The Passover massacre: one year later
By Naomi Ragen
March 31, 2003
I awoke this morning to the reminder that today is the anniversary of the Passover Massacre. On Israeli TV, they interviewed the owner of the Park Hotel, and showed pictures of the refurbished dining room, which is now empty, as is the hotel, and will probably remain so, as will the rest of the hotels in the once bustling sea-side holiday resort town of Netanya.
Yesterday, there was another suicide bomber who almost killed a brave young soldier who prevented him from entering a crowded restaurant in the heart of town, and who injured almost fifty others, some of them badly.
Of course, the pictures brought it all back to me, those moments I stood with my family right after the blast, watching the bleeding waitresses, the floor littered with glass, the desperate attempt to find a way out of the mangled building, the ambulances, the body bags, the white faces of Mom and Dad, the devastation of the children...
But something else comes to mind today. Yesterday, I saw on CNN one of those running messages at the bottom of the screen in which the Islamic Jihad Organization, which claimed responsibility for this sickening act of barbarism in Netanya yesterday, said they did it "as a gift to the people of Iraq."
In the course of researching my new book, I've been reading dozens of personal memoirs of Holocaust survivors at the Yad Vashem Library. In one of them, a woman describes how one thousand German Jewish young people, all members of an athletic club, all beautiful, strong and healthy, were rounded up and shipped off to Auschwitz as a "birthday gift" to Hitler.
These are our enemies. They may be wearing kafeeyahs in their present incarnation, instead of SS helmets, but they are the same kind of people, the same hearts, minds souls. Those who bless us, shall be blessed. But I really think those who curse us are already cursed.
With God's help, we shall see them perish from the earth.