A bombed-out reminder - Anti-terrorism rally at UC Irvine showcases a raw piece of an attack made a year ago in Jerusalem (LA TIMES) Elia Powers, UC IRVINE 02/01/05)
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UC IRVINE — Born in Haifa, Israel, Merav Ceren returned to her native
country in December for the first time since moving to the United
States as a toddler.
Ceren, a UC Irvine junior and president of Anteaters for Israel, said
it was time for her to reconnect with her heritage.
On Monday, she helped hundreds of students and community members make
a visual connection to one of the more unsavory aspects of Israeli
Bus 19, a public vehicle that was attacked in a January 2004
Jerusalem suicide bombing, served as the backdrop for an on-
campus "anti-terror" rally highlighted by passionate speeches from
those directly affected by the attack.
Eleven people were killed and more than 50 injured on the bus, which
is making its Southern California stop on an extended United States
Ceren, who contacted the organization in charge of the tour, said the
event was intended to be an eye-opener.
"It´s a chance for students to come together against terrorism,"
Ceren said. "When we say Israel must defend itself, this shows what
sacrifices are made."
Jerusalem Connection International, a Christian group that supports
Israeli causes, is operating the tour in hopes of raising awareness
of international terrorism. On Sunday, the bus stopped at the Museum
of Tolerance in Los Angeles for a Holocaust memorial ceremony.
StandWithUs, a Los Angeles-based Israeli advocacy organization, was
one of the sponsors of Monday´s event. Executive Director Roz
Rothstein said she wanted students to be exposed to the realities of
"I think people are getting numb to terrorism," Rothstein said. "They
have to see something to believe it. Suicide bombing shouldn´t make
people numb. We shouldn´t make it commonplace."
Anteaters for Israel, College Republicans and the Irvine Conservative
Student Union were among the student groups who helped plan the
Students paid tribute to the bus-attack victims by standing behind
their enlarged photographs and reading their biographies. Speakers
also read personal descriptions of some of the Southern Californians
who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The faces of 975 Israeli suicide-attack victims were placed next to
the bus, which sits windowless but mainly intact, with a bent steel
frame and rows of mangled seats.
Writer and public speaker Nonie Darwish, whose father was a part of
Yasser Arafat´s Fatah movement and was assassinated by the Israeli
Defense Force, urged the crowd to avoid complacency.
Reuven Hazan, a political science professor at Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, pointed behind him to the bus as he told the story of a
student who was killed on the way to class.
"When you are afraid to get on a bus or be in a cafeteria on campus,
you are in a disengaged state — you are set apart from the rest of
society," he said.
Hillel Foundation of Orange County Executive Director Jeffrey Rips
said Monday´s event was appropriately timed, with the recent Iraqi
election and the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz
Rips said he is working to promote dialogue between pro-Israeli and
pro-Arab campus groups. The two have had a sometimes-contentious
The Muslim Student Union has scheduled an event from noon to 1 p.m.
Wednesday at the UC Irvine Student Center.
• ELIA POWERS is the enterprise and general assignment reporter. He
may be reached at (714) 966-4623 or by e-mail at
email@example.com. (Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times 02/01/05)
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