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Hamas Then, Hamas Now

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It was exactly 20 years ago. My wife and I were attending a Shabbat dinner in Madrid on June 1st when someone gave us the news.

A suicide bomber had struck a seaside discotheque, the Dolphinarium, in Tel Aviv. There were reportedly many casualties.

The final death toll was 21 youngsters, ages 14-25. They were mostly Russian-speaking immigrants out for a night of fun. Another 100 people were wounded.

The terrorist was armed and sent by Hamas. His aim was to kill as many Israelis, as many Jews, as possible.

His father, upon hearing the news, proudly declared his son to be a “martyr.”

The U.S. government pressured PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat to condemn the deadly attack, which he eventually did. Later, it was discovered that Arafat had personally signed an authorization slip to pay the terrorist’s family several thousand dollars — standard operating procedure for Palestinian leadership, even as it has chronically cried poverty to the outside world.

Within hours, an Israeli came to the site of the horrific attack and scrawled, in six words that capture the country’s indomitable spirit, “They won’t stop us from dancing.”

And someone else added, “This is our home.”

I visited the two adjacent monuments to the bombing the other day. On one, the names of the 21 young people are written in both Hebrew and Russian, with........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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