Bombing victims in Israel are mourned 200 people in Pikesville remember 62 who died

March 11, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

As Zev Gershon read the names of the 62 men, women and children who died in the recent terrorist bombings in Israel, some of those attending a memorial service last night in Baltimore County nodded or murmured. Most sat in silence.

Those who died may have been strangers to the 200 or so people gathered at the Suburban Orthodox Congregation in Pikesville, but they were called "brothers and sisters."

In what organizers called an apolitical event, members of Baltimore's Jewish community joined last night for the reading of Psalms and prayer. And to hear the names of the dead.

"These are our brothers and sisters who have died," said Mr. Gershon, president of the Baltimore District of the Zionist Organization of America and an organizer of the memorial service.

While the event was not meant to be political, some speakers expressed anger over the recent deaths and were skeptical that the peace process could continue. The military wing of Hamas, a radical Palestinian organization, has claimed responsibility for the four suicide bombings that rocked Israel between Feb. 25 and Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, we don't imagine that this is over," said Rabbi Moshe Hauer of B'nai Jacob Congregation in Baltimore City. "Thank God we have an easy Sunday, but that can't allow us to forget that we must be filled with apprehension for the future."

Some of those attending the service said the bombings are evidence that peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is not possible through the current process.

Hattie Yaniger's son and six grandchildren live in Israel. "It's as though someone did that down at Harborplace," Mrs. Yaniger, 69, said of the bombings, three of which took place in crowded downtown areas of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. "I am vehemently against what they call the peace process. The Arabs have shown us that they don't want peace."

Robert Allen, a college professor from Pikesville, said the bombings have changed his view of the peace process, though he still hopes for some kind of peace in the Middle East. "Before, I had hope of possible peaceful coexistance but now it has to be a clear separation [between Israelis and Palestinians]," said Mr. Allen, 39.

But for Joe Davis, 31, also of Pikesville, the solution was not so clear. "I want peace, but I don't know what the answer is," he said. "What I really believe is God. He's the one Who makes it all work."

Pub Date: 3/11/96

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