At least six dead at Tunisian synagogue blast

April 11, 2002

CONTENTS

1. "The world's oldest synagogue" targeted
2. 28th Passover bombing victim dies
3. Alona Spartova
4. At least six people killed in bombing at Tunisian synagogue
5. Several seriously injured in attack on Paris Jews
6. Another Jewish school bus attacked with stones in Paris
7. Barak agrees to help Israel's PR
8. Lebanon stops distribution of IHT over pro-Israel ad



"THE WORLD'S OLDEST SYNAGOGUE" TARGETED

[Note by Tom Gross]

I have twice visited this beautiful synagogue on the Tunisian island of Jerba in the 1990s. I was invited by the Tunisian government in my capacity as a journalist at a time when Tunisia was interested in establishing unofficial contacts with Israel.

Locals claim it is the world's oldest surviving synagogue. The original foundation stone is said to have been brought from Jerusalem after the destruction of the first Temple in 586 B.C.E.

The synagogue is located next to winding alleys in Jerba's old town, with little or no traffic, and I find it unlikely that such a large truck would accidentally be passing by.

Below I attach initial details of the attack, plus a number of other items.

-- Tom Gross

[Tom Gross adds two days later: The death toll is now significantly higher, at almost 20 dead, mainly tourists, in what appears to be an al-Qaeda linked attack. Amazingly, the New York Times is still saying that this attack was most likely an accident.]



[All news briefs below from Thursday, April 11, 2002]

28TH PASSOVER BOMBING VICTIM DIES

(Israel Radio)

Anna Yacobovitch, 78, of Holon, died today of wounds suffered in the Palestinian terror attack on Passover in Netanya's Park Hotel. She is the 28th victim of the bombing.

Mrs Yacobovitch had been on life support in Hadera's Hillel Yaffe Hospital since the attack two weeks ago. Her husband, son, and son in law were also killed in the bombing.

Others injured in the bomb still remain in critical condition.

 


ALONA SPARTOVA

Alona Spartova, who was critically injured (part of her brain was destroyed) in the Palestinian terror attack on the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv on June 1, 2001. will today, at Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Raanana, assist Israeli Health Minister Nissim Dahan dedicate the hospital's new pediatric wing.

Alona remains in severe condition. Twenty-one Israelis died in the attack, most of them teenagers. Several of them were Alona's friends.

Details can be found at http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0k0g0

 

AT LEAST SIX PEOPLE KILLED IN BOMBING AT TUNISISAN SYNAGOGUE

(AP / Ha'aretz extracts)

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Micahel Melchior said that an explosion Thurday at the historic Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Jerba, which killed at least six people, was a deliberate anti-Semitic attack.

"The wave of recent anti-Semitic events reached its peak today with the cruel murder of tourists at the ancient synagogue of Djerba in Tunis," said Melchior.

Foreign Ministry sources told Ha'aretz, that although Tunisian authorities immediately claimed the blast was an accident, they believe that it was a terror attack. "It is not located on a main road, it is an isolated place, and to get there you have to want to get there. There is a special road leading up to the synagogue," an Israeli government official said

Four of those killed were German tourists, said Perez Trabelsi, a Jewish leader who holds an annual pilgrimage to the historic Ghriba synagogue.

Helicopters were mobilized to bring the 20 injured to Jerba's regional hospital. They suffered from burns of varying degrees of seriousness.

 

SEVERAL SERIOUSLY INJURED IN ATTACK ON PARIS JEWS

(News agencies)

A group of unidentified thugs wielding iron bars and sticks attacked a Jewish soccer team in Paris today. Several of the players reportedly sustained serious injury in the attack.

In related news, the eldest son of Martin Luther King, Jr. has teamed up with a leading rabbi to protest their dismay to France's Consul-General to New York, Richard Duque, over increasing anti-Semitic attacks on French Jewry and its institutions.

Martin Luther King III, head of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of New York Boards of Rabbis, yesterday urged France to put an end to the attacks, and called on its leadership to educate its youth on the importance of multi-culturalism.

 

ANOTHER JEWISH SCHOOL BUS ATTACKED WITH STONES IN PARIS

(AP)

A school bus carrying Jewish students in Paris was bombarded with stones Wednesday, news reports said, drawing immediate condemnation from the Paris mayor and renewed pleas for religious tolerance. One school child was injured in the attack.

Synagogues and Jewish schools and cemeteries around the country have been targeted, often with firebombs, in the last two weeks. In the most serious case, a Marseille synagogue was burned to the ground on March 31.

Mayor Bertrand Delanoe issued a statement Wednesday saying he was "profoundly shocked by the intolerable aggression against a bus carrying students from a Jewish school" in the north of Paris.

 

BARAK AGREES TO HELP ISRAEL'S PR

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak last night agreed to help Ariel Sharon's government in international PR efforts. Another former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already agreed to serve as a PR emissary of the government.

 

LEBANON STOPS DISTRIBUTION OF IHT OVER PRO-ISRAEL AD

(AP)

The Daily Star newspaper, the International Herald Tribune's publishing partner in Lebanon, withheld today's issue of the IHT because of a pro-Israel advertisement it carries.

The decision by the English-language Daily Star comes a day after Lebanese authorities said they were preparing charges against the IHT over a similar advertisement it carried last week.

The advertisement in question was printed on Page 9 and entitled "An Open Letter to the Nations of Europe." It accuses European countries of "playing a detrimental role in the face of the murder of Jews in Israel".

Under Lebanese laws, a foreign publication that distributes in Lebanon cannot publish items deemed to be propaganda for Israel, a nation with which Lebanon considers itself to be at war.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.