Friday, October 08, 2004

Bombings in Egypt

Despite constant warnings from the Israeli Foreign Ministry to avoid Sinai,many of the estimated 12,000 - 15,000 Israelis who nonetheless crossed the border were among the 31 people reported killed in Sinai after multiple terrorist attacks last night.

My first sympathy is with the victims and their families and I wish for a speedy Refuah Shelemah for the wounded. I find myself struggling to comprehend however, that despite Israel's Intelligence Services warning about concrete information of planned terror attacks, so many people still chose to head for Egypt during the Sukkot break. How is it that we have reached a situation where we will not enter a cafe that does not have a security guard stationed outside but will cross into a neighbouring Arab country, where an attack can be carried out with ease? How is it logical that people will avoid crowded places in Israel (where they can be protected) for fear of suicide bombings, but will happily congregate, completely unprotected in an Arab country?

I'm not suggesting G-d forbid that the victims in some way deserved their fate, but surely it makes simple common sense not to put oneself in a position of extreme vulnerability, ignoring repeated warnings. All those holidaying in Sinai took a huge risk which for many has now backfired in the most horrific way possible. I don't believe in scaremongering and recognise the risks that I personally take when I go to visit my friends in Yehuda and Shomron (The West Bank), but would not do so if I was specifically warned against it.

The culture of holidaying in Egypt, which repeatedly condemns Israel in the UN whilst allowing smuggling of weapons and explosives across the border into Gaza to continue unchecked, is one that I cannot fathom. I have no desire to pour my money into the hands of a hostile nation - no matter how cheap it is to holiday there. A tragic cost has been paid by those who failed to heed the warnings - maybe now people will rethink.



Sarah said...


It seems to me that most Israelis continue to frequent crowded places. The cafes I go to are full all the time! I think they went to Sinai because Israel gives warnings all the time that do not turn into a bombing (for one reason or another), and because Israelis do not get weekends, and they need to vacation SOMEWHERE during their one precious week off, and if you've been to the Galil 6 times and you need a VACATION -- how many options are there of where to go? It's not that they don't listen to the warnings, but that if they heed the warnings, they'll go stir crazy, because there are warnings about stuff like this all the time.

I see your point, but the bottom line is that Israelis will live as they live. They are so used to terrorist warnings that the warnings have started to sound like white noise.

Gilly said...

I appreciate that people need to vacation somewhere but there's a lot of world out there. How safe that world is is very debatable but clearly there are some places which are closer to the firing line than others.