Next month Americans will mourn the 22nd anniversary of the Islamist terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001, when terrorists blew up the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon Building in Washington DC, and were foiled in their attempt to destroy the Capitol building by the brave passengers of Flight 93. Despite what some in Congress say about the 1/6/20 capital riot, 9/11 was the worst terror attack on American soil.
A month before that vile attack on the United States, Islamist terrorists launched a horrible attack in the middle of Jerusalem.
This year 2023, is the 22nd anniversary of that massacre on Monday, August 9th. (10 days after Tisha B’av). Back then, they were still called terrorists, not the woke-created vanilla term– militant.
That afternoon Palestinian Arab terrorists blew up a pizza place in the heart of Jerusalem, killing 15 16 (one victim, Chana Nachenberg, was in a coma from the bombing and died on July 31st, nine days ago. The Hamas attack included seven children and a pregnant woman. It wounded another 130 people.
It is important to remember this attack, not merely to memorialize the innocent victims whose only crime was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but as a reminder of how much of the world appeases terrorists claiming that there is a “military wing’ of a terrorist organization operating separately from its terrorist partners.
Remember the members of the U.S. Congress who support the BDS movement, not realizing that an attack on the Jewish State is an attack on the entire Jewish nation, no matter where those Jewish people live.
Remember how the terrorist attacks on Israel made since 2001 are blamed on Israel, or how. The American news media takes the terrorists’ words as truth without doing their jobs and discover that their versions of truth are lies.
In other words, since August 9th, 2001, very little (if anything) has changed.
From “A Personal Account of the Bombing” by Rabbi Binny Freedman
Her eyes, I think, will stay with me forever. Imploring, beseeching, full of so much sadness. I think the shock of where and how she was, was sinking in. I can’t begin to describe all that was in those eyes.
Yesterday; Thursday, August 9th the 20th of Av, on my way to work, I found myself walking down Yaffo street. Hungry, I decided to stop and grab a quick bite… at Sbarro’s Pizza.
In the past 5 years I have frequented this establishment exactly twice. Walking into Sbarro’s there is a larger area for sitting in the front, but the back looked a bit cooler and quieter, so I decided to grab a seat in the back. That decision saved my life.
Waiting on-line, when they brought me the baked Ziti I asked for, it was cold. So I asked the woman behind the counter if she’d mind warming it up. “Ein Ba’ayah”, no problem, she said with a smile. I will always wonder if that was her last smile on earth… A couple of moments later, a fellow from behind the counter came to the back with my baked Zitti. Then he started to speak to someone at one of the tables..
At about 2PM, I both felt & heard a tremendous explosion, and day turned into night. And then the screaming began. An awful, heartrending sound; the sound of people coming to terms with a whole new reality, of people not wanting to comprehend that life has changed forever. Those of us sitting in the back were spared, but I was afraid of panic, so I started yelling at everyone to quieten down; not to panic. The ceiling looked like it might cave in, but there is always the danger of a second explosion, detonated on purpose shortly after the first… But then I smelled smoke, and was suddenly afraid the restaurant might be on fire. So we started climbing our way through the wreckage to the front.
..There are no words to describe what the front of Sbarro’s Pizza looked like in the immediate aftermath of that explosion. A woman was lying near the steps to the back. Her eyes were staring straight at me, following me. So full of pain and longing, sadness and despair. I dropped down beside her trying to elicit a response to see if she could speak. And then I watched the life just drain out of her. I tried to get a pulse, to no avail. She died there, on the steps in front of me. She was lying by the table I had decided not to sit at…
Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi inspired, planned, and engineered the Sbarro attack and personally led the homicide bomber, Al Masri, to the target she had carefully selected at Jerusalem’s busiest intersection. She selected a pizza restaurant because it was located in the heart of Jerusalem on a hot summer vacation afternoon; therefore would be teeming with women and children. Tamimi instructed Al Masri to wait fifteen minutes before detonating the explosives to give her sufficient time to flee the scene safely. He followed her orders.
She told Jordanian T.V.
I do not regret what happened. Absolutely not. This is the path. I dedicated myself to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and Allah granted me success. You know how many casualties there were [in the 2001 attack on the Sbarro pizzeria]. This was made possible by Allah. Do you want me to denounce what I did? That’s out of the question. I would do it again today and in the same manner.
She had also expressed satisfaction at the sizable death count, including those of the children, and her earlier disappointment when initial reported lower death counts.
Six years later, in June 2007, a smiling Tamimi was featured in a New York Times review of an HBO documentary about Israeli prisons. The article didn’t mention that she helped to kill fifteen innocents. But that’s how the liberal media and politicians treat terrorists who kill Israelis, or as the media call them, “militants.”
Look at the picture above before you subscribe or renew your subscription to the N.Y. Times.
As eyewitnesses told the Independent, a British Newspaper 21 years ago:
After the blast, bodies lay sprawled on the ground. Many of the wounded, huge nails embedded in their skin, were covered in blood and their clothes had been blown off by the force of the explosion.
“All the glass blew out ‘boom!’ I saw two dead people, one with brains spilling out of his head, another with blood pouring out of his nose,” said 16-year-old Eliezer Vanzoari, his own arms smeared with blood. “I started to help move the people. I was shaking all over.”
An off-duty soldier, Naor Shara, happened to be walking by at the time. “The worst thing I saw, which I think will haunt me all my life,” he said “is a baby that was sitting in a stroller outside a shop and was dead. After the explosion, the baby’s mother came out of the store and started screaming hysterically. She saw her baby before her eyes dead.”
Sarit Barashy, who was shopping nearby, said: “I heard a loud boom and I came out of the store and saw a woman with a baby covered with blood. The street was full of blood.”
Ahlam Tamimi was captured and jailed for the murders but released from an Israeli jail in 2011— part of the prisoner exchange for the kidnapped Israeli, Gilad Shalit. To this day, she has shown no remorse for her mass murder. Today she lives in Jordan with a T.V. show on the Hamas T.V. network. The world is silent. After all, they were only Israelis.
Because some of the victims were American, the U.S. has been trying to extradite Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi from Jordan, where she lives, but Jordan refused.
Tamimi and her associates murdered sixteen innocent people. May the names and memories of the people they murdered always be for a blessing.
The primary blame for this massacre goes to the terrorists that planned and executed this massacre, Hamas, the terrorist group that the bombers associated with. Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinians, still celebrates the murderers as heroes.
Thanks to decades of appeasement, the radical Islamist world learned that terrorism is a legitimate means of political expression. That same appeasement directly led to 8/9/01 and 9/11/01. And the rise of al Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, and every other Islamist terror organization today.
The Sbarro bombing was not the first of these horrible murders, nor the deadliest. A little over a month later, another terrorist attack, this time in the United States, captured the world’s attention and drove the United States to become actively involved in the war against terror. After 9/11, for the first time in its history, a U.S. president treated a terror attack in Israel like any other act of war against civil society; politics didn’t allow that attitude to last long.
The supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (P.A.), run by President Abbas and his Fatah Party, takes some of the aid money from Western nations and uses it for a pay-for-slay program. The Palestinian aid money is given to terrorists and their families.
In 2018, The Taylor Force Act was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by President Trump. The act stops American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until the P.A. ceases paying blood money to individuals and their families who commit acts of terrorism. Ignoring the Taylor Force Act, passed by Congress when Trump was President,
In his first year as president, Biden gave the Palestinian Authority $140 million in a year with sixteen deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks.
On the 22nd anniversary of the cruel bombing of the Sbarro restaurant, we have a world that dishonors the memory of the victims.
Since he entered the oval office, Biden has renewed the terrorist appeasement that helped to produce the Sbarro Bombing, the September 11th attacks, and other radical Islamist terrorism worldwide. The U.S. and allies in the E.U., the U.N., supposedly an organization created to promote peace, and others are once again teaching the Palestinians that killing innocent Israeli citizens is a legitimate way to display political desires.
As Shakespeare wrote, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
Jeff Dunetz is editor/publisher of the blog "The Lid." and a contributor to Israel National News and The Jewish Press. He is a weekly Thursday Guest on The Schaftlein Report, a National Board Member of Herut North America and Herut Representative on The AZM Board
Ed note In memory of all the victims of the Sbarro massacre and with longing for my two sweetfaced teenage neighbors, Malki Roth and Michal Raziel, murdered there while enjoyng summer vacation. (R.Sylvetsky)