When terror strikes

February 5, 2016 by Emily Gian
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A father travels with three of his children along a road travelled daily. But this day is different to other days…writes Emily Gian.

Emily Gian

Emily Gian

Suddenly, Palestinian terrorists travelling in another car cut across the lanes and fire bullets at the car: at least ten. The father is injured in both legs and is considered to be “lightly to moderately injured”, one of his daughters is lightly injured. Miraculously, the two other children, including a 2-year-old girl, are unharmed. Even with his injuries, the father manages to get out of the car and waves down people to help. A number of cars simply continue driving until a doctor passes, calls an ambulance and sends them on their way to the hospital.

This is a familiar story. And it could be a story taken from the headlines of a number of terrorist attacks in the last few months since the current wave of terror began.

But this story did not occur in the last few months. In fact, it happened over twenty years ago.

Twenty years.

This particular story entered my heart when it came up in my newsfeed on the anniversary of the attack last November. The family is that of a dear friend who was one of the children in the car at the time, and the incident set off a lifetime of suffering for the father and the family.

And yet sadly, nothing much has changed. And in this current wave of violence, another 291 Israelis have been wounded and 28 have been murdered. Once an attack falls off the front page of the news, we often forget to think about what happened to those injured. Did anyone ever wonder what happened to that family attacked while trying to drive home over twenty years ago?

I came across an article, also back in November, in Ha’aretz which discussed how Ezra Schwartz, the American citizen who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in a shooting attack in the West Bank, was on his way to an illegal outpost in the West Bank before he was murdered. As if his destination in some way justifies his murder.

It is such a shame that Ha’aretz chose to take the story to this place because I can say with almost complete certainty that the terrorists who fired that gun at Ezra Schwartz did not have that information beforehand, nor did they murder him because he was on his way to an illegal outpost: they murdered him because he was Jewish.

Just like the terrorist who accidentally murdered Shadi Arafa, a Palestinian, in the same incident did so because he thought he was a Jew. And the two young Palestinian girls who stabbed a Palestinian in the streets of Jerusalem; they did that because they thought he was a Jew too.

And Dafna Meir, who was murdered in front of her children? Or Michal Fruman who was stabbed in her fourth month of pregnancy? What statement could one possibly make by killing a woman in front of her children? Or opening fire on a father and his children?

Perhaps it’s the same reason the media, the UN and world leaders don’t care much when Jews are dying or are injured. But they should care. Because today it’s the Jews and as we are already seeing, tomorrow it is the rest of the world.

Journalist Seth Frantzman summed it up well in his latest blog post “Stop pretending terror attacks don’t target Jews”.

I wish that as my friend’s family passed the twenty year “anniversary” of the attack, they could at least take comfort in the fact that the world, or at least their own backyard, is a different place than it was twenty years ago.

How difficult it must be for them to read the headlines and see that nothing has changed at all.

Emily Gian is the Israel Advocacy Analyst at the Zionist Council of Victoria and a PhD Candidate in Israeli Literature at the University of Melbourne


2 Responses to “When terror strikes”
  1. Leslie Segeal says:

    Gil Solomon certainly portrays the facts in the situations encompassing our Israel. They have to call a spade a spade and take the necessary action to combat & defeat this distasteful element in the minds of her enemies.
    We have suffered enough as a nation. Ignore the criticism of the rest of the world and secure Israel Militarily. We have a great country so let there be PEADE.

  2. Gil Solomon says:


    You go on with the establishment pathetic mantra how the UN and world leaders should care because today it is the Jews and tomorrow it is “the rest of the world”. Enough with this tired ghetto Jew pleading mantra.

    Let’s face reality.
    The leadership that should care and do something about it is Israel.
    Nothing has changed all right because one leadership after the other had the power to end this over 20 years ago but effectively did nothing. They had the power but not the will to do anything that mattered.

    Israel today under Netanyahu is an impotent political basket case.
    This “leader” recently appealed to the international community to do something to curtail the Abbas incitement of terror. He obviously hasn’t woken up to the fact that the international community could not care less about murdered Jews. The PA and Hamas need to be crushed and brought to their knees. But what does Netanyahu do, he keeps reiterating how he is prepared to meet that arch chief terrorist Abbas for “peace talks” with no preconditions! It is Israel’s job to end the murderous terrorism running rampant through the streets by dealing with terrorists in the only language they understand and in the process if that requires imposing martial law in many areas, incarceration and eventual deportation for many so called Arab “citizens” then so be it.

    Netanyahu even continues to babble on about a “two state solution” which any thinking person knows is dead and buried. He again recently wanted the Knesset to impose “sanctions” on Arab Knesset members (so called “citizens”) who incite terrorism, treason and hatred from within and without the walls of the Knesset. Is that the best he can recommend, “sanctions”?

    So Emily, it is time to wake up and face reality.
    The country that should be taking effective action is Israel, but Israel under Netanyahu, a man who is forever all talk and no action, is akin to a ship adrift on the high seas without a rudder or captain in sight. The real tragedy is that the country is in need of real leadership but there appears to be no one, anywhere.

    More recently Netanyahu stated if terrorists came out of tunnels and killed Jews, his response would be worse than in operation “Protective Edge”. So firstly, he is clearly telling the enemies of the country he will forever be reactive and never proactive when it comes to terror launched against citizens. Either way, Hamas must be trembling knowing full well that “Protective Edge” ended as usual prematurely and inconclusively. It was nowhere near the crushing military victory that it should have been. And as far as the tunnels are concerned it was that foolish nation known as Israel which, after the 2014 inconclusive Gaza conflict, allowed millions of tons of cement to enter Gaza primarily from Ramallah based cement factories. Maybe some fool in this administration thought that this time this material would not go into tunnel construction?

    What is wrong with Jews?
    Do we have some suicidal gene buried deep in our DNA?

    So please, in future articles try not to write so much as a pleading ghetto Jew but put criticism where it belongs and that is with Netanyahu and this useless Government. Only then may something hopefully positive be achieved.

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