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July 14, 2005 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-07-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Passengers on this undamaged London
subway train were evacuated through
smoky tunnels. A passenger took this
photo with a cell phone.

Death in the

Streets

Fearful but still resolute, Jews in Britain carry on after blasts.

DANIELLA PELED

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

London

It

abbi Barry Marcus spent many years living in
Israel, but he never came as close to a terrorist
atrocity as he did in London on July 7.
Marcus, the rabbi of the Central Synagogue on
Great Portland Street, was cycling across Tavistock
Square when he heard and felt "an incredible blast."
Just yards away, a bomb on the No. 30 bus had
exploded. "I saw the roof of the bus go up in a plume
of white smoke and all the windows of the building
nearby go through," said the South African-born
Marcus, who holds the Israel portfolio in Orthodox
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' cabinet. "I knew in my
gut it was a bomb."
The tranquil central London square — a place
devoted to peace, with a Holocaust memorial standing
.near a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and a cherry tree
from Hiroshima — had turned into a vision of hell
strewn with broken glass and severed body parts. Blood
was splashed high up against the wall of the nearby
headquarters of the British Medical Association.
"There was an incredible amount of glass and mas-
sive lumps of human flesh all over the place," Rabbi
Marcus said. "People were almost glued to the back
part of the bus, the seats in front blown into their chest
cavities. There was absolute mayhem. In my mind, I
saw all the images of Israeli buses blown up and
thought, 'It is now here. The barbarians are now at our
gates.
With most of the United Kingdom's 290,000 Jews
living in London, it was with a sense of inevitability
that the community awaited details of possible Jewish
casualties.

At least 49 people are known to have died. With
more than 20 still missing and more than 60 of 700
injured are still being treated at hospitals, the number
of deaths is expected to rise. The first Jewish death offi-
cially confirmed was Susan Levy, 53, a mother of two
from Hertfordshire, who was killed on her way to
work in the subway-train explosion near King's Cross.
"We are all distraught at her needless loss, and our
thoughts and prayers are also with the many other
families affected by this horrendous tragedy," said her
husband, Harry, a taxi driver, who described Levy as a
"much-loved wife and mother."
Other Jewish families continue an agonizing wait.
Miriam Hyman, 32, a freelance picture editor, called
her father from King's Cross Station at 9:45 a.m.
Thursday to say she was all right. That was the last
anyone has heard from her.
Hyman, from Hampstead Garden Suburb in north
London, was traveling to work at Canary Wharf. It
was typical of her character, her mother said, that the
attacks didn't deter her. "She phoned work to say she
was going to be late," Hyman's mother said. "She was
still obviously determined to get in. I think she didn't
understand the seriousness of what was going on."
The family of Anat Rosenberg, a 39-year-old Israeli,
arrived in the U.K. on Monday morning as hope faded
of finding her alive. The children's charity worker had
been a passenger on the No. 30 bus. Rosenberg's
British partner, John Falding, said he had been on the
phone with her, talking about the travel chaos, when
he heard "horrendous screams." Ironically, Rosenberg
had moved to England nearly two decades ago, partly
due to her fear of terrorist attacks in Israel.
Synagogues were filled to capacity across London on
Shabbat, just one day after the bombings, as Jews of all
levels of observance sought comfort. "People do cer-

tainly come out in the face of tragedy to search for
meaning," said Rabbi Yitzak Schochet of the Mill Hill
United Synagogue, who pointed out that the experi-
ence of terror is nothing new for many Jews.
"A lot of us have visited Israel countless times and
lived in this sort of traumatic situation, even if only for
a couple of weeks," he said. "It's not that we have been
desensitized, but we can be defiant in the face of it."
Jewish leaders have vowed they will work to combat
any rise in racial tensions following the London bomb-
ings amid fears that the attacks may lead to increased
anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. "Certainly when
there have been attacks in the past, we've seen a spike
in anti-Semitism and vandalism," said Mike Whine of
the Community Security Trust, the body that monitors
threats to British Jewry. "We've already seen some
extremist Web sites blaming Jews for the bombing, and
we would be foolish to ignore it."
Imam Abduljalil Sajid, a prominent U.K. interfaith
activist, said he had seen Muslims being spat at in the
street hours after the bombings. Community leaders
have advised Muslims "to keep a low-profile," he
added.
The day after the bombings, the Orthodox chief
rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, was among religious leaders
called to the Home Office, the government body
responsible for domestic security policy, for an emer-
gency meeting to discuss a joint response.
On Monday, Rabbi Sacks joined Sheikh Zaki
Badawi and church representatives to pledge they
would "strengthen those things we hold in common
and to resist all that seeks to drive us apart."



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