By Charles Gardner —
The largely untold story of Jewish people who have become victims of terror in their own land continues to be the focus of a British photographer.
Rising from the ashes of the Holocaust 75 years ago, Israel was meant to be a safe haven for targets of antisemitism. But Jennie Milne, a photography lecturer in Aberdeen, Scotland, has found that this is far from the case, as she shared in a zoom conference hosted by Glasgow Friends of Israel.
After learning that some of her own ancestors died in the concentration camps, she was shocked to discover that thousands of Israelis have since perished at the hands of Palestinian terrorists and has mounted a photographic exhibition of survivors to illustrate their trauma.
Among those taking part in the conference was Arnold Roth, whose beautiful 15-year-old daughter Malki was blown up by a suicide bomber in the centre of Jerusalem on August 9th 2001.
Shockingly, the mastermind behind the atrocity, which saw 15 killed and 130 wounded, is today a media celebrity in neighboring Jordan after benefiting from a prisoner exchange. Ahlam Tamimi hosted a weekly television program from Amman for five years, and remains an influential figure in the Arab world despite facing terror charges in Washington. (Malki had American citizenship which was the factor that triggered her so-far-thwarted prosecution.)
I understand that, at the time of the massacre, Ahlam was a newsreader in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority have their headquarters, and that she responded to news of the atrocity by praising Allah!
Acknowledging Jennie’s significant service to the Jewish people, Arnold recalled the devastating loss of his daughter, who was standing at the counter of a crowded pizza restaurant when the bomb, hidden in a guitar case, exploded.
Malki was on her way to a planning meeting for a summer camp with her friend Michal when the girls decided to stop off for a drink and a slice of pizza. According to one report, the terrorist placed himself and the guitar case containing the bomb right beside the two girls. Malki was typing a text message when the device went off.
As a lasting memorial to their beloved daughter, Arnold and his wife Frimet launched the Malki Foundation [www.kerenmalki.org], supporting children with severe disabilities from every part of Israeli society. Their youngest child, whom Malki adored, became severely disabled at the age of one.
It was the murder in her own bedroom of 13-year-old Hallel Ariel in 2016 that galvanized Jennie into doing something about it, raising awareness through a photographic exhibition of some of the victims, now also a book entitled Do you know my name? The exhibition was first held in south London and is also now available to be shown elsewhere.
Also taking part in the zoom conference was London-born Steve Bloomberg who made Aliyah (immigration to Israel) in 1982 and whose life was torn apart when terrorists opened fire on his car, also in 2001, killing his pregnant wife Tehiya and paralyzing him and his daughter Tzipi, then 16, from the waist down.
Steve too has become an advocate for disabled people, and Tzipi is an accomplished sportswoman who competes in international skiing competitions.
In addition to the more than 3,000 people who have died in terrorist attacks on Israeli soil since the state was established in 1948, a further 25,000 people have been wounded and maimed.
“There’s just no end of victims,” said Jennie. “One died on Monday and 17 people have already been murdered this year.”
A 55-year-old committed Christian and mother-of-nine, she explained: “My intention in photographing the survivors was to provide a point of connection with people in the United Kingdom, to bring their stories into the light, to remember and honor the victims and stand with their families. I wish to challenge the narrative which seeks to justify such murders and remind us that ‘Never Again’ includes Jewish lives in Israel today.”
She added: “We in the church have a responsibility to the Jewish people, particularly in view of the Scriptures.”
For more information on Jennie’s research, see her website at https://www.fragmentsthatremain.co.uk