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Yesterday-It's Not Only a Song Title

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
CSU Professor Living in Israel

What you never hear about is the human side of the event. For all practical matters when you hear about a homicide bombing it briefly registers and if the numbers murdered are 5 or less, you go right on with your day. Sometimes you may even say out loud to anyone who will listen, "Yet another tragedy, if only those people would stop this nonsense and settle this once and for all-they should resume talks." Sometimes you will hear, "Damn Israelis, it is all their fault, if they would only &ellip;"

For those living thousands of miles away from here, the news from the Middle East of another bombing does not even register-you have more important and significant events, circumstances and people to deal with every moment of your life. The media has homogenized these events for you by only briefly reporting the story and providing you with the numbers killed, and the numbers "wounded". I suspect they do this for multiple reasons. You have become conditioned to ignore, look the other way and to take a neutral position as to cause and effect. By not presenting the entire story, your emotions and then your thoughts cannot possibly be affected by these horrific events. Tell me I am not correct, have not the daily murders become simply a number for you? Unless you have someone personally involved, I suspect that it now takes a rather large number of dead and wounded to even register a concern.

Allow me for one moment to take you through yesterday in Tel Aviv. Perhaps after reading this you may have a degree of understanding why we here have a point of view that may differ from yours.

Yesterday was a day of sunshine, a slight breeze was blowing off the Mediterranean Sea but it was a day for outdoor activities. The roads north were packed with people wanting to enjoy nature, in Tel Aviv the stores and shops were open and there were many outdoor activities going on for the children. We are in the middle of Passover and here it is a very special time. The schools have been closed for many days, many families are on a vacation during this time and it is a joyous time as well as a time for prayer and thoughtful reflection. Yesterday was such a day. Binyamin Haputa, age 46, awoke as he did every day, prepared himself for yet another day. He knew that many people would be outside today but everyone was in a festive mood-he looked forward to greeting them as he had done for all of the previous days. He left his home in Lod and commuted to his minimum wage job in the city-he was thankful for this job and appreciated each and every day he was able to work-his family also thanked him, every day! Phillip Belahson, 45 from Ashdod, was walking in Tel Aviv with two of his four children. He was awakened earlier in the morning by his children as they stood next to his bed coaxing him to "wake up and get going"-they were anticipating going to Tel Aviv and helping father shop for Passover gifts. They had planned this trip to the "big city" days ago and all were anticipating the joy of being with father, having an ice cream at their favorite spot and simply helping their dad.

Viktor Erez, 60, from Givatayim, was busy with his daily routine-one he did each and every day. Although this is the holiday season, he had his daily routine to perform. This would not be like every other day for Viktor.

Two special men had left their families some time ago in Romania. They had an opportunity to travel to a foreign land in pursuit of economic opportunity and their families were counting on them. They spoke no Hebrew, had only one another for support. Israel invited them in to work but it was not home, it was not their world, their customs nor their culture. They came to fulfill an Israeli need and a financial family need. Today started as every other day. The evening phone call home was "around the corner." Rosalia Basania, 48, and Budha Piroshke, 50 were simply doing their jobs, law abiding foreign workers, simply doing what was right.

Lilly Younes, 43, from Oranit, Ariel Darhi, 31, from Bat Yam, and David Shaulov, 29, from Holon were shopping-actually they were simply strolling by the falafel shop on their way to other activities. They kissed their loved ones good - bye earlier in the day-they had no idea it would be their last kiss. Meanwhile the other part of the story was continuing to unfold. For the first time in recent memory, perhaps ever, yesterday's bombing attack was being planned outside of the Palestinian territory. Sami Salim, a 16 year old male had left his home a week earlier-he went with Hizballah agents. They picked him up in the West Bank (April 12th or 13th) and he said goodbye to life as he knew it. These operators took him away and prepared him for one task-to murder innocent civilians during their time of joy and happiness. He was to do this fully aware of what he was doing; it was premeditated murder-planned down to the precise moment-only something would go wrong at the very moment of truth. These adult terrorist agents would keep Sami out of sight for one week, indoctrinating him! When the time came, these terrorists drove Sami to Tel Aviv. Israel's counter-intelligence services had never heard name of the Jihad Islami suicide bomber, Sami Salim Mohammed Hammed, 16, from Tubas, although they were familiar with the network that ran him. All the more the pity. So, foreigners outside of Israel, planned, selected the bomber and implemented a murderous attack upon civilians, unsuspecting individuals just like you and me. People who were only going about their daily activities, some were with family experiencing the thrill of being on vacation, while others simply stopped by to get something to eat-it was that time of day when all hell broke lose.

Sami approached the falafel shop, the same one only three months earlier was the site of another murderous attack. Binyamin Haputa saw him approach the shop's entrance. As he had done untold thousands of times before, he did his minimum wage job and started to search the satchel Sami had on him. For Sami this was the "something was going wrong moment". Sami knew the time had arrived and being fearful of being caught and/or stopped before he could enter the shop, he detonated the large explosive device, estimated to weigh at least 10 kilograms, and packed with screws, bolts and nails designed to cause the most serious damage thus causing a large number of dead and wounded. Binyamin had started to wrestle with Sami in order to prevent him from entering the shop, the result was he took the full force of the blast. Binyamin would not return home last night to his family-a family he loved and who loved him. They would bury him today. Unfortunately, this event will be repeated 8 more times today.

Imagine the bomb maker, putting this together days/weeks before. He puts inside an astounding size of explosives but embellishes the bomb by placing an inordinate amount of tiny projectiles that also kill but more importantly maim the "wounded" for life. He does this knowing the results and he does not care, not one ounce of empathy or sympathy for the bomb's targets. He does this with the cooperation and support of many, many other people. He does this never even knowing the names or ever seeing the faces of those his creation will murder and maim for life. Yes, the other part of the story you will never hear about is the thousands of innocent Israeli civilians who are "wounded" but live the rest of their lives without limbs, with one less kidney, deaf, blind in one or both eyes and with disfigurement that becomes who they are, for their remainder of time on this earth.

We in Israel mourn those who died yesterday, show compassion to those who survived and have nothing but contempt for those who perpetuated this horrendous act upon innocent civilians. One more news point: David Shaulov was hurrying through his day, wishing to get home to his two young children. His wife was at the hospital waiting to be told when their third child would arrive-David will never see his young one and another fatherless child will have make his/her way through life. I must stop writing now, there is an urgent need for blood donors and it is my time to help-won't you also help us?

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