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Provost's Address at the Memorial Ceremony

12 August 2002

"We are gathered here to honor the memory of eight of our students and colleagues who lost their lives in the vicious terrorist attack in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria almost two weeks ago.

My dear students, we at the Hebrew University are very proud that you have come all this way to study here, and that the terrible ordeal you have undergone has only strengthened your will and determination to be with us. All of us here extend our sympathy and condolences to the families of the students and staff murdered in the attack. We wish the injured a full recovery and look forward to welcoming them back among us.

The attack in which our students and colleagues lost their lives is part of the heroic drama of the rebirth of the Jewish People in their homeland - a drama heralded by the rise of Zionism more than one hundred years ago. From its earliest beginnings the Zionist movement has extended its hand in peace toward all its Arab neighbors. But unfortunately only the late President Sadat and the late King Hussein responded to proposals of peace. The peace established between Israel and Egypt and Jordan respectively demonstrates that Jews and Arabs can indeed live peaceably side-by-side. The Palestinian leadership, however, has always rejected offers of peace, and has responded with hatred and bloodshed. This has been the case from the time of the Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini - an ally of both Hitler and Himmler - right up to Arafat, who declared, only ten days ago, that he regards the Mufti as his commander and hero. The Palestinians surely deserve a different kind of leadership!

Israel and its great friend and ally the United States are now engaged in a momentous campaign of global dimensions and historic significance, designed to defend human dignity, democracy and freedom against the forces of evil. We all know who will triumph. I am fully confident that we have the faith, the strength and the resolve to make this country a safe place for all.

In working to achieve this simple human goal we will, I hope, find some consolation for the horrible loss of life endured in this long arduous struggle."

Prof. Menahem Milson, Provost


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