Matan Lurey

The Crime? Being Israeli

Today we witnessed a horrific terrorist attack, an attack specifically targeting Israelis on vacation abroad – and if I may be so daring, specifically targeting Israeli Jews – best described by affluent Israel-focused blogger Michael Koplow (emphasis mine):

The innocents on that bus were murdered in cold blood for being Jews, plain and simple. Anyone who suggests otherwise needs to not only be dismissed outright, but to be shouted down, publicly shamed, and made to feel foolish for wallowing in abject ignorance.


The word “Israel” should only enter this conversation for the purpose of identifying the citizenship of the people who were killed.

Let’s be clear, the international community played their role appropriately, with the United States, European Union, and of course, Bulgaria in particular, condemning in the harshest terms. However, there are three important governments in particular that I was unable to find statements, neutral or otherwise concerning the bombing(s): Egypt, Turkey, and the Palestinian Authority.

Smoke rising from Burgas airport terminal following bus explosion
Smoke rising from Burgas airport terminal following bus explosion

It’s of course not the role of these regimes to focus on the security of Israelis abroad, but a comment, however short, could go a long way to dispersing what are seemingly valid points by Israelis and the Jewish diaspora – that the two most influential nation states in the Middle East, and Israel’s peace partner, are unable or unwilling to take a critical position on the attack of Israeli civilians. The Palestinian Authority in the past has taken such a position, as has Turkey. With the uncertainty over the long-term viability of the Egypt-Israel treaty growing, a simple “we condemn these and all attacks on civilians” could go a long way to re-establishing a level of trust and empathy. 

Edit: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has called the events “a crime against humanity“:

Turkey has strongly condemned a deadly attack on a bus full of Israeli vacationers in Bulgaria on Wednesday that killed seven people

Unfortunately, I had plans to start my blogging experience at Times of Israel with a better story, but felt, under the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to focus on anything but this absolute tragedy – especially in light that my direct family is leaving for Europe (from Tel Aviv) tomorrow.

About the Author
Matan Lurey is a blogger, recent grad from the University of California, Irvine in Software Engineering, and was former President of Hillel: the Jewish Student Union. He was a leading member in the Olive Tree Initiative, a non-partisan effort to educate students on the nuances of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and greater Middle East.