friend, it is that the only thing that belongs to me—and to each of us—is the good we have done in this world. What we have given in a lifetime is ours forever. And no murderer, even of the vilest kind, can destroy this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eliad Moreh was born in Paris and moved to Israel at the age of 18. She received her B.A. in Art History and English Literature and her M.A. in Art History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She now works as a researcher at the Center for Jewish Art at the same university.

Posted by David Melle
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