Sunday, March 21, 2021

  • Sunday, March 21, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Time, March 29, 1954:

At dawn one day last week, a bus pulled out of the stockade at Elath, Israel's southernmost outpost and single Red Sea port. It headed north into the Negeb desert, toward Beersheba and civilization, wheezing and jogging for hours through the cratered wasteland that comprises half of Israel. The 15 passengers chatted and compared souvenirs. Outside, vultures wheeled in the pale sky.

The bus reached treacherous Scorpion's Pass, 60 miles south of Beersheba, and started up the grade like a clumsy beetle. As it neared a stone monument, erected to honor the Jews who fell in 1948 to win the Negeb, it was struck by a volley of gunfire. Ephraim Fuerstenberg, the driver, slumped dead; the bus rolled to a stop. Four passengers raced wildly through the door; a second burst spat from a hillock, and they fell lifeless onto the bleached clay. A bottle of cologne broke in the pocket of Hanna Kirshenbaum, 29, mother of three, and mingled the scent of flowers with her blood.

Two khaki-clad Arabs raced for the bus, leaped inside and sprayed it with Tommy guns. A soldier saved Ephraim's five-year-old daughter by throwing himself across her body, but he was riddled. Then the Arabs grabbed revolvers and fired into anything that twitched. "I played dead," said Miriam Lesser, a waitress. "One of the Arabs dragged me up by my hair to see if I was alive, then shot at my head but missed." A moment later, the assassins were gone.

Behind them they left eleven dead and a woman and a child critically wounded. Three shammed death. For a long time they dared not move because they heard noises. Later they learned that the sounds had been made by a dying man's feet drumming the bus floor in his last agony. Ephraim's daughter whimpered a few times; her father and mother were dead. The vultures were swooping lower and lower when an army truck twisted up the road and onto the terrible scene.

Once again—as it does almost every day—blood flowed in mockery of the state of affairs that diplomats call the Palestine truce. 

Trackers traced the footsteps of approximately five people to Jordan, and the Jordanians then saw that the team split up, but they were never found. One of the IDs of a victim was found later in Gaza. 

This was before 1967, before "occupation." Today, "occupation" is an excuse for Palestinian terror, but there was no such excuse before "occupation" and there was plenty of terror. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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