It’s hard to feel something other than saddened, devastated and ultimately, weary. Because it happened again.
As we are lobbying for a moment of silence at the upcoming Opening Ceremony of the Olympics to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre, we are reminded, yet again, that Jew hatred is alive and flourishing. Forty years after Munich, on the anniversary of the synagogue bombing in Buenos Aires and only a few months since Jews were murdered outside a school in France, a suicide bomber blows up a bus of vacationing Israelis in Burgas, Bulgaria. Six people died, including five Israelis and the bus driver.
After the initial reports—devastating but distant (“bus bombing,” “fatalities”)—came the heart wrenching personal details of the dead. Best friends, new parents, newly pregnant. And now gone. Grieving (and injured) spouses left behind, along with children, parents, siblings and friends. Those of us who never even met the five victims—Maor Harush, Itzik Kolengi, Amir Menashe, Elior Priess and Kochava Shriki—mourn as well. We mourn for them, for their lives so abruptly ended, and for their families, left to carry the unbearable burden of their loss. And we mourn for ourselves, for our nation, because once more, lives were cruelly taken simply because they were Jewish lives.
There will be no moment of silence to commemorate the slain athletes. And, already, the world is forgetting about the Burgas victims as well. But we won’t. We can’t. And it’s sad, but not surprising, that we can’t depend on the nations of the world to commemorate our losses, our tragedies, as if they were their own. “International community” exists only as a catchphrase.
The victims, though, were our people, and we will mourn and grieve, commemorate and remember. For all those who lost their lives because of their Jewish identity, we will have thousands of moments of silence.