May 17, 2006, - 12:13 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Yesterday, Daniel Wultz, the 16-year-old American victim of Islamic terror was buried in suburban Miami.
We wrote about Danny (here and here) and how he was one of 11 fatal victims of a Passover homicide bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel (more than 60 were seriously injured). A typical American teen, he loved basketball and wanted to become a rabbi. He was visiting his grandparents in Israel and had the misfortune of eating at Mayor’s Falafel, where the homicide bomber detonated himself. It was a joint operation between Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist groups.
After losing his leg, spleen, a kidney, and a lot of blood, he miraculously awoke from a coma, but the pain was too great, and he died on Sunday. Also on Sunday, Elias Ashkar, the Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the attack that resulted in Danny’s murder was killed by Israeli soldiers. An Islamic Jihad member who planned many such homicide bombings, he was Israel’s most wanted terrorist.
Danny fought for 27 days to survive. As we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11, we must recognize that Israel is facing 9/11s on a regular basis. And giving up land has not put an end to it.
The Jerusalem Post has a moving article on the memorial service held for him in Israel before he was flown home for burial:
“Our biggest revenge is showing that we are not stopping our lives,” said Yuval Wultz, Daniel’s cousin. . . .
“Daniel was 16 years old, and I need 16 years to tell you about Daniel, because every day was different,” said his father Tuly, who suffered wounds to his legs when the bomber blew up meters from where he and Daniel sat for lunch. “You left us, Daniel. You did a heroic, unbelievable fight, the fight of your life. But it was too much. I was honored to be your father, and privileged and lucky to have you for 16 years.”
Also remember, Lior Anidzar (also spelled Enidzer), buried on Sunday in Israel. Just 26 and married two weeks when the bombing occured, he was a poor, working-class Jewish auto mechanic, whose family emigrated from the Arab world to escape Islamic violence against them. But he could not escape it.
The New York Times, in a surprisingly well-done piece, profiled his funeral and the connection that grew between the families of these two young victims, whose lives by terrorists. Their lives connected only by their last meal at a falafel joint on Passover:
Lior Anidzar worked in a garage, for a dealer of car parts. He was a gregarious young man, and he wanted to open a restaurant of his own.
He was in the north on April 17, during the Passover holiday, but then stopped by the shop near the old Tel Aviv bus station where his wife, Maya, worked. They had been married two weeks, and had lived in their new apartment here for four days.
He wanted to take her to lunch, she said, but she was busy and not hungry. He went to the Rosh Hair restaurant, a working-class place of falafel and shwarma. . . .
Then Sami Salim Khamad, himself only 21, from Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, walked into the restaurant and blew himself up on behalf of a Palestinian militant group called Islamic Jihad. . . .
“I give myself,” Mr. Khamad said in the video issued by the militant group after the bombing, “for the sake of God.” . . .
Mr. Anidzar, with internal injuries and serious burns, but young and strong, held on for a month. He died early on Saturday.
“It’s been a horrible month, full of ups and downs,” said his brother, David, 35, known as Dudu. “I like to think we had him for another month.” He added: “And then he did say goodbye. He opened his eyes two weeks ago, and he said goodbye to us with his eyes.”
Even as his family and friends gathered on Sunday afternoon for the funeral, there was news, whispered among family members and the rabbi, that Daniel Wultz, a 16-year-old tourist from Florida who had been eating in the same restaurant with his father, was the 11th victim of that bombing to die.
Daniel’s father, Yekutiel, called Tuly, was lightly wounded, but Daniel had severe internal injuries, and his aorta was torn. More than 40 of his classmates at the David Posnack Hebrew Day School recently came to Israel on a class trip and visited the hospital where he lay to pray for his recovery. His body will be flown home to Weston, Fla., for burial on Monday.
David Anidzar said the two families had grown close. “We tried to encourage them, and they tried to encourage us,” he said. For Maya, “it was love at first sight,” said Drora Shimony, a friend of Maya’s family, the Halfons. Lior Anidzar and Maya Halfon dated for eight months, then decided to marry. At the traditional “henna” engagement ceremony, the couple, two Israelis of North African descent, were rapturous, Ms. Shimony said.
“I never knew he had so many friends,” David Anidzar said Sunday. “He was a naughty guy, and loved to party. I didn’t know how he was going to pay for so many people.”
They were all here again on Sunday, at the cemetery – fit young men, some in military uniform, most in T-shirts and jeans, some carrying motorcycle helmets, their hair slicked back, under their skullcaps, eyes hidden by sunglasses.
Maya has not picked up the wedding pictures yet, the family said, and she has stopped eating. In a black shirt and trousers, she looked terribly thin and lost, as her family hovered around her.
Lior Anidzar’s sister, Dalia Amar, is six months pregnant. She said she had been depressed about the pregnancy. “It was unplanned, I was unhappy,” she said. “Lior said, ‘Are you crazy? You’re depressed? You should be delighted!’ ”
She will name the baby Lior, she said. The name, common for either sex, means light. Asked what she hoped for the child, she said, “That he will be born in peace and security, and not be afraid all the time.”
At the funeral, the former chief rabbi of Israel and now chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, Israel Meir Lau, said Lior Anidzar “had fought for his life, and fought for his bride,” and the mourners wailed, and “now he’s gone to the gates of Heaven, and that’s a separation forever.” Here Rabbi Lau himself began to cry, and said, “A father saying Kaddish,” the prayer for the dead, “for his son!”
Then he shouted, “Who are these savages who do these things, and no one takes the hand outstretched for peace?” He stopped, then said: “Heaven is not for such people. For what do they give their lives? To kill innocents? This is religion? No, this is a distortion of all mercy and all religious feeling, and I want the Muslim clerics to tell the truth, that murder doesn’t bring paradise.”
The new health minister of Israel, Yaakov Ben-Yizri, intoned, “The people of Israel pay a heavy price, to hold onto our lives and our country.” He added: “We won’t just take it and be silent. We have a strong army. We have no choice: to see it, and hit them a real shock.” Lior Anidzar’s friend Alon said, “How did we get to this place?” Then he broke down: “We’ll never forget you, Lior, Lior. We all loved you. It’s hard to separate ourselves from you, Lior, Lior, Lior!”
The Hebrew word for sand is hol, and in this poor town of Holon, the cemetery, too, is sun-blasted sand, broken by headstones.
They brought Lior Anidzar out in a shroud, a prayer shawl and an Israeli flag, with no coffin, in the Israeli way, and mourners screamed as they put him into the sand.
His sister, Dalia, leaned down, rubbing her belly, then kissed a small stone and put it among the wreaths of flowers from the state and the city and the garage where he worked.
Daniel Wultz and Lior Anidzar, Blessed Be Their Memories. We will not forget them.
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