22 July 2008

Eight Dead and Forty Wounded in Arab Terror Attack on Jerusalem Yeshiva

Copyright © 2008, R. Kossover
First published at Blogcritics Magazine

Ma'ale Levona, 6 March 2008

At approximately 8:30 this evening (20:30) on 6 March, two terrorists entered Merkáz haRáv Yeshivá in the Kiryát Moshé neighborhood of Jerusalem and killed eight students and wounded approximately forty people, as they sprayed the yeshiva with several hundred rounds from Kalashnikov rifles they were carrying.

One of the yeshiva students had a gun and killed one of the terrorists, a resident of Jébel Mukábr, a southeast Arab neighborhood just north and east of Armón haNetzív (where I used to live).

When residents of Gaza heard of the news on their own radios, they broke out cheering, shooting rifles in the air in celebration of the attack on students in a yeshiva.

The first hint of trouble came to me as I was sitting guard in the guard booth at the gate of Ma'alé Levoná. Someone got on the walkie talkie asking, "Have you heard the news?" Asked what news, he answered, "Of a shooting attack or something like that."

I turned up the volume of the radio in the guard booth and minutes before the news was due to come on at 21:00, the announcer on Radio Jerusalem said that there had been a shooting incident in Jerusalem with lots of wounded and two terrorists attacking.

The news came in thick and fast, and it was a task taking notes in Hebrew from the radio and opening and closing the gate at the same time. It was shortly known that several yeshiva students had been killed, and that many were wounded, being taken off in ambulances to Sha'aré Tzédeq Hospital and to Hadássah 'Ein Qérem Hospital, both in the western portions of the city.

As people called in to Radio Jerusalem with reports, the announcers went back and forth between six and eight dead, with fluid reports coming in on those who were wounded and in hospital. By 22:00 it was clear that eight students had been killed and that over 35 people had been wounded. Initial speculation on the terrorists coming from Gaza was ended when it was reported towards 23:00 that the dead terrorist was a Jerusalem resident. By this time, the Jerusalem police brass had already given a press conference indicating that increased police and border patrols would be on hand tomorrow in the Old City when Jews gather to recite special prayers to mark the beginning of Adar Bet, the month during which Purim takes place. The terror attack will put a pall of sadness on the prayers, which are supposed to inaugurate a month of joy with its joyful holiday of Purim.

Reports from Arutz Sheva and Yediot Ahronot contain further details of the attack. It should be noted that Yediot Ahronot has apparently dropped its English site, and denied access to the English version of this article on Arabs celebrating in Gaza.

While any terror attack comes as an unpleasant surprise, Arabs had been opening up the faucet of terror wider and wider since last weekend. It now appears evident from the nature of the increased violence that a period of instability and very possibly a hot war will follow in the not too distant future.

This does not change the fact that eight families now have to do a most painful task — bury and mourn their children and loved ones. In the comment section, I will update this information with the names of the murdered.

Hashém y'nakém damám. May G-d avenge their blood.


The following additions to the article are taken from the comments section at Blogcritics Magazine:

This is the link to the English version of Gazans celebrating the death of yeshiva students in Jerusalem. Hopefully it will work....

As promised last night, I'm updating the names of the murdered.

1. Yochai Lipschitz, z"l, hy"d, 18, of Jerusalem;
2. Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, z"l, hy"d, 16, of Shilo;
3. Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, z"l, hy"d, 19, of Kokhav HashaHar;
4. Neriah Cohen, z"l, hy"d, 15, of Jerusalem;
5. Roey Roth, z"l, hy"d, 18, of Elkana;
6. Segev Pniel Avihayil, z"l, hy"d, 15, of Neve Daniel;
7. Avraham David Moses, z"l, hy"d, 16, of Efrat;
8. Maharata Trunoch, z"l, hy"d, 26, of Ashdod.

Zikronatám l'brakhá 'aleinu, v'hashém y'nakém damám.

May their memories be only for a blessing upon our people, and may G-d avenge their blood.


2. To understand all this more thoroughly, let's go back to my hastily composed article and fill in some of the details that ought to have been put in, but weren't, partly due to my desire to file a story quickly, and partly due to my problems understanding Hebrew.

I wrote in the article Initial speculation on the terrorists coming from Gaza was ended when it was reported towards 23:00 that the dead terrorist was a Jerusalem resident. By this time, the Jerusalem police brass had already given a press conference indicating that increased police and border patrols would be on hand tomorrow in the Old City when Jews gather to recite special prayers to mark the beginning of Adar Bet, the month during which Purim takes place.

I listened to the press conference and there was considerably more to what was conveyed to the press than this announcement. Reporters were trying to get an accurate description of who had killed the Arab terrorist, there being a question of whether he had been a yeshivá student or a soldier. In what amounted to a smackdown of reporters' questions, the police spokesman insisted that it had been an IDF soldier who had killed the terrorist, refusing to go further in his description.

Now let's look at the Arutz Sheva story and find out the truth:

The attacker entered the yeshiva and opened fire on students before he was gunned down himself by a part-time yeshiva student, aided by an off-duty army officer from the neighborhood. The attack began in the seminary's library with the terrorist spraying bullets in every direction before anyone could react.

The part-time yeshiva student who first shot the terrorist, 40-year-old YitzHak Dadon, said he was in the Yeshiva's study hall when he heard the shots. "Everyone left through a side door," he said, "and I left through a window, and lied down on a roof overlooking the library... When he came out, I shot him in the head twice. I saw him start to stagger, and then David Shapira [a yeshiva graduate and paratroopers officer] arrived on the scene, shot him with his M-16 rifle, and then we emptied our magazines into him."

State-Run Radio Leaves Dadon Out of Report

Dadon was interviewed on various television and radio channels and told his story. When describing what the terrorist was wearing, Dadon emphasized that he was armed with a Kalachnikov rifle that was given him by "our President Peres and by the Olmert government." The interviewers invariably tried to cut him off. Later, the official news report by government-run Israel Radio left him out of its reports, announcing only, "An IDF officer who lives near the Yeshiva heard the shots, came to the scene and shot the terrorist to death." That report still appears on its internet site as of 10 AM Friday.
So the bitter reality is that the Olmert government had armed the terrorist who killed the yeshivá students by handing out Kalshnikovs - paid for with my tax money - to Arabs so that they could "secure" the PA.

What a pile of sh-t.

The plan was, when Olmert gave the Arabs the weapons, that they would be used to kill "settlers", as the scum refer to people like me, with the goal of scaring us out of their homes. But Arab bloodthirstiness won the day, and any Jew was a target.

Final news update before the Sabbath.

07 March, 2008

One of the big questions that vexed people was how the terrorist (apparently, there was only one) got into the yeshivá in the first place. Apparently he was a van driver who drove a lot of the students from their homes to the yeshivá (many schools provide such a service - partly because of Arab terrorism) and he knew which gates were guarded and how to get in and out.

So, now, one of the questions will be, "should Arabs be allowed to drive vans with Jewish students in them?" This is not an abstract question of law or discrimination. This is a real issue of lives at risk. Yesterday's attack demonstrated this fact.

After the Sabbath

Barry Chamish's question to this article in Arutz Sheva about the Merkáz haRáv Yehiva was:
"Yeah, and where was a guard guarding your precious students?"

The answer to his question is found in the following article about the attack on the yeshiva, also from Arutz Sheva.

[Jerusalem Police Commissioner, Aharon] Franco also said in an interview with Channel 2 TV that the killer did not fit the standard Palestinian Authority terrorist profile. "He is not known to the security forces. He was a normal man who worked as a driver, who was going to be married soon," he said.

The murderer, 25-year-old Ala Abu Dheim, had operated completely under the radar, stockpiling ammunition and weapons, some of which remained after the attack. Abu Dheim also personally chose the target and time for the attack after spending considerable time observing and gathering intelligence about the yeshiva, it was learned.
After dawn prayer services this morning, over wine and crackers, we discussed the terrorist, and the incident. He had been admitted to a rosh Hódesh (head of the month) celebration like any other person would have been, following the basic rules of hospitality of the Patriarch Abraham, and the rules of hospitality of any Bedouin, for that matter. In addition to being a murderer, the terrorist violated the very basic rules of hospitality prevalent in this part of the world.


12 March, 2008

It is now already six days since the attack on Yeshivát Merkáz haRáv Kook. Since that time, the head of the yeshivá, Rav Shapira, declared Ehud Olmert persona non-grata on the grounds of the yeshivá, and the Education Minister, Yuli Tamir, threatened to close the yeshivá alleging it does not have democratic standards. According to Arutz Sheva, Israel's state-run media organ, the IBA, accused the accusing Merkaz HaRav rabbis of approving a revenge attack planned by three former students to avenge the murder of eight students in an attack last Thursday. The vague report, which relied heavily on unnamed sources, was quickly picked up by the Associated Press and published in papers worldwide under the headlines: "Yeshiva graduates plan revenge attack against Arab figure." According to the Arutz Shewva report, the Yeshiva officials said the report was completely baseless, and pointed out that no arrests have been made based on the allegations. Yeshiva head Rabbi Yaakov Shapira has mentioned repeatedly in addresses to students not to seek revenge.

The yeshivá is threatening a libel suit.

In the meantime, the Israeli power-holders, pretending to be a government, have caved to American pressure, according to the Jerusalem Post, and will not launch massive attacks to attempt to erase the threat of Katyushas, Grads and Qassams on the cities of southwestern Israel. Instead, it will seek a cease fire "with Egyptian intervention". In short, to please the American bitch, Condoleezza Rice, Jews will continue to remain under mortal threat - another case Israelis dying to please Bush or Rice. According to the Post, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, unwilling or unable to admit their lack of balls, denied on Monday, that there was any kind of negotiating process with Hamas,
and insisted that the IDF "retained its freedom of action" in the Strip.

But that is just the offal stinking up the news.

This letter came to my e-mail today, and is the real reason I'm sending out this update - to illustrate the ties that bind us Jews together in spite of the evil regime that scatters fear and despair.

This is the text of the e-mail.

From: Israel Kaplan
Subject: Letter from Jerusalem that I would like to share with all of you.

Every morning I take the 35 bus line to work. It's a quick ride and usually takes no more than 12 minutes. The third stop after I get on by the shuk (open air market) is directly in front of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav. This morning I found myself a bit anxious, unsure of what I was going to see as we passed by. As I looked around, I saw death notices pasted all over the street and flowers that had been brought lined the entrance to the Yeshiva. When the bus pulled up to the stop, the driver shut off the engine and stood. With tears in his eyes he told everyone sitting on the bus that one of the boys killed on Thursday night was his nephew. He asked if everyone on the bus would mind if he spoke for a few minutes in memory of his nephew and the other boys that were killed. After seeing head nods all over the bus he began to ! speak. With a clear and proud voice, he spoke beautifully about his nephew and said that he was a person who was constantly on the lookout for how to help out anyone in need. He was always searching for a way to make things better. He loved learning, and had a passion for working out the intricacies of the Gemara. He was excited to join the army in a few years, and wanted to eventually work in informal education. As he continued to speak, I noticed that the elderly woman sitting next to me was crying. I looked into my bag, reached for a tissue and passed it to her. She looked at me and told me that she too had lost someone she knew in the attack. Her neighbors child was another one of the boys killed. As she held my hand tightly, she stood up and asked if she too could say a few words in memory of her neighbor. She spoke of a young man filled with a zest for life. Every Friday he would visit her with a few flowers for Shabbat and a short d'var Torah (explanation of the Torah) that he had learned that week in Yeshiva. This past Shabbat, she had no flowers.

When I got to work, one of my colleagues who lives in Efrat told me that her son was friends with 2 of the boys who had been killed. One of those boys was the stepson of a man who used to teach in Brovenders and comes to my shul in Riverdale every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur to be a chazan (public representative who chants the prayers) for one of the minyanim (congregations of at least ten men).

We are all affected by what goes on in Israel . Whether you know someone who was killed or know someone who knows someone or even if you don't know anyone at all, you are affected. The 8 boys who were killed will continue to impact us all individually and as a nation. Each one of us has the ability to make a profound impact on our world. This coming Wednesday morning, I will be at Ben Gurion airport at 7 am with Nefesh B'Nefesh welcoming 40 new olim (immigrants) to Israel . We will not deter. We can not give up. We will continue to live our lives and hope and work for change, understanding and peace.

Final Note:

The is the interview where the reporter tried to cut off the killer of the terrorist for blaming Olmert and Peres for giving arms and ammo to the PLO, arms and ammo used to kill eight yeshivá students last Thursday night.

The translation of the Hebrew lasts long enough for you to see how the Channel 2 reporter tried to cut off YitzHak Dadon from stating that Olmert and Peres had armed the terrorists.

Obviously the state president and prime minister did not hand the weapons personally to the terrorist who killed the yeshivá kids. But the policy of arming terrorists is what Dadon referred to, the policy that the Channel 2 reporter tried to interrupt. Channel 1 did not carry this at all on its broadcasts, as it is the government station.

Put differently, there is plenty of Jewish blood on the hands of the power-holders in this country. They, like the terrorists, deserve the sharp hand of real justice, may it come soon to them.


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