Disproportionate Number of Anglos Slain; Olmert Praises Families' Dignity

The Anglo community of Israel has been hit especially hard by the Al-Asqa Intifada. Of the 150 Israelis who have been killed during the 11-month uprising, at least 10 have been native English-speakers - more than six percent of the total death toll. The proportion of Anglos in the total population is estimated to be less than three percent.

The Anglo community of Israel has been hit especially hard by the Al-Asqa Intifada. Of the 150 Israelis who have been killed during the 11-month uprising, at least 10 have been native English-speakers - more than six percent of the total death toll. The proportion of Anglos in the total population is estimated to be less than three percent.

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert attributes the disproportionately high figure to the large numbers of Anglos living in settlements close to Jerusalem, where many Jewish victims of the intifada resided.

After paying several condolence calls to bereaved Anglo families in recent months, Olmert said he admired them for "the restrained way they deal with their pain." The mayor observed that the families he had met, many of them Orthodox, seemed fully aware of the "dangers, difficulties and risks" of life in Israel, but added that he thought this "doesn't offer any consolation" in the face of their personal tragedies.

He recently visited the home of Arnold and Frimet Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter, Malka, was killed in the bombing of the Sbarro restaurant earlier this month: "I didn't feel when I talked to them that they had any regrets about moving to Israel or living here," he told Anglo File. He believes the family is finding "some sort of consolation [in living] in the place they want to be." The fact that they came here "out of choice," he continued, seems to give them "additional strength in dealing with their pain and the consequences" of their tragedy.

The mayor added that he "can imagine how hard it is" for those who did not grow up in this environment to adapt to the "challenges and difficulties of living in this country," but said this task was not necessarily easier for native Israelis. Anglo immigrants, he said, "have decided to become part of this society and [such tragedies are] a part of our life."

AACI memorial

The names of 11 Americans will be added to a memorial plaque on September 24, during this year's Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI) ceremony commemorating Americans who have fallen in service to the State of Israel or in terrorist attacks. The ceremony will take place at the AACI Memorial Forest close to Sha'ar Hagai, off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. This is largest number of names added at one time to the plaques since the establishment of the annual ceremony in 1983, says one of the organizers, Judy Cohen.

She recalled last year's event, when organizers were "thrilled" because "no fresh names were added to the list," but added that she fears the list may grow even longer.

A passage about each of the fallen will be read out at the ceremony, and wreaths will be presented and laid by representatives of U.S. and Canadian governments and the Israel Defense Forces.

The ceremony usually attracts about 200 people, says Cohen, but she expects that more will attend this year due to the unusually high death toll. The 15 members of Efrat baseball team, she notes, plan to attend the ceremony to honor their former teammate, 14-year-old Yaakov (Kobi) Mandell, who was stoned to death near Tekoa in May.

Personal tragedies

Following is a list of Anglos who have been killed during the 11-month intifada:

Sarah Blaustein, 53, was killed in a drive-by shooting on the Tunnel Road - which links Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion area - just north of Neve Daniel in May, while en route to attend the funeral of another terror victim. Born in Brooklyn, Sarah immigrated to Israel with her husband, Norman, and daughter, Atara, from Lawrence, New York in August 2000. Sarah's husband and son were wounded in the attack; another passenger was killed. Sarah managed the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva office in New York for five years.

Dr. Shmuel Gillis, 42, of Karmei Tzur, was shot dead by Palestinian gunmen who fired at his car on the stretch of road north of the Al-Aroub refugee camp near Bethlehem. British-born and the father of five children aged five to 13, Shmuel was a senior hematologist at Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, and he was driving home from work when the attack took place. He immigrated to Israel with his family from Sunderland at the age of 11 in 1970.

Esh Kodesh Gilmore, 25, was shot at close range while working as a guard at the National Insurance Institute office in East Jerusalem last October. He was the oldest child of Reuven Gilmore, originally from Cleveland, and New Jersey-born Zahava Gilmore, who were among the founders of Moshav Mevo Modi'in where he lived. Esh Kodesh is survived by his parents, five siblings, his wife, Inbal, and one-year-old daughter, Talya.

Shoshana Greenbaum, 31, was pregnant with her first child when she was killed in the terrorist bomb attack at a pizzeria in Jerusalem earlier this month, along with 14 others. She taught at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach in New York, and was staying in Jerusalem while attending a summer program as part of her studies toward a master's degree. She was an only child and had recently bought a house in Passaic, New Jersey with her husband of a year, Shmuel. She was buried in Jerusalem.

Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, 34, and his wife, Talia, were killed last December when their car was attacked by terrorist gunmen close to Ofra as they drove to their home in Kfar Tapuah. Five of the couple's six children, aged two months to 10 years, were injured in the attack. Binyamin was the son of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the extremist Kach movement, who was killed by an Egyptian gunman in 1990. Binyamin immigrated to Israel with his family in 1971, at the age of four.

Naftali Lanzkron, 13, was killed in a suicide bomb attack near Kfar Sava while waiting for a bus to take him to school in Kedumim. Another boy, Eliran Rosenberg-Zayat, was also killed and four other fellow students were injured in the attack in March. Naftali was the youngest of the 10 children of Chava and Meir Lanzkron, who immigrated to Israel from Britain in early 1970s. He was buried in Petah Tikva, his home town. He had celebrated his bar mitzvah two months ago before he was killed.

Rabbi Hillel Lieberman, 36, of Elon Moreh, was found shot dead in a cave at the southern entrance to Nablus in October. He was last seen the previous morning, heading for Joseph's Tomb after hearing that Palestinians were desecrating the site. The Brooklyn-born rabbi moved to Israel 15 years ago and is survived by his parents, Rabbi Zevulun and Bracha Lieberman, his wife, Yael, and their seven children. He was one of the founders of the "Od Yosef Chai" Yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb.

Yaakov (Kobi) Mandell, 14, was stoned to death while hiking near Tekoa with a friend in May. His parents, Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell, immigrated to Israel seven years ago from Silver Springs, Maryland and moved from Efrat to Tekoa in 1998. Kobi, who loved computers and baseball, is survived by his parents and three siblings. He was laid to rest in the cemetery of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion.

Malka Roth, 15, was killed, along with her best friend and 13 other people in a bomb attack at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem earlier this month. The middle child of Frimet and Arnold Roth's seven children, Roth was a flautist, a member of the Ezra youth movement, and a keen volunteer with handicapped children. She immigrated to Israel with her family from Melbourne, Australia in 1988.

Yehuda Shoham was aged five months when his skull was fractured by Palestinians who pelted his parents' car with rocks near Luban as they drove home to Shiloh in June. The infant fought for his life for six days at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. His mother, Batsheva, an American citizen, and her husband, Benny, gave their son the middle name of "Haim" during the period he was in hospital. He was buried in Shiloh.

Several other Anglos have also lost close family members during the intifada, including

American citizen Avigail Biton (nee Lewis), whose husband, Gavriel Biton, was killed when a roadside bomb exploded alongside a bus carrying children from Kfar Darom to school in Gush Katif in November.

The husband of South African-born Hila (Hilary) Pashkos (nee Edelman), Akiva Pashkos, was shot dead in a terror attack near the Atarot industrial zone north of the capital in January.

Former Londoner Hila Hershkowitz (nee Coutts) was married to Assaf Hershowitz, who was killed when his vehicle overturned after it was fired upon at a junction between Ofra and Beit El in May.

The wife of British-born Shimon Bloomberg of Karnei Shomron, Tehiya Bloomberg, was killed earlier this month when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the family car as it traveled between Alfei Menashe and Karnei Shomron. Both Shimon and the couple's 14-year-old daughter, Tzippi, were seriously wounded in the attack.