|STANDING NEXT TO THE TERRORIST|
Alexandr Valdman, “News of the Week”:
Eduard Varzorov, 22, a soldier in the Golani Brigade, survived the explosion at Tel Aviv’s Dolphinarium by miracle. He recalls what happened to him on June 1 with remarkable calm.
According to him, his two friends and he were outside the disco about ten minutes before the blast. As someone with a Special Forces training, he instantly zeroed in on a person whose looks were in utter contrast to those around him. He was an Arab of 30 or 32, looking very tense, carrying a tarbuki (an Arab drum) case that was clearly not empty. Suspecting trouble, Eddie pointed the Arab to one of the guards. The latter reacted calmly: “Don’t worry, it’s okay.” Still, Eddie approached the Arab. The latter sounded surprisingly friendly and explained he had been invited to play Arab music.
A moment later, everyone at the place heard that “music.” Eddie stepped a few feet away and heard the scream, “Allahu Aqbar!” He saw the Arab hitting the drum, and the blast that came after that. He saw the “musician” torn up in pieces; a moment later, every cell of Eddie’s being seemed to be enveloped in pain.
I saw the terrorist before the blast. My friends and I were a few feet away. I saw this kid, talking to the guard and holding a drum case. I don’t remember exactly what he was wearing, but I think it was some kind of stylish kaftan, wide pants, and sneakers. I noticed him because of the case. I kind of chuckled to my friends: What’s he gonna do with a drum at the disco? But he didn’t look like an Arab. More likely, a Bukhara Jew.
I didn’t see the bomber. But a guy told me he had seen him. He stood out — what kind of a person would be wearing a jacket like this, with a case like that, to a disco, and in such heat?
The guy said, I saw him and ran away. I was pissed off: Couldn’t you shout or something?
I was scared, he said.
Then I thought about it, and I understood. I realized that in a situation like this you don’t really know what to do: Do you scream? Or do you run away?