Life is like a box of dynamite

26 Mar

Last week a group of Israelis toured the streets and promenades of Istanbul.  It was part of a culinary trip to explore the flavors of the wonderful Turkish cuisine.

Israeli tourists in Istanbul before the terrorists' attack

Israeli tourists in Istanbul before the terrorists’ attack

While they dined at a restaurant, an ISIS (Daesh) suicide-bomber detonated his explosives belt killing three and wounding scores more. The festive outing had turned into a disaster.  Within hours Israel sent its own doctors and transport airplanes to bring everyone home.  This is one more story of Islamist terrorism against Jews.  What’s absurd is that one of the killed, Avi Goldman, was a tour guide in Jerusalem.  He survived the daily attacks of Arabs against Jews in his own city, yet had to travel to Turkey to meet his death.

Forrest Gump had it all wrong.  Life is not like a box of chocolate.

Islamist suicide-bombers in Brussels

Islamist suicide-bombers in Brussels

It used to be that if you kept out of trouble, trouble would not find you.  Islamists terrorists changed all that after 9/11.  We’re sitting ducks.  Anywhere we go, San Bernardino in California, Paris, Istanbul, Tel-Aviv, we can have our heads blown off or be stabbed to death.  There are no Swedes, Frenchmen, Englishmen, Italians pulling anchor from their homelands and going on a killing spree in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria.  It’s an Islamist thing.  Even those Muslims who’d lived in Europe for two or three generations produce sleeper-cell terrorists.  It’s assimilation gone wild.  I feel sorry for all the law-abiding peaceful Muslims who just want to get by in life, find a decent job, raise a decent family, build a decent home.  Yet many indecent, violent, hell-bent Islamist fundamentalists are ruining it for their own people and their own religion.  But you can’t talk sense into them.  They’re sick in the head.

Victims of the suicide-bombing in Brussels

Victims of the suicide-bombing in Brussels

What’s most terrifying is that these Islamists terrorists can strike at any moment, anywhere, in capital cities and sleepy villages.  Ten days ago my twin teenage daughters flew to Bergen-Belsen, Germany as part of a worldwide delegation to explore and learn about the Nazi atrocities in the concentration camp (more on the subject on a future post).  They flew from Israel to Frankfurt, and from there to Hanover, and from there to Bergen-Belsen.

Then the ISIS terrorists struck Brussels, Belgium.  Thirty-four innocent people were killed at the airport and subway.  My wife and I panicked.  That same week they were to return to Israel with a connecting flight through…Brussels.  While in Germany the local media had learned of my daughters’ involvement in the Bergen-Belsen project.  They wanted to interview them for TV and radio and take their account of their Germany visit.  The reporters asked their Israeli adult escort for permission to interview.  Their woman escort and former teacher called Jerusalem for instructions.  Jerusalem called back.  “Do not let them talk to anyone!”  Why expose them to would-be attackers, they said.  Toward the end, the reporters and Israeli security reached a compromise.  My daughters spoke of their experiences in Germany and the story could be told only after they’d left the country.

My daughters in Bergen-Belsen this week

My daughters in Bergen-Belsen this week

They traveled to Germany to learn of the horrors committed in the camp more than 70 years ago, only to learn that the horrors continue to haunt us today. Luckily they took a flight back through Munich instead, and arrived safely early this morning.

The families from the Istanbul attack are grieving. Brussels, known for its Belgian chocolate, is now known for dynamite and bombs.

Forrest Gump, your mama was wrong.  We know exactly what we’re going to get.


Maurice Labi is an Israeli-American who lived in Los Angeles for many years. In 2011 He returned to Northern Israel (Galilee) with his wife and twin teenage daughters. He is of two lands, of two cultures and he blogs about his experiences in Israel, particularly from Galilee where Jews and Arabs dwelled for centuries.

He has also written three novels: “Jupiter’s Stone,” “Into the Night,” and “American Moth” — available at

or at







6 Responses to “Life is like a box of dynamite”

  1. Mark Bernhard March 26, 2016 at 11:14 pm #

    Between the end of WWII and recent years, threats to Jewish survival-outside of Israel- seemed like a receding dark period of our history. Now other cultures, nationalities, and religious groups are targeted for mass murder and extension unless we, the free people of the world unite to fight and destroy Islamic state and it’s affiliates everywhere. We need the resolve and action of a General Patton who said, “May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won’t. “

    • Mark March 26, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

      meant extinction, not extension

      • Avi March 28, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

        I’m not saying this with a glee at the horrors inflicted on innocent Europeans, but there is a glimpse of poetic justice in what happened. It’s not just about centuries of Jewish persecutions culminating in the systematic annihilation of Jews in concentration camps (with the help of most Europeans), but it’s the continuation of the mistreatment of Israel by Europeans today. The EU has been preaching to Israel how to handle terror “humanely”, the EU has been funding of Arab(!) illegal settlements inside Israel proper(!), and funding Jewish and Arab extremist anti-Israel organizations with millions of Euros. It’s time for the Europeans to use their funds and compassion to lick their own wounds, take care of their own Neo-Nazis and in the process they may learn a thing or two from Israel.

  2. Sandy Galfas March 27, 2016 at 12:29 am #

    God, Maurice, you’re right. The scary thing is that the attacks can happen anywhere, any time. Heard on the news that a man who lived thru the Brussels airport attack was killed later that day in the subway attack! Hate seems eternal. Maybe Rodney King had the right idea: “Why can’t we all get along?”

  3. Rachel Canon March 27, 2016 at 1:49 am #

    Thanks fir posting. So glad the girls are home.

  4. Meg March 31, 2016 at 2:05 am #

    You’re insights are always appreciated especially in this instance. I’m glad you beautiful daughters weren’t subjected to the Media’s unending intrusion into horrible situations and their tour leader had the good sense to contact Jerusalem for guidance. They don’t need to be looking over their shoulders any more than they’ll have to do in the nutty world. Thankx for your thoughtful blogs.

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