An Israeli father whose daughter narrowly escaped being murdered in the suspected Palestinian bombings on Wednesday in Jerusalem issued a powerful Twitter thread in which he delineated his feelings after the attack.
Uri Pilichowski, whose op-eds have appeared in the Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel, wrote about the experience of his daughter Naomi.
“This wasn’t a day we ever dreamed of…even in our nightmares. A🧵on today’s terror attack and our daughter,” he began.
“Early this morning, our 18-year-old daughter Naomi walked to her regular Jerusalem bus stop to commute to her national service job in Beit Shemesh. As she approached the stop, a Palestinian terrorist detonated a bomb packed with nails and other shrapnel. One of the pieces flew at Naomi, hitting her, but not seriously. She felt ringing in her ears but wasn’t hurt,” he continued.
“Naomi texted our family WhatsApp group that there’d been a bombing and she was fine. There hasn’t been a bombing in years, I was sure she was mistaken. None of the news sites had the story, but her next text said she was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital,” he wrote. “Aliza and I met Naomi at the hospital, saw the wound wasn’t serious, and waited while she was interviewed by doctors, Shabak, the police, social workers, and psychologists. After 6 hours Naomi was released and we drove home, thankful that Naomi was OK.”
He said his family all went out to dinner after his daughter was released from the hospital.
“One of my teachers, Dr. Gil Troy, sent me an email suggesting our family go out and celebrate immediately. We thought that was a great idea, and other than one daughter who was in transit to New York, we all agreed to meet in Jerusalem for a celebratory dinner,” Pilichowski recalled. “At dinner each member of our family spoke about what they were grateful for that day. Naomi’s words of being grateful for a supportive family really came home for all of us. Each of her parents and siblings quickly realized that just being ourselves was a big help to Naomi.”
After noting the family decided to celebrate the date, which was the eve of the new Hebrew month Kislev, to offer thanks to God, he noted, “Very conscious that all too many of our friends commemorate annual yahrzeits of their terror victims, we’re grateful to be able to celebrate annually.”
Pilichowski noted that he had been inundated with media requests, adding, “I wasn’t going to do any of them, but Aliza thought it was important I humanize the attack for people. I had seen victim’s families provide the nation with encouragement and I wanted to try to help our nation.”
“I felt sad because of what had happened and angry at those who caused it,” Pilichowski wrote. “Most of all, I felt terrified. Not the terror of what could happen in the future, but of what I almost lost. Terror sweeps over me and overwhelms me. I cry and can’t breathe. It’s indescribable.”
“Today could’ve been much worse,” he asserted. “A nail flying an inch or two higher or lower and I’d have been sitting shiva tonight instead of offering thanks at a celebratory dinner. I’m grateful I’m celebrating instead of mourning tonight.”
After pointing out the kindness of Jews including nurses, doctors, family, friends, & strangers, Pilichowski stressed, “Israel is a safe country. Yes, the headlines are scary, but while 1 was killed today & 22 were injured, 9 million Israelis were perfectly safe. They were safe yesterday, today & they’ll be safe tomorrow. Don’t be taken by headlines, Israel is a wonderful and safe place.”
Then he addressed the murderous terrorists who had tried to take the life of his daughter.
“There are people who planned this attack. They scouted the bus stop for days; they saw my daughter waiting every day & aimed to kill her. These people are celebrating tonight. I might sound harsh, I don’t care. I want them dead. Not tried, not jailed. Executed. ASAP,” he said.
He blasted the Arab governments who are supporters of terrorism: “This attack took expertise, training, and planning It was expensive, it took funds and support. It took a world willing to look away from Palestinian, Iranian, and Qatari funding of terror, to find a small amount of terror acceptable. The world must shut them down.”
“This attack had nothing to do with occupation, a state or apartheid,” he pointed out. “Arab terror and attacks occurred before 1948 and before 1967 and continue today. These attacks are caused by antisemites who hate the Jewish people and want Jewish people dead. Don’t be fooled.”
“Naomi will be fine. Our family will be fine. Our people will be fine. The Jewish State will be fine. The Jewish people will grow and flourish. Hashem will protect us and keep us safe. Our enemies will be defeated, and we will be the ones to defeat them,” he concluded, adding, “Thank you to all those who reached out today. I’m sorry if I couldn’t return every message, but your words meant the world to me and to our family. We’ve never felt so loved and supported.”