THE ISRAEL PROJECT
Haifa’s Bomb Victim
Surfing To Heaven
Story and Photos by Tim Boxer
LIAD MOREH still finds difficulty trying to sleep. Nightmares consume her with images of youthful bodies shorn of their limbs, of fellow students screaming in pain as blood gush from openings in their stomach.
It all started, Eliad told me, when she was sitting in the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria of the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus on July 31, 2002.
She was having lunch with a close friend, David Diego Ladowski, who was about to leave for his first diplomatic posting at the Israeli Embassy in Peru.
Suddenly a bomb blasted the room, killing nine people, including David, and injuring 86, among them Eliad.
“I was wounded in the back of my head and neck,” Eliad said. “My right eardrum was perforated. I still have traces of metal in my legs.”
It was not a suicide attack. The mass killer ignited the bomb and fled to save his own life.
“Amazingly,” Eliad said, “he returned the next day to help in the clean-up of the cafeteria he destroyed. When the police identified him, they found he was an Israeli citizen who was employed as a carpenter on the campus. He belonged to a terrorist cell made up of Israeli Arabs.”
Eliad, who is 29, is engaged to a computer engineer and works as a research coordinator at the art museum of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
She related her story at a New York reception aboard the Mariner III at Chelsea Piers for the Israel Project, a non-profit organization founded by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi to educate the public about Israel.
Arye Mekel, Israel’s former UN deputy ambassador and newly named consul general in New York, vowed that Israel will not slack in its fight against terrorism. “Despite the UN,” he said, “Israel will continue to build its protective fence.”
Mekel introduced the victims of terror, among them Lea and Yossi Zur of Haifa. Their son Asaf (“Blondi”) was on a bus returning from the ORT Chana Senesh School on March 5, 2003, when a suicide bomber struck, killing 16 people.
“Asaf was 17 years old and loved to surf,” the father said. “His monument is shaped like a surf board.”
To learn more about Asaf visit www.blondi.co.il, which is dedicated in his memory.