Last week saw two events which broke our hearts. First, the horrible, senseless, evil of the suicide bombing in Bulgaria and then the tragic, senseless shooting which took place in Colorado. My thoughts go out to everyone who has been directly touched by these events. The victims, their families and their friends are in our thoughts and prayers.
I do not have much to add to the words which have already been said but I would begin by calling attention once again to the reality of terror which threatens Israelis, Jews throughout the world, and , in fact, everyone everywhere. We need to stand firm in fighting terror wherever it occurs throughout the world. There can be no justification for evil acts of terror against innocent civilians but the leaders of nations must not let acts of terror deter them from seeking peaceful resolutions to conflict. Nations, Israel for example, must protect their citizens and must respond to terror in clear, strong ways. But, we must continue to find ways to work to solving conflicts peacefully to every extent possible.
We must also remember the victims of terror past and present. It is inconceivable that the Olympic Games leadership will not allow a moment of silence for the victims of the Munich attacks of 1972. To take a moment out of the games on the 40th anniversary would seem to be a very easy thing to arrange. While it is true that these Israeli athletes were not the only victims of terror, this was the only act of terror directed against athletes during the games and it would make perfect sense for the organizers of the games to offer a silent moment in memory of them and all victims of terror throughout the world. I hope that the last days before the games will bring a change of heart and I hope that the games proceed peacefully and safely for all.
With regard to the events in Colorado, it is so shockingly sad and our hearts go out to the victims and to those who are dealing with this horrendous tragedy in any way. It is so devastatingly sad.
Once again, an unstable individual has taken so many lives. Once again, we can ask: how long will it be until steps are taken to see that ammunition can’t be stockpiled, guns can’t be obtained without serious investigation and control? How many more tragedies of this kind will take place before we realize that the availability of such weapons puts us all in danger? We live in a world in which all of us potentially could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and be a victim of an act of violence by an unstable, sick individual. But, how much more secure would our lives be if access to weapons was seriously restricted.
May the memory of the dead in Bulgaria and Colorado inspire us to work for a world free from violence and hatred. May those who were wounded find healing and courage. May we see better times ahead.