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||| June 1, 2011 |||
:: TEN YEARS LATER ::

June 1, 2011, The international day of protection of children.

Memory is alive...Митинг памяти
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||| 23:45 June 1, 2001 |||
:: We Ask for Peace - They Ask for Blood ::

June 1, 2001, Friday. The international day of protection of children. The Arabian terrorist - suicide-bomber from a grouping "Islamic Jihad" Said Khutari, 22 years old, from Kalkylia city tries to penetrate to a disco "Dolfi" on quay of Tel Aviv. He was asked by the security guard on an entrance, that at him for a kind and that in such kind that is going to do here. "To dance", the terrorist has answered. Him did not search, as the rights have no on it, but also have not let. Then he has exploded the explosive device in turn of children on an entrance...

You may have read newspaper accounts. But I can tell you - you have seen almost nothing. This editor visited the site of the terror attack this afternoon. There is no account that I have read or seen which has represented or has come even marginally close to the whole picture. Perhaps we have grown use to seeing the flashing blue and red lights of ambulances and police cars. Perhaps it's too easy for us to integrate the violent images of Hollywood with real life - and at the end of the day just turn off the TV.

I hold in my hand the shining remnants of a hardware store. Fresh pieces of metal picked up off the black asphalt ground from outside the Tel Aviv disco. Sharp washers, bent screws, small ball bearings and twisted wires. Part of the deadly elements which escaped from an explosive device claiming 21 lives. Pieces of metal which flew for up to 300 meters unless they were stopped short by a human body. Any human body. For these pieces of metal could not distinguish between Jew and Arab, White or Black, Russian or American. Nor could the Palestinian suicide bomber distinguish between civilized values of life and death. With blind hatred and religious obsession, the young Palestinian was most likely dropped off in front of the disco, calmly carrying a 40 pound load of explosives and lethal metal parts directly into a waiting crowd of teenage girls. Innocents who were most likely concerned with their make-up, their clothes and the opportunity to dance with a cute guy, catch a few smiles.

As you approach the disco, you can see that it is sandwiched between other stores directly on the beach. You can't miss the large memorial Israeli flag draped in front of the area. You can't miss two makeshift memorial sites - one very small by the main road running parallel to the building, the second - a large memorial sitting directly in front of the disco. It looks like oil stains on the parking lot entrance to the disco, but it is actually teenage blood. Covering many of these dark stains are flowers, black and green wreaths, color pictures of the dead, freshly lit candles and weeping relatives and friends of the victims. The tears have not yet dried. Looking up from the memorial site, you can see dozens of small holes about an inch deep on the outside blue walls of the disco building. Scattered for about 40 yards in every direction. Standing against the building and looking at these fresh puncture marks on the wall, you measure your body up against the height of these holes. You quickly realize with fright that if you stood in the right or the wrong place - one of these metal objects would have hit your foot, knees, stomach, chest and head.

I'm approaching the wall of the of the disco, touching the holes in the concrete and trying to find out where exactly the spot of explosion was. I'm unable to imagine it's appalling strength . I find the spot on the asphalt and suddenly feel that the entire space is broken here. Strong summer rays of the sun intensify this effect. Intoxicating smell of burning and blood. Something awful happened here, something that my mind refuses to accept.

In this place which embraces such potent natural beauty on the Tel Aviv beachfront - the warm sun, a steady cool breeze and the sound of waves brushing up against the sand, an area silence is broken by people crying. One person says: "This was an act of barbarism". Another responds: "The barbarians would not have even does this."

Across the street and behind a high mobile "Bungy" jumping amusement ride with it's neon lights glowing, one can see a Muslim holy place, it's tan, round brick tower overshadowed by shining, modern Tel Aviv skyscrapers. You can easily understand how one of the members of this Holy place may have told Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PA: "We have a target for you". You try not to generalize - but the physical logistics are just too damn clear.

As you walk away from the disco's blood stained parking lot, you can't help but think how, how can one person callously commit such a cold, cruel atrocity to others - innocents whose only political agenda was how their lipstick and nails appeared. You pass one of the small makeshift memorial sites as you distance yourself from this horror movie and come across a few signs in English. Black magic marker on white paper held up to knee level by thin wooden sticks. One sign reads: "We Ask for Peace, They Ask for Blood". The sign bears no hatred. It reflects only a clear reality of two very different cultures converging. One brought up to value and preserve life, the other conditioned and destined to hate and destroy. The word incitement takes on new meaning. And you know it will now take several years of understanding and objective education for both sides to entertain the word "trust" and shake hands. You wonder, how many lives will be wasted in this period.

You look down at the white sandy beach and blue, white breaking waves knowing that the beauty and peace there is eternal. You wish, you pray that only some, just a particle of that natural peace could ride a wind into the souls of Israel's neighbors.


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