NOTE ON EILAT BOMBING
Yesterday’s dispatch was not delivered by some servers. It can be read here. It was also linked to by several other sites such as www.honestreporting.co.uk/articles/critiques/BBC_Under_Fire.asp
and adloyada.typepad.com/adloyada/2007/01/will_the_real_p.html and littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=24201_And_Again&only.
There was some disgraceful misreporting by certain correspondents for CNN International and BBC World Service yesterday. In covering the Eilat suicide bomb, they insinuated that the 30 Palestinians that have been killed in recent days were killed by Israel (when in fact none of them were) and thereby suggested that the Eilat bomb was some kind of justifiable revenge.
A PAKISTANI VICTIM
The report on CNN about the suicide bombing in Pakistan which came after the one about the suicide bombing in Israel was a straight news report. The suicide bomber in Pakistan, who killed a policeman, was referred to as a terrorist (unlike the bomber of civilians in Israel) and CNN made no kind of phony apologetics for the perpetrators in Pakistan. No qualifications. No additions. Just straight reporting.
A “GREAT HERO”
The murdered Israelis (as not mentioned on CNN or BBC) were aged 26, 27 and 32. The explosives were Soviet-made (of a kind that are widespread in Gaza and were purchased with international aid money donated to the Palestinian Authority). The parents of the bomber told Palestinian media today that their son was a “great hero.” His brother added: “Nothing can be more glorious than for him to become a Shahid (martyr). We are all so happy that Allah gave him this privilege.”
The target of the bomber was a much more crowded location in downtown Eilat rather than the bakery that he blew himself up in as the police closed in on him. For more on the dramatic events leading up to the bomb, please see the final article in this dispatch below: “Driver who picked up terrorist considered running him over” (Ha’aretz, Jan. 30, 2007).
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he will not order any significant military response to the suicide bombing in Eilat and Israel will maintain its ceasefire despite the rain of Qassam rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel.
-- Tom Gross
1. Saddam’s victims, and Hitler’s
2. The first Arab to be named as a Righteous Gentile
3. For some Haifa residents, “The war that hasn’t ended”
4. The Julius Hirsch stadium
5. “Iraq learns from Yad Vashem” (Yediot Ahronot, Jan. 24, 2007)
6. “Holocaust honour for Arab who saved Jews from Nazis” (UK Times, Jan. 24, 2007)
7. Haifa Univ. study of impact of Lebanon war on Holocaust survivors (Jan. 21, 2007)
8. “Exhibition reveals secret history of Nazi sex slaves” (Independent, Jan. 24, 2007)
9. “Berlin stadium named for Jewish athlete” (JTA, Jan. 23, 2007)
10. “Yad Vashem to collect names from FSU” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2007)
11. “Holocaust remembered in Greek city where Jews once thrived” (AP, Jan. 29, 2007)
12. “Driver who picked up terrorist considered running him over” (Ha’aretz, Jan. 30, 2007)
This dispatch concerns the Holocaust. The next dispatch will deal with contemporary anti-Semitism. Remembrance of the Holocaust and contemporary Holocaust denial (which in the Middle East is often state-sponsored) form an important backdrop to attitudes on Israel in the Muslim and wider world, which is why I occasionally include articles on this subject on this list / website.
SADDAM’S VICTIMS, AND HITLER’S
The first article below, from Israel’s best-selling newspaper Yediot Ahronot, reports that “members of an Iraqi organization planning to perpetuate the memory of thousands of Saddam Hussein’s victims secretly visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington and the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem last year.”
The special team has been recording testimonies of survivors who managed to escape Saddam’s atrocities. Thirty members of it also met in the U.S. with Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg, who for many years has been documenting Holocaust survivors’ testimonies.
The head of the Iraqi memorial team, Dr Kenan Makiya, a lecturer at Harvard University who divides his time between Baghdad and Boston, says that while “it is hard to make a comparison between the Iraqi victims and the Holocaust of Jews in Europe, there are some common denominators”. “Saddam treated some of his people in the same way Hitler treated the Jews. In both cases it was a tragedy, and in both cases there were innocent victims.”
THE FIRST ARAB TO BE NAMED AS A RIGHTEOUS GENTILE
This is a follow-up to the dispatch The Holocaust’s Arab heroes (& Polish righteous Gentile recommended for Nobel Prize) (Oct. 11, 2006).
Khaled Abdelwahhab, a wealthy Tunisian landowner, is poised to become the first Arab to be officially named a Righteous Gentile. The award, presented by Yad Vashem, is granted to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Among the most famous persons to receive this honor are Raoul Wallenberg and Oskar Schindler.
Abdelwahhab rescued 23 Tunisian Jews as they sheltered in an olive oil factory after being thrown out of their homes by German soldiers. He feared that the women were going to be put to work in a brothel and gave them sanctuary for the remaining six months of the German occupation.
The story of Abdelwahhab was uncovered by Robert Satloff who was writing a book titled “Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands.”
In the Times of London article (attached below), Satloff comments that “These stories are only coming to light now because we haven’t looked too hard before at the Holocaust experience in Arab countries. But another reason is that Arabs who did save Jews didn’t want to be found. They are reluctant to admit that they saved Jews.”
FOR SOME HAIFA RESIDENTS, “THE WAR THAT HASN’T ENDED”
Researchers at the University of Haifa have found “relatively high levels of depression, somatization and loneliness among Holocaust survivors who were residents of Haifa and northern Israel during last summer’s war with Hizbullah.”
The findings were presented by the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa at a recent conference entitled “The War That Hasn’t Ended – Holocaust Survivors in Traumatic Situations in Israel.”
The survey found that common responses to the researchers’ questions were: “I keep taking tranquilizers,” “I don’t have anything to live for,” “If I had the courage, I would kill myself.”
In addition the study “demonstrated the need for organizing and developing a program specifically for elderly Holocaust survivors that will answer their basic functional and emotional needs.”
THE JULIUS HIRSCH STADIUM
A new exhibit at the former Ravensbrück concentration camp’s museum, north of Berlin breaks a taboo on how hundreds of (mainly non-Jewish) women, written off as “antisocial elements” by the Nazis, were arrested, dispatched to camps and forced to work as prostitutes for slave laborers during the Third Reich. The exhibition reveals how the SS delighted in making lesbians work as prostitutes in an attempt to “convert” them. For more, see the fourth article below, from the Independent.
The fifth article below reports that a Berlin stadium has been renamed after a German Jewish soccer star who was murdered in Auschwitz. The Am Eichkamp stadium in West Berlin will now be called the Julius Hirsch stadium. Hirsch was a star player early in the 20th century and a member of the 1912 German Olympic team in Stockholm.
The sixth article reports that “Yad Vashem and the Israeli Immigrant Absorption Ministry have embarked on a project to record the names of Soviet-era Jews who perished in the Holocaust.” Yad Vashem currently has 3.1 million names of Jewish Holocaust victims in its database, of which only 350,000 are of Soviet Jews. It is estimated that only 20 percent of the victims from Soviet areas have been recorded, as opposed to about 80 percent from Western European countries and about 40 percent from nations like Hungary, Poland and Romania.
The seventh article below concerns Sunday’s tribute Sunday to tens of thousands of Greek Jews killed by the Nazis. Greek Jews suffered some of the worst massacres anywhere in the twentieth century. Among the perpetrators was Kurt Waldheim, later appointed as UN Secretary-General and voted Austrian president even after his full role in the Holocaust was exposed. Anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are still widespread in Greece today, even though few Jews remain.
For more on Waldheim, see: UN paying disgraced Waldheim $125,000 per year (Oct. 14, 2002).
-- Tom Gross
“SADDAM TREATED SOME OF HIS PEOPLE IN THE SAME WAY HITLER TREATED THE JEWS”
Iraq learns from Yad Vashem
Members of Iraqi team perpetuating memory of Saddam Hussein’s crimes secretly visit Yad Vashem
By Smadar Perry
January 24, 2007
Members of an Iraqi organization planning to perpetuate the memory of thousands of Saddam Hussein’s victims secretly visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington and the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem last year, Yediot Ahronot can reveal.
The report noted that a special team of Iraqi exiles has for the past year been recording testimonies of survivors who managed to escape Saddam’s atrocities. One of the most prominent testimonies among the hundreds recorded for the planned Iraqi memorial museum, is the one by Avrahan Moshli from Baghdad, an elderly businessman who was apprehended, tortured and who managed to escape and flee to Europe.
It also became known that the 30 members of the Iraqi memorial team met with Jewish film director Steven Spielberg, who is also documenting Holocaust survivors’ testimonies.
During their visit to Israel about a year ago, a member of the Iraqi team met with families of former Iraqis residing in Israel. The head of the Iraqi memorial team, Dr Kenan Makiya who arrived in Israel escorted by two other persons, is lecturer at the Harvard University and he lives in Baghdad and the US.
“It is hard for me to make a comparison between the stories of the Iraqi victims and the Holocaust of Jews in Europe,” Makiya said.
“Yet, there are common denominators,” he added, “Saddam treated some of his people in the same way Hitler treated the Jews. In both cases it was a tragedy, and in both cases there were innocent victims.”
“HE WOULD BE THE FIRST ARAB TO BECOME A RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS”
Holocaust honour for Arab who saved Jews from Nazis
By David Sharrock
The Times (of London)
January 24, 2007
An Arab who saved the lives of two dozen Jews during the Holocaust is about to receive an unprecedented honour from Israel. Khaled Abdelwahhab, a wealthy Tunisian landowner, is poised to become the first Arab to be celebrated as a Righteous Gentile.
The award, presented by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance authority, is granted to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust in which six million died.
More than 21,000 people have been granted the title of Righteous Among the Nations since it was established in 1963, with Oskar Schindler probably the best known. But, in spite of stories of heroism and friendship recorded by members of North Africa’s once-large Jewish community, no candidate has emerged from the Arab Muslim world.
The story of Khaled Abdelwahhab was uncovered by an American Jewish expert on Arab and Islamic politics who was researching for a book.
A survivor told Robert Satloff that Abdelwahhab had rescued 23 Jews, including her family, as they sheltered in an olive oil factory after being thrown out of their homes by German soldiers. He feared that the women were going to be put to work in a brothel and gave them sanctuary for the remaining six months of the German occupation.
Interviewed at her home in Los Angeles a few weeks before her death, Anny Boukris said that Abdelwahhab had discovered that German officers were planning to take her mother, Odette, to work in the brothel they had set up in Mahdia, on the east coast of Tunisia.
Abdelwahhab’s father was a good friend of the Boukris family, so he drove straight to the olive oil factory and told all the Jews sheltering there that their lives were in danger and that they must go with him immediately.
He settled them all at his family farm in the village of Tlelsa, 20 miles from Mahdia, and they remained there until British troops ended the German occupation in April 1943.
Abdelwahhab was 32 when the Germans arrived in Tunisia and was described by Dr Satloff as a bon vivant, blessed with Hollywood film-star looks – and an eye for the ladies. His father was a former minister to the court of the Tunisian bey [sovereign].
Abdelwahhab studied art and architecture in New York and lived for a time in Paris. He married a Venezuelan opera singer in Spain and she became the mother of one of his two daughters. He died in 1997 at the age of 86.
Estee Yaari, of Yad Vashem, told The Times that a file on Abdelwahhab had been opened and would be considered by a commission of experts led by a supreme court judge. “It looks as if there is enough material to move this forward and he would be the first Arab to become a Righteous Among the Nations,” she said.
Dr Satloff, executive director of the Institute for Near East studies in Washington, uncovered the story of Abdelwahhab’s heroism while working on a book that he hoped would break “the conspiracy of silence” in the Arab world surrounding the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.
Dr Satloff, who flew to Israel to meet Yad Vashem officials yesterday, said: “These stories are only coming to light now because we haven’t looked too hard before at the Holocaust experience in Arab countries. But another reason is that Arabs who did save Jews didn’t want to be found. They are reluctant to admit that they saved Jews.”
More than 1.5 million Jews lived in northern Africa during the Second World War and were subject to persecution by the Nazis and their allies there, although few were sent to the death camps in Europe.
HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS IN TRAUMATIC SITUATIONS IN ISRAEL
University of Haifa study of impact of Lebanon war on Holocaust survivors
January 21, 2007
Research at the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa reveals:
A quarter of the Holocaust survivors living in northern Israel that were released from hospitalization shortly before the war were in immediate need of help during the Second Lebanon War, but the some of the local authorities were unaware of their needs.
Researchers found relatively high levels of depression, somatization and loneliness among Holocaust survivors who were residents of Haifa and northern Israel during this summer’s war. The research was conducted by Prof. Ariela Lowenstein, Dr. Dana Parilutzky, Ms. Batya Rappaport and Ms. Dafna Halperin of the Center for Research and Study of Aging at the University of Haifa, conducted on behalf of the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel. The research was presented at a conference at the University of Haifa on January 18, 2007, entitled: “The War That Hasn’t Ended – Holocaust Survivors in Traumatic Situations in Israel”.
The study found a quarter of the survivors in immediate need of personal care at home, food or medicine. “The study demonstrated the need for organizing and developing a program specifically for elderly Holocaust survivors that will answer their basic functional and emotional needs,” stated Prof. Lowenstein, head of the Center for Research and Study of Aging.
The Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel provides services for Holocaust survivors after hospitalization. Following the Second Lebanon War, which was an especially traumatic event for the elderly survivors living in northern Israel, the foundation decided to initiate a survey to evaluate the emotional state of survivors who had recently been released from hospitals and outline their instrumental needs.
The survey identified three main areas of need: home care, medical care and medications and food supplies. Many home care workers left the area fearing the dangers of the Katyusha rockets. Many medical clinics were closed during the war, rendering medical care and medications inaccessible. The lack of mobility of some of these elderly survivors prevented them from acquiring adequate food supplies. About a third of the survivors found themselves living alone, unable to take care of their basic needs. The study found 25% of the survivors in immediate need of assistance and that the some of the local authorities were unaware of these needs. Following the survey, the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel promoted coordinated efforts with the municipalities, local associations for the aged and volunteers to provide immediate assistance to those in need.
The survey also found relatively high rates of, depression, somatization and loneliness among survey participants. Common responses to the researchers’ questions were: “I keep taking tranquilizers,” “I don’t have anything to live for,” “If I had the courage, I would kill myself.”
Prof. Lowenstein reported that researchers from the Center for Research and Study of Aging together with the Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors in Israel are currently working on a program that will train professional teams to deal with the special needs of Holocaust survivors in traumatic situations, based on the findings of the survey.
EXHIBITION BREAKS TABOO ON NAZI SEX SLAVES
Exhibition reveals secret history of Nazi sex slaves
By Tony Paterson
January 24, 2007
There are no photographs and no names, just scores of faded brown index cards with anonymous prisoner numbers, dates of birth, and the hideously functional term “brothel woman” handwritten in black ink on the bottom right-hand corner of each form.
The files, stacked on desks in a former garage for SS guards at the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp museum in Germany, provide evidence about one of the most sordid but least known aspects of Nazi rule. They recall how hundreds of women, written of as “antisocial elements” by the Hitler regime, were arrested, dispatched to camps and forced to work as prostitutes for slave labourers during the Third Reich.
The plight of the hundreds of women who suffered this fate is the subject of an exhibition which opened last week at the former Ravensbrück camp’s museum, north of Berlin. It breaks a taboo on an issue which has remained a virtual secret since the end of the Second World War.
“Hardly any other part of concentration camp history has been so repressed and so tainted with prejudice and distortion,” said Insa Eschebach, the museum’s director. “The women prisoners who were forced to work as prostitutes remained silent after 1945. Hardly any applied for financial compensation because talking about their experiences was too degrading for them.”
Yet with the help of testimonies by former Ravensbrück prisoners, excerpts from Nazi SS files and accounts by camp guards, the exhibition manages to capture the horror and degradation suffered by the Third Reich’s sex slaves.
Antonia Bruhn, a former inmate at Ravensbrück, where most of the prostitutes were recruited, recalls in a video interview how the women were lured with promises that they would be set free after six months, fed fresh food and vitamins and tanned with sun lamps to improve their looks. Unlike other women prisoners they were allowed to keep their hair. “After they were primped up, they were all tried out by a group of SS guards in the camp operating theatre. Then they were sent off to the concentration camps to work. Of course none of them were set free as the SS had promised.”
The women were forced to work at 10 camps, including Auschwitz, from 1942 until 1945. In special brothels equipped with tiny “copulation cells” the women were obliged to receive eight men a day and up to 40 each at weekends. Sex was only permitted lying down in 20-minute sessions and was controlled by SS guards who watched through spy holes.
Irma Trksak, another inmate, recalled the victims returning from a six-month stint at one camp. “They came back as wrecks. God knows how many men they had had to sleep with. They were ruined, sick and many died afterwards,” she said.
The idea was conceived by Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi SS chief, as an incentive for slave labourers. But it was also designed to combat the spread of homosexuality in all-male labour camps. German prisoners were the chief beneficiaries.
The exhibition reveals how the SS delighted in making lesbians work as prostitutes in an attempt to “convert” them. Homosexuals were also forcibly sent to have sex with prostitutes.
On their return many of the prostitutes were subjected to medical experiments and several died as a result.
BERLIN STADIUM NAMED AFTER JULIUS HIRSCH
Berlin stadium named for Jewish athlete
Jewish Telegraph Agency
January 23, 2007
A Berlin stadium was renamed after a German Jewish soccer star who died in Auschwitz.
In ceremonies on Sunday, the Am Eichkamp stadium in former West Berlin was dedicated to Julius Hirsch.
The decision was prompted by an incident in April 2006 when Jewish Maccabi athletes from four countries took part in the European Maccabi Football Trophy there.
The Berlin Maccabi team had wanted their home stadium to be named for Hirsch, but local sport associations opposed the idea, saying Hirsch had nothing to do with the location and in fact never played in Berlin.
Hirsch, a star player early in the 20th century, was a member of the 1912 German Olympic team in Stockholm.
After the Nazis came to power in 1933, his athletic feats were erased from the record books. Hirsch was killed in 1943.
YAD VASHEM TO RECORD NAMES OF SOVIET JEWISH VICTIMS OF NAZIS
Yad Vashem to collect names from FSU
By Amir Mizroch
The Jerusalem Post
January 27, 2007
Yad Vashem and the Immigrant Absorption Ministry have embarked on a project to record the names of Soviet-era Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
Their emissaries will spend a month attempting to visit the roughly one million Russian immigrants in Israel to create a database of names, the ministry said.
Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze’ev Boim said there was a need to “knock on every door” to ask for information about the people who were murdered in Nazi-occupied Soviet territory during World War II.
The “Immortalization Month” campaign aims to gather as many names as possible of the hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews who perished. Yad Vashem has 3.1 million names of Jewish Holocaust victims in its database, of which only 350,000 names belong to Soviet Jews.
The Nazis and their collaborators murdered six million Jews. The low proportion of victims from the Soviet Union whose names have been recorded led Yad Vashem and the ministry to launch the campaign.
According to the ministry, only 20 percent of the victims from Soviet areas have been recorded, as opposed to about 80% from Western European countries and about 40% from nations like Hungary, Poland and Romania.
For example, Yad Vashem has the names of only 7,000 Jews murdered at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, although it is known that some 33,000 Jews were murdered there.
Boris Maftzir, who heads the project for Yad Vashem, lists several reasons for the dearth of recorded names from the former Soviet Union.
During Soviet times it was impossible to commemorate and document the Holocaust, and there was no access to archival material. In addition, the large migration of Soviet Jews in the ’90s hampered efforts to collect information about those who perished, Maftzir says.
Another reason names were not readily accessible, according to Maftzir, was that the Germans had only begun to develop their systematic killing machine when they invaded these areas, and, despite tallying the number of dead, did not document their victims’ names.
To date, Yad Vashem has collected the names of 30,000 victims from Jews living in Russia and the Ukraine. Only several thousand names have been documented as a result of questioning Russian-language immigrants in Israel. Yad Vashem estimates that many of the missing 3,000,000 names are of Jews from Soviet lands.
The project will be conducted during February all over the country, especially in areas with large concentrations of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. They will be presented with a “Witness Document” questionnaire.
Officials from the ministry will focus on its branch offices, immigrant centers, clubs, housing projects, libraries, local authorities, as well as working through immigrant organizations.
The questionnaires, which will collect biographical information about victims from the general public, survivors and the families of victims, will be collated and kept in the hall of names at Yad Vashem.
The Absorption Ministry is also recruiting dozens of volunteers from the immigrant community to conduct interviews with survivors and relatives of victims.
PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE DEAD OF “THE PEARL OF ISRAEL”
Holocaust remembered in Greek city where Jews once thrived
The Associated Press
January 29, 2007
Families of Holocaust survivors paid tribute Sunday to thousands of Greek Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II.
“It is our duty to help future generations by promoting values such as respect for human rights, freedom and solidarity and keeping away from hate and intolerance,” said David Saltiel, the president of the Jewish community in Thessaloniki.
Nearly 90 percent of Greece’s 80,000 Jews were wiped out during the Holocaust. Most of them had lived in this port city once known as the pearl of Israel. Some 1,500 Greek Jews live in Thessaloniki today.
“It created a dent in the city’s demography with whole neighborhoods losing their inhabitants,” said Zanet Battinou, Director of the Jewish Museum in Athens. “These are communities that will not recover from this”.
Many Greek Jews trace their origins back to Sephardic ancestors that took refuge in Thessaloniki after being driven out of Spain in 1492.
The Greek government said International Holocaust Day – formally marked on Saturday – should serve as a strong warning against the danger of racism and against similar atrocities ever taking place again.
“The right to remember and educate generations to come on the Holocaust is evident and nonnegotiable,” Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said Friday. “It constitutes an underlying condition for avoiding similar genocides in the future.”
A vigil was held on Sunday at the city’s Holocaust monument, followed by speeches by the government officials and the head of Thessaloniki’s Jewish community.
Battinou said Holocaust remembrance remains important, to remind Greeks “there are no solutions so bleak that we cannot do the right thing.”
She added: “We must always find the strength to do what is right (as) values such as democracy and freedom can easily slip from our fingers.”
Greece was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1944. The Greek national resistance took on the Jewish cause, organizing safety routes up to the mountains and out to the Middle East.
January 27, the Holocaust Remembrance Day, marks the day in 1945 when the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – where more than 1.5 million people perished, most of them Jewish – was liberated by Soviet troops.
EILAT DRIVER PLACED IN TERRIBLE DILEMMA
Driver who picked up terrorist considered running him over
By Nir Hasson
January 30, 2007
“I determined where he would get out, I determined that these people would be killed rather than others,” said Yossi Voltinsky, the man who drove the suicide bomber in yesterday’s attack in Eilat and let him off a few minutes before he exploded. Voltinsky was “99 percent sure” his passenger was a suicide bomber. He considered crashing his car or running over the man but did not “because of the 1 percent chance that maybe he was innocent, maybe a crazy, how would I be able to live with that?” Voltinsky said.
Voltinsky, an internal auditor for the Isrotel hotel chain and a lieutenant colonel (Res.), met the terrorist a few minutes after leaving his home in northern Eilat. “I saw a man dressed in red, I didn’t think about him, I often give rides to guys to the hotel area. As soon as I looked at him in the rearview mirror, I saw that something was wrong - he wore a windbreaker zipped to the neck, with a big backpack strapped on. He kept one hand in his pocket, his eyes darted around, he was very nervous. He acted very unnaturally. I asked him where he was headed, he didn’t answer, just motioned for me to keep going. I asked, ‘Where are you from?’ He didn’t answer. I realized at that point I was transporting a hostile person, a terrorist or a robber.”
Voltinsky decided to take a detour to keep the terrorist from reaching a crowded area. “I couldn’t drive to the police station because it’s inside the city, and I didn’t want to go to a checkpoint because I knew that as soon as he saw soldiers, he’d blow up,” Voltinsky said.
A few minutes later, after Voltinsky again asked the man where he wanted to go, he answered, “Haifa.”
“He had a strong Arab accent, I knew he wasn’t Bedouin, I began speeding up to make him suspicious of me. I drove to a remote area and released my seat belt so I could move if I needed to. He sensed everything I did and sat up straight. I thought about using my phone, I was 99 percent sure he was a terrorist.” That was when Voltinsky considered flipping his car over, but then the man motioned for him to stop.
Voltinsky let the man out at the outskirts of the city, about a kilometer from the site of the bombing, and called the police with a description of the man. He tried following him, but lost his trail. A few minutes later the police called Voltinsky to tell him about the explosion and ask him to come and identify the terrorist.
“It was only then that I realized that others were killed. I saw the bodies minutes after the explosion. It is a horrible feeling.”